On Monday this week - the 10th of October, there was World Mental Health Day. I think it’s a great reminder to focus more on our well-being and taking care of our minds.
In my teenage and college years, I suffered from eating disorders, fought thrombosis, discovered my genetic disorder - thrombophilia, and had heavy episodes of returning depression. Thanks to my great psychiatrist and therapist, I’ve learned how to deal with my demons using the tools they gave me. I restored a balance in my life, but it cost me years of facing traumas, making tough decisions, and hard work. I’ve learned a lot during that part of my life.
What exactly have I learned? Mainly that:
going to therapy is not shameful at all (there is still quite a strong stigma around it in Poland)
well adjusted treatment can pull you out of the deepest depression
meds won’t change who you are - they are one of the things that can help you get back on your feet
a psychiatrist is a doctor just like any other kind of doctor, and the brain is an organ that can get ill as well as the eye or lungs
naming your own feelings, and emotions is hard as fck
healing is a long process
taking notes on how we feel, and taking brain dumps are crucial to recovery
One of the most important things I learned though is that monitoring our moods and emotions is a must when thoughts become tangled. The best way to do this is to write them down on a piece of paper. It works magic when it’s done often, as regularly as possible. We’re not robots, and I think it’s impossible to do it every single day. I’ve struggled with it a lot in my beginnings, wanting to make it my unbreakable habit. Now I know it’s crucial not to force yourself to do it. Criticizing ourselves for taking pauses from it is for sure destructive and does not help at all. Everyone needs to figure out their way how to do this and which form of taking such notes works out for them.
I haven’t got one favorite form of taking a record of my thoughts and feelings. Sometimes I need to let out a waterfall of thoughts, ending up with my diary or notebook writing a long form. And sometimes I prefer to grab something structured, and easier, prepared with well-asked questions, and pre-set lists just for checking things out. With this second need in mind, I’ve prepared a SELF CARE PAGE:
Treat it as a mental hygiene activity - a quick scan of how you feel and a mobilizing way to accompany your day. I’m sharing it with you today, hoping you may find it helpful. Please let me know how you like it if you decide to use it 🙏
Usually when I sit down to such tasks that demand increased concentration I need to cut off from the outside world and put on music. For today’s exercise, I’ve made a special SELF CARE TIME playlist. It’s a compilation of only calm, instrumental songs with no vocals.
Hope you’re all well. But if you are not, let me tell you - you are not alone. I’m struggling too. Some days are better, some worse. But I keep fighting, using many different tools, to restore daily balance and peace of mind. Going to therapy was for sure one of the best decisions of my life, and the lessons I’ve learned there showed me how to hush my inner critic, work through my bad thoughts, and stop imagining worst-case scenarios. It’s an ongoing process and it will last for a lifetime so the sooner you get the proper tools to deal with it - the better.
If you need help, please don’t be afraid to ask for it. Talking about your problems, visiting a therapist, or taking meds isn’t a failure - it’s a rescue and a brave, self care act. Wishing you all health and strength & sending you good vibes straight from my heart 🙏✨💖
Have a great, mindful day!
Thank you so much for sharing this important piece!
The self-care page is wonderful; I really like the idea of having everything on one page instead of multiple like I typically keep track in my bullet journal. (Also, bullet journals are a great way to track as well if anyone is looking for more suggestions!)
Wishing you the finest vibes!
Thank you for this, Stygi! Such an important topic, beautifully expressed. 💖