Hello! I’m Molly. I’m a 20-year old college student, and I’m a new volunteer blog writer here at The Emily Program Foundation. Throughout my own personal journey towards recovery, I’ve come to realize how truly important it is to take time for self-care. This has the ability to greatly improve your mental health, and take you even further on your own journey to recovery. Today, I’d like to share a few tips on how to take better care of your body, mind, and soul, so that you too can steadily and successfully recover.
In my own experience, journaling is a wonderful way to begin practicing self-care, specifically for the mind. You can start by going out and getting yourself a journal, or even a notepad/book (it doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive) grab a pen, and open up to the first page. When you have an extra minute to take out of your day, or feel as if you need some sort of escape from your daily stressors, open the journal and write. The wonderful thing about journaling, is that it is 100% up to you what it contains. Write about what you did each day; write about your moods and how they influenced your day; keep track of the dreams you have and how they make you feel; write about what you’re grateful for; write about what makes you happy or sad; write about absolutely anything! Physically seeing the things in your head being put on paper, can be incredibly calming. You’re able to close the journal and stow it away, knowing it is kept safe. This helps especially when you need to journal your negative thoughts. I personally filled up an entire journal over the course of about a year, from when I was first seeking help for my eating disorder, to when I finally felt as if my journey came to a close. I was able to look back on how far I had come, and how strong I was at that point in time! Give journaling a try, and see if it’s able to help you too.
My former therapist had introduced meditation to me, and at first, I was way too antsy to sit still and focus. However, once I got the hang of it, it became such an amazing activity to use for self-care. Free guided meditation audio recordings can be found all over the internet, and a lot of them are made specifically for things like anxiety, self-love, gratitude, and even sleep. If you have maybe 10 minutes to spare in your day, simply find a comfortable spot to sit in a chair or even a place to lay on the floor, close your eyes, and begin. Meditation easily allows you to clear your head, and focus solely on inhaling and exhaling. It truly brings you to a peaceful state-of-mind, where you’re able to escape from reality, for just a small amount of time. Adding this to your daily routine, can most definitely benefit you, your friends and/or your family who may be recovering as well.
Every once in a while, it feels really great, even empowering to treat yourself. That applies to a variety of things as well. Treating yourself could mean spending a night in with yourself or with a loved one, splurging on a nice manicure/pedicure, taking a bath with some epsom salts or a bath bomb, or even taking time out of your day to rest/nap! Remember that it IS okay to put yourself first. It’s okay to make yourself feel good. It’s okay to take the time out of your day to check-in with yourself and make sure you’re doing alright. I said it once, and I will say it again: self-care is so important. It’s very important to practice on your journey to recovery. I hope the tips I shared with you today helped shed some light on how to take better care of your mind and body, and hopefully you’re able to incorporate them into your day-to-day!