It’s okay to stay alive for the small stuff: Who will water my plants? Who will feed the dog? I want to hear that new album before I go. I want to see the next episode of this show. There’s no inadequate reason to stay alive. Desultory-Suggestions
I treat myself like I would my daughter. I brush her hair, wash her laundry, tuck her in goodnight. Most importantly, I feed her. I do not punish her. I do not berate her, leave tears staining her face. I do not leave her alone. I know she deserves more. I know I deserve more. Michelle K., I Know I Deserve More
To live in this world you must be able to do three things: to love what is mortal; to hold it against your bones knowing your own life depends on it; and, when the time comes to let it go, to let it go. Mary Oliver, In Blackwater Woods
1. Know what your triggers are – certain people, comments or situations – and try to avoid those as much as possible. Be especially alert to anything or anyone that causes your mood to plummet.
2. Focus on the things you enjoy doing in life rather than on things that create pressure and stress. Make sure you schedule time for these in your day – even if it’s only a 10-minute workout or reading a few pages of your magazine or book.
3. Make a playlist of favourite songs that lift your mood or help to calm your mind.
4. Establish a support network – good friends and family members who will be there for you, no matter what. Don’t be afraid to reach out and contact these people if you feel you are spiralling down.
5. Choose to spend time with positive, accepting, nurturing people – and stay away from people who don’t understand, or are critical of, mental health concerns.
6. Try and get some exercise as it releases “feel good” hormones and can change the way you feel. Also, pay attention to the kinds of foods you eat.
7. Establish and respect your own personal boundaries. We all have limits – and that includes you, as well. Don’t be afraid to withdraw or to say “no”. It’s good to know yourself, and to know when “it’s enough”.
8. Be gentle, kind and understanding with yourself. Don’t be harsh, unrealistic or hypercritical. You are fighting a hard battle – so be there for yourself!