Mental Health Self Care: You Have Rights

You are allowed to exist. We want you to exist. You have the right to care for yourself so that you can care for others. Know that you are not alone.

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Battling mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety and the like are not easy as is, but having to deal with the outside world, who do not understand what it’s like to go through the battle, makes it even harder.

You have rights. You are allowed to stay in bed all day if you feel you need to because you are drained mentally, physically and your head hurts because you’re over-tired and you’re feeling really sad.

You’re allowed to ask for help. Find someone to meet for coffee and either sit in silence, talk it out, have a hug. You’re allowed to not shower, and wear the same thing for three days straight because you have no motivation, you feel like shit and thinking about it makes you feel even worse. Meeting for coffee in your pajamas are allowed. The fact you managed to get out of bed and out of the house is a small victory. When you do get that shower, it will feel so nice.

YOU ARE ALLOWED TO HAVE A BREAKDOWN!!!!!! It can come at anytime, anywhere. It is not something you ask for, not something you want. But you are allowed to have it! Sometimes you need it. It all has to surface sometime, somehow and that may come in the form of a breakdown.

You’re allowed to tell people to bear with you. Let those around you know that you’re dealing with some heavy stuff, to know that you may break down crying, or any anger you may have is not directed at anyone. Those that care, will understand and will be there for you when you need them. They may offer a hug, a coffee or just an “I love you, I got your back.”

You’re allowed to feel suicidal. You just feel so low that you can’t take it anymore. You want to go to sleep and not wake up some days. You feel invisible or you wish you were. When it gets to the point of actual self harm or planning a suicide attempt is when you should seek professional help. There is always someone who can help guide you, even when you feel there isn’t.

Suicide Prevention Lifeline: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ 

International Suicide Hotlines: http://www.suicide.org/international-suicide-hotlines.html

Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention: https://suicideprevention.ca/need-help/

You are allowed to have feelings and emotions. Ignoring your emotions is the worst thing you can do. It builds up and it blows at some point. Learning to acknowledge your emotions and build a relationship with them helps to deal with them as they come. Mindfulness is paying attention to your emotions, in a purposeful way non-judgmentally in the present moment; learning to nurture calmness and acceptance for your experience.

You have a right to say NO!  You are allowed to set boundaries. You have to take care of yourself first. It’s hard, but if they love and care for you they will understand. If not, then they weren’t meant to be in your life in the first place if they can’t respect your boundaries.

You have a right to be sad, while surrounded by happy. If you’re at a gathering or party, you may be having a good time or passable time but still feeling low, no one should put you down for it. People have been accused of being party poopers, but really they just aren’t in that mind-set.

I’m just glad if I can be neutral in that kind of setting. Or sometimes I will be having a good time or a great time even, but at the very back of my mind, at the very bottom of my soul, sadness and darkness will be brewing. Once the party ends, it slowly starts to surface. Then I curl up in my bed, and not want to leave it for days. If I had a choice, I probably wouldn’t, but I have responsibilities and obligations. Or I have friends who are going through tough times and I want to care for them, so they aren’t alone.

There are many ways you can care for yourself, all are small. You don’t have to do a lot. Just find something that helps you.

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Self-Care-Ideas

You are allowed to exist. We want you to exist. You have the right to care for yourself so that you can care for others. Know that you are not alone. You can survive this cruel world, all you have to do is try.

Some tough love advice: Don’t play the “poor me” card. People are more likely to help you if you are willing to make the effort to help yourself. If you are feeling that low, seek professional help. The “oh poor me” doesn’t get you anywhere. It makes things worse. It wrecks relationships, not only with others but with yourself. If you don’t care enough about yourself to make the effort to try, then others won’t be willing to help.

I know these are harsh words, but seeing what it has done with my own eyes makes me work even harder myself. I have done the “oh poor me” on a few occasions in the past. It does more damage than good.

“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself”- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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