Things have been a bit rough lately. Sunday would have been my Dad's birthday, and I'm looking at my first Christmas without him. That isn't something I can dwell on now, as in the last couple of weeks Mr O's Dad has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, so we have to make it a good one for him. Of my two best friends one just lost her Dad to cancer, and the other is being disowned by his mum. I'm worried for them, I'm worried for my husband and I'm still dealing with my own stuff. House moves are great, but stressful, I'm facing the same health issues that it turned out killed not only Dad but all his family, and theres a lot of incidental stuff happening. Like an agonising tooth needing to be taken out and oh yeah, last week our car was written-off after some idiot crashed into Mr O. But as usual, when asked how I am, it's always "I'm alright thanks".
Depression, anxiety, and panic attacks are NOT a sign of weakness They are signs of having tried to remain strong for way too long.
I read that a while ago and it stuck with me. It is very true, in my own experience when things have been really bad its when there is just too much all at once. The dyke bursts, the flood comes rushing in and I'm overwhelmed. Too much for too long and I start to crumble. I forget to take care of myself, I worry too much about looking after everyone else.
I try not to dwell on my own stuff, I worry about helping others although I'd never ask for help for me. Some days off from work thou, they'll just be bed days. Cold dark days don't help with the will to get out of bed. I don't sit an do nothing, I rest, I read, I feel safe, snug and secure. These bed days aren't about melancholy or hiding from the world. It's about processing and self-care.
This week is national Self Care Week. Its not just about knowing how to look after minor ailments or long term management of conditions like asthma or hypertension, but about overall looking after yourself. Too much for too long of most things isn't good for you, but stress, strain and general not looking after yourself is fairly top of the list. Especially if things are starting to get on top of you. Mental health and well being is just as important as making sure your prescription is right and you don't let that cut get infected.
So sometime this week, do like me. Take time for you. If you can't take a day, take an afternoon or even just an hour to just "be". Take a daytime bath, give yourself a pamper and just relax. Take the time to prep some healthy snacks. Go swimming or for a long walk/hike. Actually make time to see the Doctor about that "thing" you've put off. Do something that is just for yourself.
Christmas is the time of giving, and as kids we get it drummed into us that it isn't all about us. In terms of gifts, they've got it right, but other ways not. It isn't Christmas yet anyway, so before you start worrying about everyone else over the festive holidays, get yourself sorted first.
After all, we all need a little care and attention sometimes.