I’ve discovered there’s a sense of seclusion that only a city can give me.
Especially on days like this. When the sun creeps into my apartment and gently illuminates the world I call home, it’s light embracing the existence of the present moment. Days when I get to sit in my oversized leather chair, the breath of the outside world kissing my skin through the open window.
Recovery feels like this; the ability to be warm and safe within my own body, my own mind. Instead of seeing the laundry on the floor, the bills to be paid and bed to be made, I see the sun. I see the time to accomplish my tasks and dreams. I see the possibility. Within the problems and setbacks, I see potential to learn and grow.
I’ve opened myself up to an entirely new perspective on the world. One in which perfection and success are fleeting, but happiness is not. Therapy and doctor prescribed medication have helped me balance my mental health and critically examine the catalysts behind my anxiety and depressive thoughts. I’m learning to challenge the negative thoughts I experience and to look to my strengths rather than my weaknesses to define who I am.
I’ve finally realized – I get to decide what perspective I use to filter my outlook on the future; Not my parents, not my past, just me.
By sharing my experience publicly, I’ve been gifted with the realization that I am not alone. I’m touched that my experiences are relatable to you. Thank you for your support, your love, your prayers, your well wishes.
The more aware of how transient each present moment is, the more I savor each day. The more I look for ways to create happiness in my life. I’m done waiting. I’m done being fearful. My life has moved forward because I’ve chosen to have hope. To hold on to that subtle feeling of reassurance within me that life will get better.
And so far, it always has.
* * * * *
Are you on a journey of wellness? Here’s a few self-care habits I’ve been practicing regularly to stay grounded, healthy and connected to my true self during recovery.
I know it sounds cliché but the more anxious and depressed I get, the less I want to be physically active or take the time to stop and care for myself. I’ve found by taking just 10 minutes to simply stretch, I can refocus on my breathing and slowly begin to come out of a physical slump.
I think of exercise like I do my medication, it is essential to a healthy mind. Yoga has given me something to work towards. Because yoga practitioners have many different abilities and body types, I find that I focus less on weight-loss and more on how my body feels as I complete the pose. My yoga practice feels different everyday, just like my mental health. It’s finally helped me realize that my best self is fluid. Everyday is different and feels different – and that’s ok.
Learning to calm my mind when anxiety hits has been essential to my recovery. That said, I know before I had ever attempted it I thought it was a bunch a bull. With my anxiety I could never fully rest my mind. But like anything, it takes time and practice to successfully meditate.
If you’re new to meditation or can’t seem to get yourself to slow down I’d highly suggest starting with either guided meditation or hypnotherapy recordings. They allow you to give up control of the moment and seem to trick you into relaxing. There is a general anxiety disorder hypnotherapy recording available here that I love. It’s great when you need help getting outside of your own mind and only takes about 20 minutes to complete.
Therapy sounds so much scarier than it is. Before I go, I always wonder why I made the appointment and even consider canceling. Then I go, an hour flies by, and I leave with a greater understanding of myself.
Therapy is helping me understand the physical cues that occur when my anxiety strikes and how to effectively manage them. I’m learning how to shape my thoughts and change my habits. Not only is it a practical use of my time, its surprisingly rewarding too. A trained professional can help you navigate through the past experiences that may be hindering you today.
- Reconnect with loved ones
Seek help and support from those around you. You may feel like a burden to others but you are not. Most people will be open to reconnecting once you recover, some however may not. It’s the relationships that remain that deserve your time and attention.
Don’t be afraid to be honest about your experience and to communicate how much their relationship means to you. If you’re coming out of a tough mental state, it’s likely you havent been the best of friend to yourself, let alone the people who love you.
Once you start talking about your worries out loud, you’ll find how different they sound and feel when they are bounced off someone you trust. Also, don’t be afraid to communicate the limitations of your own situation when you need to. When you have a bad day, be open and honest with your loved ones and take the steps to slow down and get back to a healthier mind frame. When those negative, all-consuming thoughts come, ride them out knowing you are strong and resilient and you will come through this a better person. Seek patience in yourself and in others.