Today I'm gonna say something you're not usually supposed to say in my niche.
Usually we talk about how important it is to have good habits. Usually we give tips on how to maintain regular exercise and self-care routines. Usually we advocate for in-depth journaling to get to the root of our issues.
Today I'm not gonna do that. Today I'm telling you to escape the world and deal with it later.
This week started with a close family member having invasive surgery. It was planned, but that doesn't make it easier when it happens. To make it worse, it took place back home in Sweden, which means that I'm at best thirty hours away if the worst would happen.
To deal with this, and the lack of communication that ensued, I decided that I would take this week off from everything. I didn't work, I didn't meditate, I didn't journal, I didn't exercise, and I wildly abused the bags of Halloween candy in the kitchen.
Instead, I painted.
Decide what you need to get through this
I went to Goodwill and got a wooden bar stool and some jewelry boxes and some paint from Lowes. And so I spent the next four days doing nothing else but sanding, stripping, painting, and binge-watching Sex and the City.
Some might say that I should have maintained my healthy habits and that this was destructive behavior. I would probably have advised myself the same, had I been on the outside. But this is what I needed.
I needed to focus my creativity on physical projects instead of writing and designing pin graphics.
I needed to distract my mind with TV I've watched before, because whenever I didn't I'd start crying.
And I needed to focus my energy on making our home a nicer place to be, instead of imagining various horrible scenarios and thinking about how little help I can be of from another continent.
And today I woke up feeling more rested and healthy than I have in a long time. Instead of having a nightmare right before I woke up, like yesterday, I had a lovely albeit strange dream that ended with me getting a long, tight, reassuring hug.
My mind was obviously telling me that I'll be okay, and that I can leave this protective state and be myself again. And an hour later I got a message from home, letting me know that things are going pretty well.
Let yourself catch up with the situation
Sometimes all you need is time. Some situations are too heavy to deal with right away, and you need some time until you can process everything. And that's okay.
As long as you stay in tune with yourself and don't let it go overboard or in dangerous directions, let yourself do what you need to do. Let yourself fall apart for a while. Make sure your and your family's basic needs are met (in my case, feed the dogs and the boyfriend), and let yourself do whatever distraction you need to do.
Now, after a full work-week of no work at all, I can process my feelings in my journal. I can focus on eating healthily and taking care of myself. I can write and enjoy the sunshine and the cool breeze outside.
By letting myself escape the real world for a while, I can now deal with it better.
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Hi, I'm Erika!
I know what it's like living with anxiety and depression, but living and living are very different things. I believe in practical tips and methods, and I will use them to help you be the brave, daring, darling individual you are.
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