Things To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do: Self-Care

When we try to think of ways to implement self-care into our daily routines, it can be hard. With work, friends, and family obligations, life can be hectic. But that’s why it’s so important to take care of ourselves. Sometimes when we feel overwhelmed, we get into a rut of believing that we have to deal with it–that we have to power through–which is true, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things we can do to make it easier on ourselves.

A few days ago, I was scouring the internet looking for ways to mitigate feelings of anxiety and helplessness due to being overwhelmed and found tons of great resources that anyone can access. From self-help books to breathing exercises to a plethora of meditation apps, this blog should give you easy to use, affordable, and just generally accessible outlets for self-care.

Self-help books are highly underrated and I feel like there’s a little bit of a stigma around them. Nothing major, but in the same way therapy is stigmatized. Let me tell you a secret that no one wants you to know: there is absolutely nothing wrong with getting help from a licensed professional. Nothing at all. And anyone who tells you otherwise, well, don’t listen to them!

Therapy is one of the many ways that you can get help from a real human rather than a mediation app. There are a ton of websites that give you access to counselors 24/7, and sometimes companies offer EAPs (Employee Assistance Programs) where you get two to three free counselling sessions and then pay through insurance afterward. If you don’t have direct access to this, ask a family member (like your mom or dad if you’re a dependent) if they have an EAP through their job.

Sites like BetterHelp, ReGain, and Calmerry are great options among many for online counselling. You have the option to message or video call with your counselor for an allotted amount of time and many EAPs work through third-party apps/sites like these as well.

I’m going to digress back to the self-help book portion of the blog for a bit because they really are wonderful ways to get fresh perspectives on problems that you might be overthinking. Like how to navigate romantic/platonic relationships in a healthy way, how to manage money effectively, how to build self-esteem, and there are even self-help books on meditation and mental grounding. Here’s a list of a few books I found that seem promising:

For self-esteem

For mindfulness/meditation:

For financial literacy:

Obviously there are thousands of books in the self-help genre, so pop over to your search engine of choice and type in: “self help books for [finances, self-esteem, meditation, etc.] and you’ll find many alternative options. These are just a few books I’ve listed to give you a push in the right direction.

Meditation and mindfulness apps are great for iPhone and Android users, and pretty much anyone who has a smart device.

  • Headspace is an app that provides guided meditation and mindfulness exercises to manage stress and everyday anxiety, sleep, focus, and mind-body health. All you have to do is download it in the App Store/Android Store and create an account. There are optional payment plans if you’d like full access to the meditation library, but it’s not necessary.
  • In addition to what I said above, Netflix has a series called Headspace: Guide to Meditation, that can help educate you on the benefits of meditation and offer techniques to jumpstart your practice.
  • Calm is another great app that’s free. It teaches breathing exercises for anxiety and has sleep sounds to help calm you for bedtime.
  • Breathwrk guides you through quick breathing exercises that eliminate stress and anxiety, increase energy, and help you fall asleep. 

            There are many mediation and mindfulness apps available for free and for purchase, so go on the App/Android Store and find ones that will work best for you. You really can’t go wrong!

            I hope this blog post was helpful to you because the importance of your mental health cannot be overstated. If you ever feel hopeless, anxiety-ridden, and like you don’t have enough tools in your toolbox to function normally, try talking to a licensed professional. They are there for a reason and are pretty accessible (usually insurance covers sessions, so you just pay a copay). Self-help books are also great, I would recommend doing research on the author to make sure they are experts in whatever it is they’re talking about; and again, apps that focus on recentering, refocusing, breathing, and sleep (which is also SUPER important in influencing stress and anxiety levels) are very beneficial.

Especially for any families who are directly impacted by DIPG, this diagnosis can be very overwhelming, so taking time to care for yourself can help you be more available to those around you. We’re all doing our best to live happy and healthy lives, and improving our ability to cope with overwhelming situations is one way to go about that! Stay cool and Full Steam Ahead!

By Sydney Forte

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