Having a mental illness(es) is a real bitch, isn’t it?
I personally struggle with Major Depressive Disorder, Panic Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, OCD and ADD. With this madness all up in my brain I have to somehow find a way to function. Below are my personal essentials for living with these illnesses and why.
1. Having a Routine
I find as though that this is the most important thing for me. Without having my routines I’m totally lost. My mind feels chaotic and I end up getting nothing done while hating myself. You want to get stuff done, even if you hate yourself at the end. I mean hey, at least you got stuff done.
Having a routine provides a sort of structure and familiarity. The point is to have order and organization in your life to keep a level head (as much as possible). Structure provides direction (or at least a sense of it) in your life. Essentially having a routine provides the framework for our day. It’s one less thing the brain, that is already struggling, has to process.
Having a routine also reduces the need for willpower. I’m sure many of you are familiar with this but, you have no energy what so ever most days. When creating a routine and schedule this helps the mind not think of your daily tasks as a “willpower” type of thing. It becomes instilled as a habit versus a chore or a task.
For myself personally, I like to have a morning, day & night routine.
Here’s an example of my morning routine:
- Set about 9 alarms between 7:00-7:30am that way by 7:30 I have hated myself enough to finally roll out of bed and shut my alarm up for good.
- At this point I probably realize “oh shit, I’m about to piss myself” and run to the restroom with my tiny overactive bladder and take a nice long piss.
- After my glorious piss (and I know y’all know exactly what the fuck I’m talking about so don’t even try and be grossed out right now) I wash my hands. After washing my hands I put on some music and TURN THE FUCK UP. Just kidding. I begin my skin care routine. This includes washing my face and hydrating it.
- From there I pour myself a nice cup of coffee with some yummy creamer and let my dog outside. I love to go outside and sit for about 30 minutes in the morning, drink my coffee and read. And by read I mean check my social media. But try and read because checking your social media in the morning isn’t good for you. I’m just a rule breaker and love to self sabotage.
- After running to the restroom 6 times and finishing my coffee I love to have a good yoga or meditation session. Right now I am currently doing 30 Days of Yoga on YouTube, so that’s when I will do my daily yoga. Just beware, if you have a 5cm hole in your diaphragm like I do, downward dog will fuck you up acid reflux wise so TAKE YOUR MEDS!
- After my yoga session (from home don’t judge me) I take a shower. After showering I cook myself a nice hearty and healthy breakfast to begin my day.
When planning your routines, you can start off with just a morning one then work your way to a night one. There are plenty of blogs and videos on YouTube showing different routines that you can produce ideas from. I highly suggest writing this routine down and being as descriptive as possible when doing so. This helps the brain break down your tasks more easily.
2. Essential Oils
When I first began going to my most recent counselor in September of 2016 she had mentioned to me essential oils for my anxiety and depression. I’m not even going to blow steam up your ass; I thought it was a bunch of shit. Although I studied the olfactory system and how powerful it is when I was in college, there was no way something other than Xanax could mellow out my riddled self.
Here is how essential oils actually does calm your riddled anxiety ridden, depressed sleeping self. I personally love to diffuse my oils. During inhalation of the essential oil (and no you don’t huff it you fucking junky you) the odor molecules travel through the nasal canal into your brain which in turn effect multiple receptor sites. One of these receptor sites is your limbic system, or referred to as the “emotional brain”. The limbic system supports a variety of functions such as long term memory, stress levels, blood pressure, breathing levels and many other important functions that factor into our daily lives. Moral of the story the essential oils work.
Depending on the blend it can help calm your mind, energize it or even help you sleep. You can simply purchase a diffuser from Amazon.com for under $20. The tricky part is the oils. This where you want QUALITY. Quality is so important because you know it is not “cut” with anything else, or diluted. If it’s diluted then you’re getting ripped off and don’t need that in your life. Doterra and Young Living are the two main brands I like for my oils. They are a bit pricey but SO WORTH IT.
HACK: If you don’t know if you will like the smell since you are ordering online, you can always order the cheap version through amazon and see how you like it. Just because it’s not as high of a quality doesn’t mean it won’t work. It just won’t work as well.
3. Taking Your Medications at the Same Time
This is SUPER important and people don’t realize this. Your body gets into a routine and by throwing it for a loop chemically can really damage your mental well-being.
If you’re anything like me you can’t remember anything, so here are some reminder tips:
- Set a nightly alarm, or 20.
- Write it everywhere to remind yourself.
- Buy the AM and PM pill dividers so you can keep track of when you have and haven’t taken your medications.
4. I FUCKING LOVE PLANNING
I get a real female hard on for planning. Like who doesn’t like cute stickers and sticky notes to remind you to go get a pap by your bitchy gyno? I like to call the process of planning, “Pimp My Planner”. The benefits of this is organization and expectations for the week/month. In my planner I include all of my doctors appointments and blogging posts. I also love to decorate it with washi tape. You can take a blah looking planner and turn it into your own in a matter of minutes. It’s a way to keep your life organized in style.
5. To-Do Lists
THESE ARE ESSENTIAL. Every night before I go to bed I draft up a to-do list for the next morning. Some people prefer making their lists in the morning and that’s totally fine as well. To-do lists help your mind break down what actually needs to get done. It also keeps your from stressing about doing things. I always am adding and scratching things off during the day. You can do this in your planner or if your lists are more extensive you can get a notebook for these types of things. You can also decorate your to-do lists with washi tape and other pretty things.
6. Set a Bedtime and Wake-up Time
This helps regulate your body and mind. You want to regulate your body in any way that you can to help it keep functioning. I like to go to bed around 10:00-10:30pm and wake up around 7:30am. I can personally say this change from waking up whenever, to a strict schedule has been amazing. At first it seems very daunting and dreadful, but it’s actually quite lovely. It also helps ensure you’re getting more than enough sleep needed. When having any sort of illness, physical or mental, you want to make sure your body is getting enough rest.
7. Be Honest as Shit with Your Loved Ones
It is SO important to tell your friends and family the type of state that you are in. Especially when things get bad. Don’t be afraid of judgment, if they judge you FUCK THEM. You’re on this journey for YOU and you want as many people backing you as possible. I personally have a go to person when things get bad. I let that person know that they’re essentially my “I’m fucked” buddy and she was so OK with it. Have a friend like that. It’s quite necessary to have people in your life that you can count on. This give your mind a sense of security. If you don’t have people you can rely on there are counseling services as well as apps and online forums that you can discuss your problems.
Be true to yourself. Push those in the way aside and always remember, healing is not a linear path.