With the hustle and bustle of daily life sometimes it's just go go go, we have no time to think or just stop. We're all thinking what has to be done today, tomorrow, next week, next month, how we're going to do it, how we can afford to do it and who else it will involve. When you have a hidden condition this is all magnified as your body and brain and body are taking 10x longer to process information, do the simplest of tasks, and genuinely just be able to get through the day, it can leave our minds and bodies prone to exhaustion. Then you get the frustration and the overwhelming sense of anxiety when things don't go to plan or there is a change of routine. Many people with dyspraxia/dyslexia hate to let people down, we want to please people and get the job done well, we hate to think we could have upset someone or let them down in any way, and worry about the emotional consequences the "what if's" and being visual thinkers it can play on our minds till we think of every eventuality and every little thing that might go wrong. Then there is the embarrassment and the sheer frustration when we get the tiniest thing wrong or make mistakes which aren't up to standard, we question why our bodies and brains might be doing that and emotionally beat ourselves up for it, thinking "why has my body just done that? can't it just do what it's being told to do." Then there's the additional layer of judgement and ignorance from others. We're probably our worst critics and beat ourselves up way to much and far too harshly. This means that we can sometimes forget to look after ourselves, almost we think we don't deserve to look after ourselves, we keep pushing ousrselves and our bodies till BAM it all comes to a stop and an emotional melt down can happen everything just says no, enough, stop.
Over the last few months I've realised the importance of self care, or in reality I got told by the people who love and care about me that I must start looking after myself more as I was making myself mentally unwell and poorly. I get so passionate about the things I love and the causes I believe in and helping others through those battles that sometimes I forget about my own battle. I'm so selfless about other people I forget to be selfless to myself. Even though thanks to professional help and an amazing support circle you know who you are I am a lot better at looking after myself it's something which I constantly have to keep reminding myself. Here are some strategies which might be able to help and some strategies which parents, friends, family members might find useful too as it's important for you to look after yourself too. So easily people with hidden conditions can develop additional mental health issues like anxiety and depression it's so important to look after yourself.
- What would you tell someone else? Think what advice you would tell someone else and follow your own advice.
- Be kind to yourself sometimes we are our own critic
- Don't beat yourself up over the little things we all make mistakes we all have bad days it doesn't make you a bad person.
- Rationalise your thoughts and think realistically will everything really fall apart if you don't do x,y or z or don't help someone.
- Be honest and open to the people you care about, don't try and keep going just to please them.
- Read a book, run a bath, have a massage do something for you, which will nurture your body.
- Eat well nourish your body with good food
- Nourish your mind with good thoughts and good people it's ok to be selfish sometimes, it's ok to delete things which are toxic to you. It doesn't mean you're a bad person. Do what makes you happy.
- Be proud of yourself and reward yourself for every achievement and for the good things you do.
- sleep and don't feel bad for taking a day off to just look after yourself