Self Care- In and Out of Quarantine
Hello and welcome to bwaydrawings blog! although I typically only post interviews on here, I decided I want to start writing posts to help you through the broadway shutdown as well as maybe some tips to help you through hard times in your life.
I have been relatively vocal about this, but I have an anxiety disorder and recovered from depression 3 years ago. I went through a dark time in my life where I was not my own person, but an extension of others. I lost my own personality and decided that the most important thing for my life was to drop it and take care of other people, which honestly made me miserable. I started going to therapy and realized a few things:
1. It is not your responsibility and yours alone to take care of your friends. When you are a teenager (barely) you don’t really have enough knowledge to be able to truly help them, and possibly save them. I believed that I could save my friends from their own pain, and that is what brought me down.
2. You can not control the way that another person reacts to a situation, and you can’t control what a person does to themselves. You can try to help them and talk to them, but you can’t blame yourself when they do things you tried to convince them out of.
3. Self-care is not selfish. that’s one of the most important things I’ve learned. Taking care of yourself and putting your needs before your friends' is self-care. people always say “you need to love yourself before you can love other people” and I truly believe that. When you do not believe your life has worth, you can’t help someone else believe their life does without hurting yourself along the way.
I have also learned along the years some good ways to handle when I am having anxiety attacks that I want to pass along and possibly help another person.
1. BREATHE: deep breathing is one of the best ways to calm yourself down. Although this is a basic thing to do, it works differently for everyone. Just breathing is not going to do anything, but focusing on your breath. I like to put my hands on my stomach and feel my breath as it lifts my stomach up on my inhale, and brings it down on my exhale. finding the way that your breath helps calm you is one of the most effective things in an anxiety-driving situation.
2. Listen to music: when I’m anxious, I try to distract myself. I turn on my favorite playlist, and I try to sing along. Even though sometimes it feels like my breath is escaping me, and I’m not a very good singer, it is a good way to take your mind off of the negative things.
3. Draw or write: writing out how you’re currently feeling or doing drawing exercises takes my focus to my hand. I like to do the drawing exercise where once I put my pen on the paper I don’t lift it up until I’ve filled the page with scribbles. Having a diary where you track how you’re feeling can help you figure out future coping strategies.
4. Go for a walk: in almost any situation, there should be a little space for you to walk around. At school you can walk around the classroom or take a “bathroom break”, during the day you can take a walk outside, and you can walk around your room or your house when it’s late and sitting alone isn’t helping you.
Something important to recognize: I am not a therapist, or a psychologist, or a doctor. I speak from personal experience only. I use what I have gone through to try to help other people go through similar situations, but I cannot tell you how to live your life, or what coping mechanisms will work for you, or what kind of care you need. But, I can tell you that if you are going through a difficult time, you can not go through it alone. Take care of yourself!
Sending you love and light, and I am hoping for the world to be safe again soon.
thank you for reading!