Mental Health

Getting Back on the Self-Care Horse

I’ve been letting my self-care slip over the last month or two.  A few factors have contributed to this, including work schedule and being distracted by other things, but a lot of it is depression-induced apathy.  I’m not feeling very well mentally these days, and my body is starting to become unhappy with me.  My gut is a pretty good barometer for my mind-body relationship, and it has not been a happy camper for the last week or so.  Yesterday evening I was feeling nauseated (due I think to a combination of sleep deprivation and far too much caffeine) and ended up having to pull over to the side of the road to vomit.  I’m definitely taking that as a sign that I need to push through the don’t-give-a-crap feeling and recommit to self-care.  Hopefully writing about it will help with turning thoughts into action.


I’ve gotten erratic with my meditation practice, and recently broke a months-long daily meditation streak on the Simple Habit app.  Even when I have meditated lately I haven’t really been interested enough to focus on it.  I’m not sure how to change that, but I would like to commit to doing 10 minutes every day and try to build up from there.


I have no idea how helpful aromatherapy actually is for mental illness, but if nothing else it’s still pleasant.  I’d used up my favourite essential oil blends and hadn’t gotten around to going to the store to replace them, but yesterday I went to my favourite aromatherapy shop and I’m now good to go.  At the moment I’m diffusing Mountain High from Saje.


For the last 6 months or so I’ve tried to keep a daily gratitude journal, but lately it had fallen by the wayside.  This week I’ve started getting back on track by using a great 30 days of gratitude graphic from The Asylum blog.  Having that structure has definitely been helpful, and I want to finish the 30-day plan and then repeat it again.

Brushing my teeth

When I’m feeling apathetic one of the places it tends to show up is in dental care.  Brushing my teeth doesn’t happen regularly and flossing goes right out the window.  The more I do this, the less I think about how gross it is, but it’s time to break the pattern.

SAD light

My mood tends to dip during the dark, wet Vancouver winter days.  I have a SAD light, and while I’m not sure how much it helps, it’s probably worth the 15 seconds of effort to set it up next to me once a day while I’m reading blogs.  If nothing else it will help get me in the self-care mindset.


There’s a grocery store near my house, and I should walk there but sometimes I get lazy and stop in when I’m driving home from doing something else.  Getting back into walking should be an easy change to make.

None of these things are earth-shattering, but I think if I can manage to cover these bases it will get me back on the right track.  It’s all doable without too much effort; I just have to push through and do it whether I feel like I give a crap or not.

Book cover: Managing the Depression Puzzle, 2nd ed., by Ashely L. Peterson

Managing the Depression Puzzle takes a holistic look at the different potential pieces that might fit into your unique depression puzzle. The revised and expanded 2nd edition is now available on Amazon.

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19 thoughts on “Getting Back on the Self-Care Horse”

    1. I would say probably the best thing is give lots of validation, and don’t be afraid to ask what you can do to help and if there’s anything that you can do differently.

  1. Totally rooting for you!
    I’ve slacked off in many areas of self care as well, so you’re inspiring me to get my 💩 together! (Who came up with that phrase, anyway?)

  2. It’s so interesting that you mention the brushing teeth thing! I do this (or don’t do this!) and have always associated it with laziness. Reading this now it’s made me realise it isn’t so much laziness as not looking after myself properly. When you don’t feel great and self esteem is low why would you practice self care? Interesting read 🙂

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