Self Care Diary #1 - July 2016

As most of you know I've had a lot of tough moments to endure in the past couple years. Now that I'm recovering and going to therapy every week, I've learned the major importance of practising self care, and how much I suck(ed) at it. If you're not familiar with the term self care, it basically is the time you take to do what is healthy for you and your emotional and physical wellbeing. It can vary from enjoying a long, hot shower, to decluttering your house, to treating yourself for a little shopping or a lunch date with a friend. Practising self care is different for everyone. As a child, I was taught to feel guilty about self care, every single thing I did needed to have a greater purpose, well ... not anymore. I'm a 26 year old, adult woman and I'm going to take care of myself.

I decided to start keeping a self care diary because I'm a person who tends to dwell on the negative, even though I am making big improvements. By blogging about self care I want to write and remember the moments where I conquer fear and sadness, embrace happiness and allow myself to simply enjoy life. I want to share with you my self care tips and how I try to focus on the positive. Here are 8 of my self care accomplishments, that I am proud of, from this past month!

- I reconnected with a best friend 

When I published the article 'How mental illness affects my friendships' I was reached out to by a few people, including a childhood friend. Apparently I had opened a barrier that had been closed for so long and we were finally able to rekindle by meeting up, about a week after the blogpost, and had an amazing day together! 

- I finished a major administrative process

I'm so relieved to say that after 2 years I finally have gotten some serious, pain in the butt, administrative task done that had been handled by some incompetent fools, working for a public service. It was a very frustrating to say the least but I'm so happy it's al done and over with.

- I went out for dinner in a new place

To celebrate my 26th birthday I went to a restaurant, I had passed by over a thousand times already, and ordered a delicious shrimp entrée followed by a beautiful looking burger, accompanied by a white Belgian beer. Being a highly sensitive person, and suffering from anxiety, going to new restaurants isn't an easy or enjoyable experience, but that night I was feeling really great and confident, and it made me so feel so proud. 

- I declined an invitation

Choosing between taking care of myself or spending the day at the seaside with people that are going through a tough time as well wasn't an easy task (especially because I love the seaside), but I had to do what was right for me and my mental health. Especially considering a day like that would have been very draining and taken me a while to recover from. 

- I finally booked my holidays 

For the longest time I wasn't excited about going on holiday at all, even though I could pretty much pick any place I wanted to go to. Just thinking of all the planning that would have to be done honestly made my anxiety rise to a point where I just wanted to hide in my bed and cry. After weeks of procrastinating, a decision was finally made: France and Italy here I come! I'm so excited, especially because I would have regretted not booking anything once the Summer had been over. 

- I went to get a sandwich for lunch alone

I usually cook myself something homemade for lunch, but that day I was too tired and lazy so I went to fetch a sandwich from the bakery. I only thought about it after, how unusual it was for me to confidently go out at random to purchase something. Most of the time I just tend to starve myself.

- I rested for 3 days because I was sick

For some reason when I'm sick, I don't want to admit to myself that I'm sick and I still try to stick to my daily routine, which of course is impossible. This time I rested more than I ever have when I'm sick, and even took naps in the afternoon. I recovered much faster than usual. 

- I went out to party with my neighbours

You might not know this but I used to be a big party animal. I was one of those annoying, drunk people knocking down others' drinks, dancing thinking I was an incredibly sexy beast, to then later vomit and sleep with my head in the toilet. Well, I didn't do that when I went out with my neighbours but I did have a really great time. We drank, we laughed, went clubbing at this place where there were jaw dropping performances every 15 min or so, it was awesome. I also happened to meet my cousin at random that night, everything was so unexpected, I hadn't seen the nightlife in Brussels for a long time, it was amazing. 

Q: What did your self care look like this past month? Share it in the comments below! 

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Picture: Unsplash


  1. I went up north for two days and had dinner with two of my old neighbors, we played a card game called Hand and Foot afterwards. I spent one of the days sleeping, It felt nice to be able to sleep without being woken up by teenagers arguing, a toddler screaming, all the trips to the bathroom made by people who can never turn the lights back off on their way back to bed. No dog nudging me with his nose to let him out, just my parrot who slept along with cousin teased me about it later. He thought it was funny the bird slept as long as I did, I told him that he is on the road all week and doesn't have a house full of people to deal with. Kal El loved being able to run free, at home I can't let him do his own thing, because my guest have a dog and the other has a cat.

    I put my face on and that made me feel good. Funny how just taking the time to put on makeup brightens the day. I took a LONG shower! With eight people in the house and only one bathroom, showers are arranged and timed. I tend to get the colder water after everyone else, so I got in and just enjoyed a shower with no dog scratching at the door, no toddler banging on the door or any one of the others yelling to hurry.

    I enjoyed silence. Even Kal El was quiet as he played and climbed up and down the sofa, watched the wild turkeys crossing through the yard. I played and watched the stars with no city lights to dim them. When I came home I got an hour of quiet, than everyone else got home from their activities. I was happy to see a clean living room, than I walked into the kitchen.....

    1. I can only imagine what the kitchen looked like! Thank you for sharing your self care story, I'm happy you got some rest and had a fun time. I had no idea you could have a nap together with a parrot :D how funny indeed! I haven't worn makeup in a whole week, it's about time I get to it :) Xxx <3

  2. This is amazing that you've accomplished all of these and a self care diary is SUCH great idea. Declining invitations is something a lot less people should feel bad about, sometimes you do just need the day to yourself! Also I'm really glad that you enjoyed going out for your birthday. It's so lovely to read :)

    Sarah |

    1. That really means a lot to me, thank you :) I wish people would realise how difficult regular daytime activities are for people struggling with a mantal illness.