As my grandmother would say, I am on my last nerve today. I have no idea why, but everything is irritating me and I am just on the edge of throwing a tantrum. So, instead of throwing a tantrum and ruining everyone's day, I thought I would explore what I can do to turn my day around in case of a last-nerve emergency.

I guess "the things I can do to turn my day around" might be thought of as self-care. If I'm honest, I don't really love that term. Maybe because it's been overused by industries trying to sell things, or maybe it's just because self-care is hard for me to wrap my head around. In any case, I do believe that it's important to take care of yourself, which is why this has become a blog. Hopefully, this will give you a few ideas and help you with your own "taking care of yourself". 

Before we create a list of all the things that self-care could mean, I want to consider that taking care of one's self could also include letting go of the thought that it is your job to take care of everyone else. I'm not talking about important and necessary caregiving. I'm talking about doing for someone else at the expense of your own needs. You are important. You deserve care. You deserve to feel sparkly and shiny and wonderful, not exhausted and, well, on your last nerve. With that in mind, here is my list of "turn your crappy day around" ideas. A few are my own ideas, a few are from on the line, and a few are from friends. Some of them are active, loud, and stormy, and meant to release pent-up frustration. Some are silly. Some are calming. Do two or three or four or however many you need to put your day back on track.

     -Take a walk listening to music that helps you get the mad out. My go-to is Joan Jett.

     -Stomp around the house. Really, stomp. Roar if you need to- but only if you can do it without scaring the heck out of everyone.

     -Clean the kitchen. Nothing makes me feel more in control than a clean space. Use a spoon and pretend you're on stage singing your favorite song as you do.

     -Punch the air, or a pillow, or the bed.

     -Put on some music and dance around the house making up new lyrics to the song as you go.

     -Take a piece of watercolor or other heavy paper and write all the things you're feeling, no matter how awful you think they are. Paint over the feelings with colors that inspire you. Write how you feel on top of the color. Paint again. Write and paint until the words are encouraging for you. End with paint. You can keep that paper, rip it up to make new art, rip it up and recycle it- whatever helps.

     -Dress up like a character and use a silly voice to talk to your family.

     -Take a nap.

     -Take a bath. Use lovely smelly bath salts if you have them, or baking soda, or whatever works for you. Use candles if you want to. Or take a shower if you don't like baths.

     -Watch a movie all by yourself. Or with someone if that makes you feel better. Pop some popcorn or have some ice cream or another treat you love.

     -Buy yourself some flowers.

     -Call a friend who can really listen to how you feel without being judgy. Or two. Or three.

     -Do ten minutes of exercise.

     -Move your body in some way, even if it's just for a minute.

     -Do some yoga breathing. Or start out with three good deep breaths.

     -Watch your favorite television show, or read, or listen to music, or a podcast

     -Say no. Really. Say no. Then don't take it back.

     -Rearrange a room.

     -Find an animal to snuggle with.

     -Practice gratitude. (I have to call these "thankfuls" because "gratitude" is a trigger word for me. But that's another conversation!)

     -Laugh for a minute. Even if you're not in the mood, just laugh. Trust me on this one.

I know that you might roll your eyeballs at some of the things on this list, but that's ok. Self-care is different for everyone. The point is, self-care is important, and if you are struggling with it you are not alone. I will say again, you are so important and worth the effort. So, when you are on your last nerve, or your day feels harder than it should be, or it feels so dark, find something to do from this list, or make a list of your own. I might have already said this, but I'll say it again because you might need to hear it- YOU ARE WORTH IT!

Be sure to reply below and share your version of self-care. You never know what will help someone else!

Lots of love, and thanks as always for being part of this community,
Ellin (she/her)


January 31, 2023 — Rebecca Porterfield

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