Blogmas, Mental Health, mental illness

Blogmas 22: Self Care for Lack of Structure During Christmas

2017-1222 blogmas 22 self careToday is my first day of winter break.

In a previous post, I mentioned that Christmas is hard on my family financially because I miss a paycheck for winter break. That’s not the only way Christmas is hard on me, though. The lack of routine and unstructured time is tough, too. Note, however, that this is a typical theme for me. Sometimes weekends are hard for me, and summers always are, for the same reason.

During the two-week break from school (I work in a school, but prior to that, I attended school) I have to make some semblance of a routine for myself. I like busying myself with things to do. It has been helpful for me before to make a list of ideas to keep myself entertained. The list is not necessarily a to-do list, or a chores list, although ideas such as “laundry” and “dishes” certainly may appear. The list also includes fun things.

Here are some things I add to lists when I know I will need reminders not to lay around and get bored/sad:

  • Read [at least] 1 chapter
  • Write for [at least] 10 mins
  • Paint nails
  • Dance to [at least] 3 cardio hip hop videos (My favorite is The Fitness Marshall on Youtube)
  • Write a letter/card to a friend/family member
  • Play guitar
  • Color in coloring book
  • Take a walk with my dog, Honey
  • Stretch
  • Meditate/mindfulness
  • Watch an episode of a show I have on DVD (I’ve collected some seasons of a few of my favorite shows)
  • Watch a favorite movie

Then there are these, which are fun to cross off and feel accomplished:

  • Clean bathrooms
  • Wash towels/sheets/clothes/delicates/blankets/whatever
  • Vacuum/sweep/mop
  • Dust knick-knacks

And there’s this too…

  • Reach out to a loved one via phone, text, or chat

Something important is that I not just resort to sleeping or laying down, even if I’m cold, and especially not if I’m just bored. I always feel worse after. Always. I will try to save napping for when I’m actually so tired I can’t keep my eyes open, and then, set an alarm to get up in half an hour. That way, I wake up refreshed and feeling better, not worse.

What do you do to take care of yourself during unstructured times?


2 thoughts on “Blogmas 22: Self Care for Lack of Structure During Christmas”

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