I am currently working on my own guide for self care. I am hoping that others can either benefit from my brainstorming or have their own revelations about how well they take care of themselves – their mental health and their emotional well being. I know that I can always benefit from hearing of the successes of others. Here is what I have so far.
General Components: exercise, nutrition, taking control of physical environment, creating supportive network, rewards based, identify my triggers, do something for my soul, accept who I am, SLEEP!
Seventh Part: Know Your Triggers
Unfortunately for me, I know most of my triggers and have been close intimate companions for several years, but it is an abusive relationship. Most of my triggers cause my anxiety to increase which causes my paranoia to increase which causes my self and other criticism to increase and then pretty soon I am pushing everyone away because you don’t have to worry about losing anyone if no one is there to lose.
Abandonment and anything remotely related to it – being left out, ignored, people actually leaving. When your dad leaves when you are two and friends, boyfriends repeatedly move away and your mom at your 30th birthday party asks in front of everyone, out of concern, with no ill intent, “Why does everyone leave you and move away?” and then your grandparents die and your mom dies and you are being tossed around in the circle of life – you develop an issue with abandonment.
Being called out on not being perfect. I am a functional perfectionist. I normally make the joke here – “well then you would think my house would be cleaner…ha ha” but it is true. I have extremely high expectations for myself and when I make a mistake and especially when I am called out on it in front of others then the resulting embarrassment and self criticism is a little more than I can handle. I suppose the great irony here is that I must have done that to my functional perfectionist students on many an occasion. I will say that I normally tried my best to find out who they were though and handle feedback accordingly.
Pregnancy announcements and associated loss and infertility stuff – I completely thought I was over pregnancy announcements and I was completely wrong. The infertility stuff is self explanatory.
Anything having to do with my mom. It is the exposed nerve that will never heal.
Conflict. I suck at it. I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings. I don’t know how to stand up for myself without getting defensive and I can’t leave my emotions out of it.
Plan: I don’t have one at the moment. I need help here. Ideas?