Three years ago when I was sinking quickly – what seemed at the time to be irrevocably – into the abyss of post partum depression and anxiety, I got serious about happiness. I read books on happiness. I watched videos on happiness. I got really depressed because I could not force myself to be happy.
If I hadn’t had a small person dependent on me for food and shelter and diaper changes, I don’t know if I’d have been able to pull myself up by my bootstraps (my boots do not actually have straps) and take care of myself.
But I did, and a sweet wee creature was he (today’s memory from three years ago):
When looking at pics from this time three years ago, I notice that there is a distinct dearth of Amy pics. Yeah. ANY WAY.
At that time, I also devised a brilliant plan to stay sane. I called it Aggressive Happiness (TM).
I made rules.
Amy’s Aggressive HappinessTM Rules
- Be Amy
- OTC = AOK (seriously take an Advil)
- A little is better than none
- Sleep more
- Read daily
- Spend less
- Kiss the architect & Alvie Bean every day
- Lay off the internet already
- Move every day
- Let yourself off the hook
- Only say yes if you really want to
- Be comfortable!
- Assume positive intent
And – just to finish – things that make me happy for days I need a pick-up.
- Trashy paranormal romances
- Early morning coffee
- A clean house
- Lush garden
- Feeding people
- Watching the Bean giggle
- Trail running
- Watching the sun rise
Those rules are not bad.
I’ve tried other things – I did a #100happydays instagram project last year and I’m currently well into my 2015 #365happydays project. (I’ve missed less than a handful of days, and looking back it seems that what primarily makes me happy is Bean, coffee, booze, gardens, and writing. I’ll take it.)
I’ve done star charts for self-care. I’ve tried a lot of things that are complicated and require spreadsheets with automatically updating formulas.
This September, I am keeping it simple.
I took off the fitbit.
Seriously. I put away my elaborate (and automatically updating) fitness spreadsheet. No peeking until October. I’ll still write down my activities, but I won’t obsess over daily step counts and activity and how many flights I’ve climbed.
I put away the scale for the month.
I added a medication reminder to my phone so that I’ll actually take my anti-cray(fish) drugs.
I’m back off the sauce (until New Orleans, when I will empty that fair city of its supply of hurricanes, unless hurricanes are tequila or whiskey based, and then I will drink some other natural disaster).
My only goals are to not have goals and to take care of me.
And maybe get a unicorn.
What do you do for self-care when everything seems to be moving faster than you can handle?