We often seek something that’s going to make us feel 100% better when we are not feeling good, physically or mentally. We are often looking for a fix, something to heal us completely and quickly. But sometimes, and more often than not, healing takes time.
When you break a bone, they will give you medication and advise you to rest. Both of these will make you feel better, but you won’t be back at 100% for some time. It’s the same with our mental health, we have to be patient with our minds like we are with our bodies. We have to realize that the self-care technique or the medicine prescribed for you, will take time for you to get to where you want to be.
So I started thinking about rather than seeking out something that makes us feel 100% better, to look for something that makes us feel 25% better, or even just 5% better. Basically, instead of seeking out a fix that heals us completely right away, find something that will make you feel even just a little bit better.
For me, exercise has always been my saving grace for my mental health when I am struggling. Exercise never takes away the problem I am facing, but it makes me feel a lot, or even just a little bit better than I did before. And by feeling just a little bit better, I give myself permission to provide myself with grace and compassion for the rest of the day, just by doing something for me.
Self-care is incredibly important, but I want all of us to remember to be patient with ourselves during these trying times and with our self-care regimen. Self-care provides compassion and love to yourself and gives you the push to do another task that might have felt impossible hours before. So although a self-care technique may not fix all of your problems, know it can make you feel even the slightest bit better, and by doing that you can be proud of yourself that you chose to do something for yourself to bring you 5, 10,15 or whatever percentage closer to feeling the joy you deserve.
Mental health and recovery are a journey. The key to this journey of ups and downs, is compassion, patience, self-love and ultimately knowing that even if what you did today only made you feel a little bit better, that is enough. Keep going. Don’t get down on yourself if you aren’t at 100% yet, take things one step at a time. You are healing and learning what works for you on this healing journey, and that is beautiful.