I had a thrilling experience yesterday: one of my younger friends asked my advice about a few things. This isn’t a new experience; we’ve been in each other’s lives a long time, and over the years she’s asked my advice about life stuff, and I’ve asked her advice about young people stuff, and we’ve laughed and cried and laughed again at everything we’ve been through. Still, it felt pretty special, when we were talking yesterday.
What made it especially nice yesterday is that I’m coming out of this long and deep depression, so my sense of self-worth is still quite frail; and yet here’s this absolutely amazing young woman, wanting to hear my opinions about how she can face some challenges she’ll be coming up against this year.
I guess this demonstrates two things: the strength of our friendship, and the fact that my self esteem is so still so low. I had thought it was lifting, but apparently I’m not “back to normal” yet.
What’s the ‘prescription’ for someone in my situation with such low self esteem? There’s listing one’s good qualities, which helps; not shying away from others’ company, in order that you can receive affirmation of your worthiness; and – the one I’m going to particularly focus on over the next few days – self care.
It took me a long while to get onto the self-care bandwagon. I couldn’t see the point. How would doing nice things for myself improve my mental health? (In my defence, I was quite depressed at the time.) The woman who was working with me persisted, and I’ve become a convert: doing nice things for yourself reminds you that you’re worthy, good, not defined by your illness, and still able to enjoy life.
Hang the expense, I might even go get a professional pedicure! Goodness only knows my feet need one. I’d have to sacrifice something else to make it happen, but I can do that.
Is self care part of your mental health regime?