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Doing Mental Health - To Self-Care by Bianca Sciessere

Mental Health Week begins on October 7th, 2018. To celebrate, we are sharing a series of articles by seven different writers each of whom have chosen a verb that for them, relates to mental health. We’re calling this series ‘Doing Mental Health’ and you can look forward to reading ‘to Talk’ ‘to Be’ ‘to Self-Care’ ‘to Change’ ‘to Permit’ ’to Speak’ and ‘to Balance’. You’ll find one new article every day of Mental Health Week and we hope you enjoy each and every one. Thank you to The Glitter Bug's Bianca Sciessere for writing for us about self-care and self-love.

A hot bath after a stressful day. A cheeky mid-week massage and meditation. Saying a firm but fair no, walking away or allowing yourself the space to cry... Walking barefoot on the grass or having a Netflix binge by candlelight. Whatever it looks like to you, self-care is more important today, than ever.

I’m a crier. I’ve always been a crier. I’m emotional, I’m sensitive, I give until I can’t stand, and before I realise what’s happened, I’m a crumpled heap, completely spent and exhausted and depleted. Before I knew how to handle it, I always saw these behaviour traits as weaknesses; I was always led to believe that these traits were weaknesses.

Until I learned to embrace them and balance them.

Today, I use my extreme empathy and sensitivity to help women be the best versions of themselves. The truth? Any personal trait can be turned into a strength, if you learn how to harness it and use it appropriately, and put back in what you’re giving out. And this is where self-care comes into the picture.

The way I’ve learnt to look at it? You know when you take a plane, and they remind you to fit your oxygen mask before you help anyone else fit theirs? Although I NEVER understood it growing up, they were onto something. Why? Because you can’t help anyone if you’re passed out... This is how I’ve come to view my self-care routine.

I used to believe it was selfish to put myself first, now I realise it’s a necessity. If I don’t look after myself, mentally and physically, I don’t have the energy or the attention to help anyone to my full potential... I don’t have the ability to look on the positive side, to make sensible decisions, to be rational or independent, and I cry a lot more than usual because I take everything to heart – even more so than usual – so who does that help? Nobody.

In today’s fast paced world, it is easy to get caught up in everyday stresses. The stresses of the daily commute, the never-ending to-do list, financial issues, romance dramas in the digital era, kids and life in general... so how do we know it’s time to include self-love in our daily routine?

For me, the signs were obvious. I was tired and lethargic. I didn’t get enjoyment from the things that used to bring me joy. I was constantly getting sick and I was emotionally fragile from being so run down.

I started a self-care routine that sees me meditate daily and hit the gym at least 5 times a week – apart from the physical benefits from exercise, it simply makes me feel strong and accomplished, and I feel my best when it’s a regular part of my daily routine.

How else do I nourish my soul? Well, despite being a proper city girl, I really love getting back to nature when I feel the stresses of life creeping back up on me. I head to the dog park and take my shoes off, enjoying the grass on my bare feet. I tend to my tiny balcony garden of fresh herbs, plants and succulents and I love cultivating the offcuts and checking on their progress. The amount of time I’ve re-potted and re-arranged... purely for the joy of it.

It can be so easy to lose sight of the beauty in doing things purely for the joy of them. With so many obligations and responsibilities, many of us have lost the delight of doing things purely because we enjoy them, and they make us feel good. Often, if there is no financial gain, or no career progression, or nothing to be won or proved or provided, it’s at the top of our list to fob off, and falls to the bottom list of our daily priorities.

But what if these kinds of things were as vital to the soul as your income was to your lifestyle? Would they fall to the wayside then? Would you stop going for a weekly walk through the park, would you give up on gardening, or hula-hooping or bird watching if you knew that this was nourishment for your spirit? That without these simple things that bring you joy, the soul, the very essence of ‘you’ would wither and wilt? Would you be too tired, or too busy for this kind of self-care then?

We are all guilty of it. Too often than not, life gets in the way. But being more conscious and aware is the first step. By recognising the importance of self-care, and taking time out for you, you’re one step closer to becoming the best version of yourself; more resilient, more rested, more balanced. Take the time to recognise the signs, and enjoy the processes of getting grounded through things that bring you pure, simple pleasure. Ride the flow of your emotions and follow your bliss... the rest will fall into place when you start to give your soul the attention and love it deserves. Promise.

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Bianca Sciessere

The Glitter Bug is a self proclaimed dating and relationship guru. She podcasts, she blogs, she dates, she seminars, she coaches, she mentors and she dates some more. She celebrates her wins with Amaretto sours (extra maraschino) and she lives and she learns. Although she has had many who come and go, The Glitter Bug's first and firm love is the inner city suburb in which she lives; Collingwood. She relishes mazing through the local streets in search of the perfect cocktail, and the perfect man, and can’t say no a night on the town... Gushing equally over carnations, popcorn or fresh sheets - she has learnt to appreciate the simple things in life.

https://theglitterbug.com.au/

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