This Is What ‘Self-Care’ Looks Like When You Have a Mental Illness

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I decided to share the ways that I take care of myself, since they feel a little more realistic than those discouraging self-care pieces. I understand how mustering up the mental strength to motivate yourself can be difficult. These tips, honed from my personal experience, are for those of you who also suffer from depression, mania, stress, and anxiety.

Don’t Guilt Yourself
One major thing that comes with depression and anxiety is an overwhelming feeling of guilt. It’s easy to be overcome with guilt for staying in bed a little too long or emotional eating—both things I’m very familiar with. Before I started going to therapy I used to feel overwhelming guilt about unhealthy vices I struggle with, but when you guilt yourself it makes you want to continue those same vices, and it becomes a vicious cycle.

A lot of times guilt is seen as motivation and I’m here to tell you: It is not. Try to give yourself a bit of perspective and start off small with your goals. Forgive yourself if you fall off the wagon instead of going straight to guilt. You can always start over because there’s no one keeping time when it comes to bettering yourself.