Mental Health Matters: What I Do To Stay Uplifted
When battling chronic illness, the struggle can be real in finding balance between all of our responsibilities in life. Honestly, achieving the perfect balance may be impossible but you can choose to prioritize your own mental health when you feel your illness and life getting the best of you.
Many Hidradenitis Suppurativa Warriors report dips in their mental health during a flare and when relating to others in the midst of their battle. Since we know this, it is imperative that we take heed of the signs of feeling down and act quickly to boost our moods. Here’s a list of things that I like to do for a mood boost.
Utilize a good skincare routine
Finding and using new skincare products is my happy place. I find that the beautiful aroma many skincare products leave in my bathroom is an easy aromatherapy boost that instantly brightens my day. Investing time in a skincare routine is a great way for me to combine tending to my needs and a hobby of mine which is a win-win all around.
Cuddle with a pet
We are likely all aware of the therapeutic benefits spending time with pets can have on our moods. I like to spend time cuddling with my miniature dachshund Romeo because caring for him evokes feelings of happiness in me. I feel that the act of taking care of my fur baby and nurturing him adds to my feelings of purpose which can be helpful when my mental health is starting to feel low.
Take a relaxing shower
Whether you are a shower person or a bath lover, spending time washing in warm water can also improve your mood. First, the act of cleaning yourself speaks to an awareness of basic human needs which improves my mood because I am actively working to keep myself clean. Beyond this, shower time is also a moment in my day for me to reflect on my feelings, plan for the day ahead, and to have a moment of mindfulness. Taking the time to let yourself decompress from the day and using body products that smell pleasing to you can be useful when fighting a mental health funk.
Moisturize with a fragrant body butter
Do not just stop at taking a shower and hopping out without moisturizing. Moisturizing your body is not only good for your skin, but it is also an easy way to take advantage of products that have aromatherapeutic benefits. I personally like to shower before bed and I always follow my shower with lavender body butter to help evoke feelings of relaxation.
Listen to relaxing music
For me, listening to music is an easy activity that can boost my mind without having to overly focus on what I’m listening to. I like to play music first thing in the morning, while cleaning, during my showers, and while getting a little exercise. If you aren’t already a music lover, consider listening to music daily and monitor how this affects your mental health.
Focus on cleaning a small space to lift my mood
I am one of those people who has to be in the mood to clean in order to actually clean effectively. I have found that cleaning can provide a boost to my mood as long as I am clear about what I want to clean and the amount of time I want to clean for. It can be easy for me to feel down when I haven’t cleaned in a while due to a flare, however, once I am feeling up for it I make sure I clean when the mood arises. I like to clean my room as this makes the task more attainable for me and more gratifying as I am able to check each room off my to-do list.
Explore a new outdoor area
Nature speaks to my soul. One of my favorite things to do is to explore new outdoor spaces and spend time walking the trails. Taking a moment to stop and immerse myself into nature and its’ sounds has always been an instant mood lift for me.
Call a loved one
Sometimes I just really need to call and talk to family to experience a sense of warmth. For these calls, I don’t generally talk about my HS but rather other things that are happening in life and topics that bring laughter.
How has your HS affected your relationships with friends and family?