The wonderful Lauren from Lauren Evie recently organised #MHMailSwap (more info here!), and I was paired with Alice from Invocati. If you haven’t checked out Alice’s blog you really should. She’s the loveliest, most supportive person and her incredibly thoughtful letter and care package brought tears to my eyes.
You’ll be able to read the letter she sent me on her blog, but for now I will leave you with my words of advice to her. They are mostly tips and tricks for self care, and I hope you will find them useful too.
I hope you’re doing well. But I want you to know that if you’re struggling at the moment, that’s alright too. It doesn’t mean you’re weak, and it’s definitely nothing to be ashamed of. I must admit, I’ve found it hard to write this letter. After a lot of thought I realised that finding the perfect words of my own was going to be impossible, so I decided to share the words of others instead. These are the words that have picked me up off the ground and kept me going. I only hope they can help you as much as they’ve helped me.
“You will get better”
Those four simple words gave me hope at a time when I felt utterly broken. Even though I doubt myself sometimes, those words in the back of my head give me the strength to keep going.
“On the other side of your pain is something good”
The other day, when I felt lower than I have done in a long time, I watched Dwayne Johnson talk about his struggle with depression. He said a lot of great things, but it was those words that stayed with me.
“You are not selfish”
It’s OK to lean on other people. It’s OK to reach out and admit you’re struggling. There are so many people who care about you and want to help. You’re not a burden, I promise.
“You are strong”
You’ve overcome everything life has thrown at you so far. The fact that you’ve made it through each day is a testament to your strength, resilience and determination. You’ve got this.
I understand that it might be hard to believe these words. I sure as hell know I’m struggling to right now. But things will get better, because quite simply, they have to. I wholeheartedly believe that.
For the days when kind words aren’t quite enough, here are a few small, practical things I do to look after myself
Have the ultimate duvet day
Nothing quite beats bringing your duvet to the sofa, curling up and watching loads of Netflix . My go to favourites are Gilmore Girls, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and The Big Bang Theory.
In your care package you’ll find some treats – sweets (obviously), a magazine (a nice distraction if you get bored of watching TV), and Percy Pigs (an absolute must!). You’ll also find some Chai tea (the ultimate hug in a mug), as well as a few bags of my absolute favourite tea (I wanted to buy you a whole packet but I didn’t get the chance, sorry!).
Oh, and a cup of tea wouldn’t be complete without biscuits – you’ll find some of those in there too!
Keep easy meals in the house
On days when just getting out of bed is a struggle, it’s better to eat a crappy microwave meal than not eat at all. M&S do loads of lovely ones that are a little bit more indulgent than most boring ready meals.
Take a lovely hot shower
If I feel completely flat and lacking in motivation nothing helps kick me into gear more than a nice long shower. There’s also something incredibly soothing about crying and feeling the hot water wash away your tears. Pamper yourself (I’ve included a few of my favourite shower-time treats and an amazing face pack for you to enjoy), sing at the top of your lungs and let yourself get completely lost, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
I hope this letter has made you smile, and that you enjoy the treats I’ve sent you. I promise you, things are going to get better.
You’re so much stronger than you give yourself credit for. And if you’re ever having trouble believing that, you’ve got me and no doubt loads of other people who will be more than happy to remind you.
All my love,
Alice’s lovely care package to me.