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Set yourself alarms. Write down things that need doing around the house, plan the grocery shopping, bundle all your socks into pairs. Give yourself ten minutes to water your plants, fifteen to have breakfast, and twenty minutes each for the intermittent naps you’re going to need during the day. Organise your day as much as you possibly can, and try your hardest to get into a routine. Don’t rush yourself to do anything; if you need to lie awake in the morning and just think before you get up, that’s okay.
But don’t lie there all day. Stop snoozing your alarms with the excuse of five more minutes, and spend those five extra minutes feeding your cats or cleaning your teeth. Get up, and go into a different room. Even if you go to have a nap in another room, just leave your bed before midday. Baby steps, remember.
Motivation is going to be hard, especially after a particularly stressful situation like a relationship breakup or an emotional breakdown, so clear your head as much as possible. I usually tend to doodle, rearrange my room or bake stupid things like cakes. But when it’s bad, I don’t doodle. I cut my hair off, isolate myself, and use alcohol as a crutch. I wouldn’t recommend any of these latter coping methods.
Brushing your hair is difficult when you’re in a rut. It’s one of the first things to do when you don’t see the point anymore. If you need to go out but you really can’t bring yourself to do it, just tie it up or cover your hair with a hat. Don’t cut it all off, and don’t just leave it.
If you’re really struggling, run a bath and lie in it. The warmth will make you feel better. Failing this, make a mug of hot chocolate or coffee, and cradle it with both hands. Make yourself as cozy as possible.
Spend your days day by day. Take each day as it comes, don’t think about tomorrow. Live in the moment, listen to songs that take you back to a time that you feel like was simpler than where you’re at now. Watch the clock and breathe in and out every four seconds; in for four, out for four.
Don’t shower until the end of the day. Leave it until the last few tasks you’ve set yourself today. Your motivation will slowly increase and peak about six hours after you’ve woken up—so at around five or six, listen to an old favourite song, and run the shower. Don’t rush, it's your day, your time, stay in the shower for as long as you need.
Don’t stay up late drinking, overthinking or binge eating. Turn all distractions off and put them away, and try your hardest to sleep; eye masks and white noise through headphones can work wonders if your thoughts are keeping you up.
If you wake up in the night, don’t get up, because we both know you won’t go back to sleep.
Don’t push people away. Let your friends and family in. Be honest with them, don’t be embarrassed about how bad it’s gotten; they won’t judge you.
You may feel like you have no one to turn to, and that you are all alone, but there will be someone who has noticed you spiraling and just wants you to be okay. When they ask to come round and talk, don’t tell them you’re too busy, because they know you aren’t; you haven’t left your house in a week. Don’t use the excuse that your house is a mess; that’s okay, they’ll understand why and they will help you get back on track.
Don’t prevent people from helping you, you aren’t a burden to them. Answer the phone when they call, reply to their text, even if it’s just to let them know you’re okay.
Don’t be afraid to let people in. I know it may have backfired a couple of times and you’re not willing to risk getting abandoned again, but the people who care about you are going to be the ones that ask if you’re alright, invite you out even though they know you won’t turn up because it’s the thought that counts, and they’re going to want to be there for you.
Give yourself time and space, to heal and deal with it in your own way. But don’t block people out.
You can leave the door shut, just don’t lock it.
You are worth it. You are worth the blood pumping round your body, the oxygen that you breathe and the space that you occupy. Your space is yours to keep and grow; invest in plants or pets that you have to care for, either for companionship or forced routine. Find something that will take your mind off your past. Buy a snake and call it a strange name like Beans. Surround yourself with life to cut out the death.
Be spontaneous, do the things you’ve always wanted to do but you’ve never quite had the time. Let these be the distractions that absorb your stresses and worries like a liquid would with a sponge.
If you are prescribed medication, please take it. Even if you, yourself, believe it is a placebo; take the medicine. Start keeping a sleep diary, or just a note of your sleeping habits; try your hardest to eat twice a day, ready meals and pot noodles will be a godsend.
And remember that this won't last forever.
You got this.