Self-care isn’t all bath bombs and retail therapy. When you’re coping with severe mental health issues, even the activities that are often considered the basics of everyday life can be a challenge. Hard as it is, managing them can be of fundamental importance to your wellbeing.
So it’s worth celebrating the times you rise to the challenge and succeed despite everything you’re up against — it really is. Hannah Daisy, a London-based illustrator and occupational therapist, wants to help. She’s created a whole series of “Boring Self Care” illustrations that celebrate the little things that aren’t necessarily little at all.
Daisy spoke with Huffington Post about the project, explaining that a big part of what she does with her clients is working out how to accomplish daily tasks.
In the realm of occupational therapy, self-care refers to a wide range of “occupations,” or “things you have to do every day” ― a somewhat different understanding than most contemporary self-help guides prescribe.
“I started noticing that online, self-care was talked about in a very different way,” Daisy explained to HuffPost, “often only about nice or lovely things you can do for yourself, like a bubble bath, a massage, buying nice crystals, etc. … I started to feel that conversations online about self-care often alienated people [who thought], ‘I can’t go and do this nice thing for myself because I have this huge pile of washing up and my house is a tip.’
She also takes the time to explain some of the ways she practices these boring tasks, along with the benefits of paying them enough attention.
I just cooked food for at least 3-5 days. CN food & how I manage each week. . . . . . I'll just share how I manage my meals each week with working full time 9-5 and commuting. I make a breakfast to have on the train and I buy a lunch at work. By the time I get home I'm so tired, I can't be bothered to cook from scratch. So what I like to do is make a big veggie chilli on a Sunday (Mexican food is my favourite). Then I can vary what I have with it all week, either chips, rice, a wrap on the side of something like veggie sausages etc. It means that I can just microwave it when I get home or put some rice or chips on. I also usually have an oven pizza once a week too. At weekends I have whatever I fancy, sometimes a takeaway curry, sometimes I'll make something other times I'll have something from the freezer. I find that planning ahead for the week helps and decreases the amount of labour I have to do when I'm tired. I do also snack, there's always cakes and biscuits at work. I know that I'm privileged enough to have some freezer & fridge space to do it and to be able to afford to buy (discounted NHS) food at work. Also obviously, if you get stuck in patterns of eating the same food, then maybe this approach isn't for you. . #boringselfcare . . . . . . #edfam #edfamiliy #therapy #mentalhealth #mentalillness #drawing #art #illustration #psychosis #ocd #depression #anxiety #gad #bpd #selfharrm #borderlinepersonalitydisorder #eatingdisorder #anorexia #promarker #art #illustration #chroncillness #spoonie #spoonies #spooniesunite
You can find all of Daisy’s Boring Self Care illustrations on her Instagram, where she also shares other positive messages and thoughts on mental health care.