Sunday 28 July 2019

Nerd Church - My New Self-Care Strategy

(Warning: this post discusses low self-esteem and Depression)

I have a plan!

My plan is this: to treat myself BETTER than I think I deserve.

'Hang on Cee!' I hear you cry (well, I don't but it's a structural narrative device,) 'What the hell are you talking about?!'

Let's rewind.

'My New Self-Care Strategy' graphic with purple unicorn emoji and happy panda

I mostly like myself these days. Mostly.

Depression's a b**ch.

But love myself?


I'm a very, very, long way from that point.

So before now, my self-care ethos has been to try and convince myself that I deserve to take care of myself.

...This has had varying success.

My subconscious is a stubborn little so-and-so who clearly thinks I'm not worthy of nice things.

(...even deserving basic things is sometimes a little much.)

While I haven't given up on convincing myself that I'm worth more than the miscellaneous goop on the bottom of my shoe, I've had to get tricksy.

Because self-care is important.

And I have to find a way to get myself to do it.

So my new strategy is this:

To treat myself the way I deserve - by treating myself better than I think I deserve.

And so far, it's working quite well.

It's hot as hell in the UK at the moment (seriously, I'm not impressed - I melt in the heat) so whereas I would normally think:

I'll get a drink after I've finished this task, or after I've worked for X mins more.

Now I'm starting to realise that that was an attempt to get myself to 'earn' what is literally one of the basics of life - hydration.

So now, the mental process goes a little more like this:

I'll get a drink after I've finished this task, or after I've worked for X mins more.

...wait, if I'm thinking about getting a drink, that means I'm thirsty. And if I'm thirsty, I should go and get a drink. I can work afterwards if I want, or even drink it while I'm working.

...But I should get this work done. I've done hardly anything today, really.

Would I tell someone else in this situation that they should go and get a drink? Yes, yes I would.

Right, that's it. I'm treating myself better than I think I deserve, I'm going to get a glass of water.

Yes, that's the kind of process I have to go through sometimes.

...and yes, I literally think the words 'I'm treating myself better than I think I deserve,' because:

a) it's a reminder of the plan, and...

b) it's the first step in my Depressive brain realising that I do deserve things.

And thanks to my doctor upping my meds I can actually go through this process... believe me, without the meds I did not have this level of self-awareness!

I know meds don't work for everyone, but it's also perfectly acceptable to need to lean on them and use them (doctor and legal prescription permitting.)

Meds-shaming sucks, and it shouldn't be a thing - if meds work for you, THERE'S ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.

Why am I telling you this?

Well, lots of reasons (regular readers will be aware that I'm fundamentally incapable of having just one reason for anything!) but the most important ones are these:

  • I'm allowed to say it - it's a difficult thing that I'm doing, and acknowledging that is valid and healthy

  • It reminds me to actually carry on with this plan, because so far it's working - obv. if it stops working or I find a better strategy, I'll switch things up

  • Other people need to see that it's ok to struggle with this stuff - I know how affective reading the right thing at the right time can be, and it's where the internet excels

If you're struggling with ANYTHING emotionally or mentally my darling nerdlets, PLEASE get help.

There are also suicide prevention and/or mental health helplines you can use if you need them.

And, if you're in the UK or ROI, you can talk to The Samaritans at any time.

You can follow me on Twitter @CeeDoraReads, on Pinterest, and on Dora Reads @ BlogLovin. For more ways to support me, check out the Support Me page

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Last updated: 7th September 2019


  1. Love this post. I'm still as far away from being able to do self care as I've ever been, but I've lately actually tried to stop from guilt tripping myself and just owning my choices. Cause what's the point? It doesn't change what's been done anyway, only makes me feel worse. So now I try to own my choices, even if I think they're bad. It feels better for sure.

    1. Sounds like a good plan - I tend to keep up the negative self-talk too, so I get you. Like, I wouldn't talk to a friend - or even a stranger - that way, so maybe I should go easier on myself! <3

  2. My boyfriend battles depression too, so I totally understand how much work goes into just loving yourself. Keep fighting the good fight and know you've got a large community of fellow bloggers who think the world of you!

    1. You're a total sweetheart! <3 Thank you so much :)

  3. Sometimes at work I go the entire day without taking a sip of water. It can be tough to remember self care, but even the little victories are worth celebrating! I hate it when people think that self care has to involve a face mask, exfoliation, five hour bath in order to be considered care.

    1. Of course it doesn't! I mean, that stuff's fine if/when you need it, but as I try to always point out - self-care can be as simple as making sure you're physically safe, and that you eat, drink, sleep, and go to the toilet as much as you need to! Also, I hope you manage to hydrate more! <3

  4. Oh, hon, I'm sorry you're going through this, and glad that you're finding ways of taking good care of yourself. I'm sending you many many good thoughts. <3

    1. Thank you so much <3

      I'm actually in a much better place than I've been at many, many, times over the past 5 or so years, so I reckon that's a win! Still have some bad evenings in particular, but they're getting less and less often.

  5. I love how you remind yourself that this is the plan... to treat yourself better than you deserve. How powerful is that thought?! We all deserve better so this sounds like a really good plan to me. As for self care I'm trying to not beat myself up when I don't get to what I plan. This is really hard. I admit I probably bribe myself too much... Like I can watch a drama if I get so and so done. I'm glad this is working for you though Cee Arr! Keep up the hard work. ❤️

    1. Thank you <3 I tend to break up work with 10 minutes of Netflix or YouTube - it can be an effective way to take a break! Plus, I have a short attention span these days, so 10 minutes of Netflix and I'm ready to bounce to something else!


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