The Cat - Emotional Self-Care
Let's get something straight. When I say 'think like a cat', I don't mean sleeping in a basket (unless that somehow helps, in which case, you do you), but more considering that cats know what they want and won't be afraid to tell you, and they are rarely afraid to say no and put boundaries in place.
Amazingly enough, thinking like this can help with your emotional self-care. We're all guilty of saying yes to that night out, or a gathering which you know will leave you mentally exhausted for a good day or two after. If you deal with anxiety or social issues (like me), saying no every so often - or when you need to - can help a lot.
Cats will also rest when (and pretty much wherever) they need to as well, and they realise the importance of their other basic needs - food, shelter, when they need company, and when they want solitude.
I'm sure there will be a few folk that will think about their own cat and ask 'ok, does this mean that I have to start running around in the middle of the night for no reason?'
And that would be a no, but remembering WHY your cat does this can give you some things to work on. Cats who give in to sudden bursts of energy are following their own internal rhythm, slightly off-kilter due to living with humans as their internal clock in the wild would have them most active at dawn and dusk, but cats are weird, right? So maybe try and follow your own internal rhythm, rest when you need to, dance around and expend some energy when you need to, and you might be on the right track.
Try these steps:
Take a long deep breath in, and a long and complete breath out. Do this as many times as you need. Take this time to move away from the to-do lists and plans, and focus on what your gut is telling you that you need. It might be a hug, a walk, some good food, to speak to a friend, or even just a nap. If you have plans you can't get out of, make some time either before or after to check in and make sure you've given yourself what you need to be your best self.
If you need to say no to a gathering, your friends will understand. If you have to go somewhere, try buddying up with a pal or a partner who is going too and talk to them about how you're feeling beforehand, or maybe a friend who needs the same kind of support. You can check in with each other and if you need a moment or some space, you know you're supported.
Scribble your needs down in a notebook or journal as they come to you, or take some time to sit quietly and like above, breathe and give it some thought. Some of these gut feelings may benefit from you working out why you need them. Do you always crave quiet moments after speaking with a certain person, or when faced with a particular task? You can keep track of your moods and work out what could be triggering them, and work out if there's anything you can do to help address them or handle things in a more productive way.
Please remember, you are allowed to be tired and angry and sad, looking on the bright side all the time is not the way life works. There will always be tough days, but there are ways to cope with these and remember how to get through. By knowing what you need and when you need it, you'd be amazed at the effect this can have.
Talk about what has worked for you and find more resources and activities in The Spooky Self-Care Society Facebook group, or use the tag #spookyselfcaresociety to share your own routine.