A Self-Care Tip for Schizophrenia
Self-care for schizophrenia is imperative, so protecting my brain is a high priority for me. By self-care, I mean eating nutrient-dense foods (fuel) and exercising, and I also include the things I consume daily, like music, books, movies, magazines, news, etc. In computer science, they have a saying, "garbage in, garbage out." The phrase means that if you put trash into the system, you get trash out of the system (usually referring to poor data). The metaphor is also applicable to my brain.
I try to watch wholesome shows on my streaming services; romantic comedies always uplift me, and lately, I've been working through a list I found on the Internet of the 100 best movies. Of course, I avoid the ones with graphic violence. I'm currently enjoying watching some European films produced in the 1950s.
When I listen to music, I frequently put on classic '80s tunes because I know most of them by heart (so they are familiar), and they don't disturb me like heavy metal or hip-hop.
When I'm reading, I choose books, primarily memoirs (I'm currently reading the musician Bono's memoir). I avoid certain types of stories, like murder mysteries, that are graphic or highly suspenseful (I need no help at all raising my stress level).
All of these are choices I make to ease some of the symptoms of schizophrenia.
Choosing Self-Care for Schizophrenia Is Not Always Easy
Making these self-care choices for schizophrenia and avoiding what everyone else is watching, listening to, or reading may seem extreme to some people. It can leave me feeling outside of popular culture. However, as someone who hallucinates and has intrusive thoughts trying to keep what I expose myself to, sticking to things that are funny, heart-warming, cute, family-centered, etc., helps with the quality and content of my thoughts and, therefore, the health of my brain.
In my life, if I were constantly exposing myself to violent or disturbing images, or content of any kind, those ideas, images, lyrics, etc., would stay with me throughout my day (and possibly much longer) and make their way into my sleep. Having schizophrenia is challenging enough without adding dark and scary things to populate my mind. As someone who frequently deals with paranoia, like thoughts that someone or something is out to get me, it is helpful to reinforce the idea that the world is safe, happy, and hopeful and can sometimes have happy endings.
All of these things don't mean that I put blinders on when it comes to real issues like poverty, people without health care, people who lack treatment options, etc. It only means I feed myself a steady supply of pleasant brain food to try and help my brain stay in the realm of the positive, kind side of life instead of the more scary, violent, or dark side of life.
Chamaa, R. (2022, December 14). A Self-Care Tip for Schizophrenia, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, February 3 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/creativeschizophrenia/2022/12/a-self-care-tip-for-schizophrenia