Care for Yourself
Women and girls living with HIV need to take care of themselves. It is one thing to live with a virus that stigmatizes people. But we must take care of our minds at all costs, especially since our lives have been impacted by a virus that we all never asked for. This can be a struggle for a lot of women and girls.
Dealing with other people, family, friends, and work can be somewhat overwhelming because we can take on the world without caring for ourselves. We must learn to take care of ourselves mentally. This is of utmost importance since stress can negatively affect people with HIV.
6 ways to better care for yourself
Now I know that I am not a doctor, but there are things that women can do to help with depression, stress, and anxiety, etc. These are things that I have done over the 24 years that I have lived with HIV and I know that it works for me. But, what works for someone may not always work for someone else; so, continue to see what works for you.
Nutrion and exercise
I know that taking long walks and or exercising helps ease the mind a lot. Staying healthy and eating right does make you feel amazing.
Years ago, when I was first diagnosed, I did a lot of writing (journaling) about what I went through in life. I wrote about positive things like what I wanted out of life for my children and what that looked like for me.
Connect with people who love and support you
Even connecting with the people that you love the most can help. But, make sure that they are the ones in your life who support you and care about you and your wellbeing. Have lunch, dinner, or a long conversation over the phone with someone who wants to listen to you and give you the ability to share your thoughts.
Stay away from negativity
Stay away from people who draw negativity around you. And, be sure to use the word "no" when it is necessary so that you can take a load off when it is not needed. By doing this, you will not feel overwhelmed.
Listening to music
Then, there is music! The sound is very uplifting and can definitely change the whole mood that you are in. Positive songs you can sing along with certainly can help you mentally through the day. Music is soothing and yet a powerful way to energize you and help with your mood. Music is everything. You can dance, sing, or close your eyes and just listen to it. It is the greatest way to help make you smile.
Listening to motivational messages
The first thing I do every morning is listening to motivational audios or videos to encourage me to take on the day in a positive way. Do something different that will make you feel amazing and turn that into a daily habit, a routine.
Every day will not be good, but remember only we can change ourselves into what we want to be and how we want to feel. It is up to us to want that for ourselves.
At what age were you diagnosed with HIV?