May is Mental Health Month. Throughout the month we will bring you stories about mental health and the importance of breaking surrounding stigmas, as well as highlighting those who live with related conditions and are advocating awareness.
To the average person, going for an eye exam or brushing your hair may not seem like an important feat. But for people living with chronic illnesses, disabilities, and mental health issues, accomplishing these things really can mean a lot.
London-based mental health occupational therapist and illustrator Hannah Daisy has started a series called Boring Self-Care to highlight the importance of taking care of yourself — even if it's just by doing seemingly mundane activities.
"I started noticing that online, [self-care] was often only about nice, lovely things you can do for yourself — like a bubble bath, a massage, or buying nice crystals," Daisy told Mashable. "In my profession, we talk about self-care involving a much wider range of occupations, or things you have to do every day — doing the dishes, washing, dressing, housework, laundry."
Daisy lives with mental illness and endometriosis, a chronic condition in which tissue that normally lines the uterus grows outside the uterus. Her illustrations are sometimes based on her own experiences, but they can also be inspired by the experiences of others.
"I hope people [realize] that doing boring tasks are just as valid forms of self-care as any other activity," she said. "But also I wanted to shine a light on how when you're unwell, the tasks most people take for granted are actually some of the hardest things to do."
You can see some of her illustrations below.
Asked for help.
Changed bed sheets.
Replied to messages.
Booked a doctor appointment and turned up on time.
Cleaned the toilet.
Cooked and ate a nourishing meal.
Did the dishes.
Made a mental health list and shared it with someone trustworthy.