Lived Experience: Clare's Story Of Non-clinical  Recovery

Lived Experience: Clare’s Story Of Non-clinical  Recovery

A large part of my recovery process has involved seeing my borderline personality disorder as a condition that requires ongoing, lifelong management. This means I will constantly be engaging with treatments to manage my symptoms; some are clinical-like therapy and prescribed medications, and others are non-clinical, and I’ve found to be therapeutically beneficial. I’ve incorporated activities that support my mental health generally, and specifically, my BPD, into my daily routine as a part of my consistent approach to management, including exercise, mindfulness/meditation, diet and sleep.


I’ve always found exercise positively affects my mental health, distress tolerance, general mood and anxiety. Regular exercise, especially morning exercise, helps my perspective and supports healthier decisions in other areas like diet and sleep. My favourite exercises are walking outdoors and yoga, which are free on YouTube. I have a standing yoga appointment with myself at the same time every day and typically break up my day with a short walk. When making an exercise routine, I don’t have to be creative or motivated; I just have to show up. If I’m really not feeling it, I only commit to doing 10 minutes (usually, by the end of 10 minutes, I’m enjoying myself). Most days a week, I’m sticking to my plan.


I struggled to learn guided meditations and always dreaded mindfulness until I realised any activity can be mindful. Anything done with your full attention and total presence can be mindful, grounding and calming. I think of yoga as moving meditation, and my favourite mindful activities are cooking or enjoying a cup of tea outside. Making a small part of your day mindful, like your first tea or coffee, walking outdoors, or even eating a meal, can be an easy way to incorporate mindfulness daily without too much thinking.

Lived Experience: Clare's Story Of Non-clinical  Recovery


There’s a strong link between healthy eating and positive mental health. I am okay with eating the same breakfast and lunch every day, so on weekends, I’ll cook large quantities and portion them out for the week and try new recipes weekly. This way, I know most of my meals in a day or week are balanced, cover my two servings of fruit and five vegetables, are portion controlled and contain healthy fats.


It’s probably my least consistent area. I’m prone to falling into unhealthy habits, but for the most part, I try to practice sleep hygiene (worth a Google) and have consistent sleeping and waking times that give me at least 7 hours of sleep a night. For me, making healthy habits part of my routine supports my mental health daily without too much thought or effort.

Taking care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally isn’t just beneficial to your health but actually a kind of self-care (which can take many forms). Regularly making healthy decisions that are in my best interest helps my recovery by reinforcing every day that I’m worth taking care of, and that my health is important and by giving me the best baseline to manage my BPD. I’m not saying any of these things will be worth it for you (the person reading this), but it might work for someone, and when you know the struggles of living with BPD, you will be fully aware that anything is worth a go.

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