Chronic pain and illness impacts you both physically and mentally, but it also takes a toll on those around you. With any chronic diagnosis, life changes and you may find yourself needing assistance in areas you didn’t previously. This has caused some of the more internally stressful moments in my new “chronic life.”
In my journey with my chronic diagnosis, I have found myself prioritizing my husband, family, friends, and co-workers at the expense of my own health. During these times I push myself and somehow convince myself to stay at work one more hour, tackle grocery shopping on my own, have a girls weekend, cook dinner on a night of no spoons, take the dog for a long walk. If you’ve noticed the trend, I’m stubborn and not a fan of asking for help. I convince myself pushing through the pain and exhaustion will make dealing with chronic me easier for others.
It doesn’t. The result of all of this, to no one’s surprise but my own, is more pain and exhaustion than before. Rather than making chronic me easier to deal with, I exasperate my symptoms and need even more help that I don’t want to ask for. Vicious cycle, huh?
This is where I’ve learned the importance of self care or as my grandma would call it “pampering myself.” For me, self care includes: staying hydrated, taking epsom salt baths, low intensity yoga, pacing myself, practicing deep breathing throughout the day, and making sure to eat. I’ve found that by doing these simple things, I can help alleviate stress as well as some symptoms before I have a full-blown flare. So when one of my spoonie friends, Tracy Wood, announced she would be opening her own shop on Etsy, TheSpooniqueBoutique, I was all for testing out samples! I mean the name of her shop alone had me smiling.
My bag of goodies from TheSpooniqueBoutique arrived adorably packaged and smelling even better than it looked! The first item I had to try was a shower steamer. Tracy layers her steamers with various essential oils–including peppermint–and recommends the steamers to relieve sinus symptoms. Upon placing the steamer in the corner of the shower, I began to catch subtle waves of peppermint scent being released from the bubbling steamer. Even though Sinus problems are not one of the many symptoms I experience, I still found the aroma to very be energizing in the morning.
I was super interested in trying the Himalayan salt scrub and I was not disappointed! When I first tested the salt scrub, I was beyond surprised at how soft and hydrated my skin stayed throughout the day. Since then, I’ve found myself using this sample a few times a week as part of my routine.
In the magical goodie bag I was also sent piña colada lip balm and cocoa dream lotion. The products are made with all-natural ingredients and were perfect to test in the winter months (yes, it’s very much still winter in WI). These sweet concoctions reminded me of sitting on a beach and helped my body lock in the much needed moisture.
My favorite goodie was the pomegranate spoon bath bomb. If only I could include a scratch ‘n sniff! I seriously contemplated not using it so I could keep it around to smell–it’s that good. I dropped the spoon bath bomb into an epsom salt bath on a day where my joints and CRPS-areas were swollen and aching. The bath bomb made the whole bath feel like I was pampering myself. If you are thinking of trying anything from TheSpooniqueBoutique I would highly recommend you try a spoon shaped bath bomb!
I loved being able to incorporate TheSpooniqueBoutique products into my self care and in many ways I found the goodies to make self care enjoyable and fresh instead of just another part of chronic life. Thanks so much, Tracy!