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 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.” 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.
My Self-Care Go-To’s:
- Epsom salt baths
- Deep breathing throughout the day
- Staying hydrated
- Consistently eating foods good for me
- Pacing myself throughout the day
- Low intensity yoga
- Slow walks
- Using the heating pad
- Cuddling my dog
- Focusing on the positive
- Using my Quell Relief device
- Listening to music or calming meditative walk throughs
- Letting go of the fear of upcoming pain