10 Examples of Self Care To Inspire You

Self Care

The definition of Self Care is care provided “for you, by you”. It is identifying your own needs and taking steps to meet them. It is taking the time to some of the activities that nurture you. Self-care is about taking proper care of yourself and treating yourself kindly as you treat others.

You are probably thinking “I already do this”. If you do kudos’s to you. I am PROUD of you. If you are like the majority of us you don’t have time. That is our biggest go to word “ I don’t have time”.

Prior to my Traumatic Brain Injury in 2013, I thought I had it all. My priority list went like this:

  • Husband

  • Children

  • Job

  • House

  • Groups I belonged to

  • . . . and then if I had time Me…..

It seems I would put everything before my own needs. What did this accomplish? You guess it, I was depressed, overweight, had no real purpose in life.

I did take some steps to correct this prior to June 2013. On October 1, 2012, I had a Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy. This surgery is to help with weight loss. The surgeon removes a large portion of your stomach. The new, smaller stomach is about the size of a banana. It limits the amount of food you can eat by making you feel full after eating small amounts of food. Trust me I will talk about this is a later blog. I started working out daily, I would schedule in my planner my workout time and I wouldn’t miss it. This worked as when I had my accident I had lost over 150 pounds.

I was still depressed and was a doormat to people and their problems.

After my car accident, it became all about me. I had to make myself a priority if I wanted to get better. During this process, I realized my personality had changed. Procrastination used to be my middle name. Why would I do it today when I could do it tomorrow? After my accident. I did everything now (I guess if I didn’t I would forget about it tomorrow!!). Part of that is I thought if I did my therapy well I would get done faster and be able to go back to work. Wrong. It did occur to me, my depression still lingered (I was now depressed over new things) but had gotten worse, plus I now had anxiety attacks, PTSD. Vision issues, perception issues.

I have learned during the last three years that self-care is very important to my well being. If I do not practice self-care daily I am stressed, I become bitchy to my husband. In other words, Polite Pam becomes Pissed Off Pam.

Here are 10 examples I do for self-care:

  1. Daily – I sit quietly (usually first thing in the morning) state to myself how I am feeling.

  2. If something is bothering me or depressing me I take a piece of paper and write down what is bothering me. Then I say to myself “let it go”, then I will tear the paper up and throw it away. You could even burn it if that helps.

  3. I pet my animals. I especially pet them when I am anxious, depressed, sad or feel like crying.Self Care Tips

  4. Make connections. Since I no longer work I occasionally miss people. I strike up conversations with sales assistants or baristas. It helps me connect and talk with another human.

  5. ASK FOR HELP – This is hard for me. My generation was raised that we had to be independent and couldn’t ask for help. Trust me you can ask for help and I am sure your partner would rather help you out then getting bitched out later. I never do this, do I honey?

  6. Have a self-date!!! Spend an hour alone. Just you. Nourish you soul. Read a book, go to a museum, go to a movie, do whatever you love to alone!

  7. Spend the day or afternoon with your best friend or a friend. Go to lunch, have fun. Trust me my BFF Barb and I had talked about a year ago making this a standing once a month date. Life happens, and monthly hasn’t happened. In 2017 we need to spend more fun time together, right Barb!

  8. Take deep breaths or learn meditation.

  9. Say positive affirmations daily. Trust me they help. Here are some that I use daily. “Stop being afraid of what could go wrong. Focus on what could go right.” “I know that I am going to be okay”. “I choose to be happy”.

  10. Journaling – Did you know that journaling helps build your confidence, encourages self-care, increases your acceptance, helps you to express yourself through writing in your journal or drawing. During my recovery of my TBI I journaled daily I did this consistently daily. This year I am going to get back into the habit of journaling.

What are some ways you practice self-care? Do you have a hobby you love but “Don’t have the time” to partake in it? Make time to do your hobby. You will benefit and so will those around you!

I am always interested in self-care tips, please share with me know what you do.

How is everyone doing on those New Year’s resolutions? If you are having struggles email me at Idahopam62@gmail.com and I can give you some help or motivation.

What I am currently reading. One of my BIG resolutions was to read at least 15 minutes per day. I have not read a book since my accident. Lately, I have been reading daily. What I do is set my timer for 15 minutes. Some days I stop when it goes off, other days I read 30 or 45 minutes. I am so proud of myself for doing this.  Randy bought me this for Christmas: Settle for More by Megyn Kelly. I love this book!! If you don’t know who Megyn Kelly is, she is a new anchor for FOX News. She did the Republican debate in Cleveland in 2016. She is also leaving FOX News and going to NBC. The truth I didn’t care for her. Since starting this book I see her in a different light and I am liking her more and more each chapter I read.

What are you reading? Let me know as I know this is a habit I will continue with.

I hope where ever you are the weather isn’t too bad for you. I live in Boise, Idaho and we have gotten dumped on with snow and cold temperatures. We haven’t had this much snow for 30 years.  Good time to stay in the house and read.

Lots of love to each of you!

Pam                                                                  

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Christmas is upon us and so is our friend Mr. Anxiety. . . . .

How to Cope with Traumatic Brain Injury Anxiety at Christmas (or any holiday)


Greetings to all the awesome people reading my blog!!! You are the best!!

Just when I think my old friend anxiety has moved on and broke up with me here he comes slithering back into my life like a bad penny.

Anxiety first came into my life unannounced on Thanksgiving 2013. This was five months after my car accident that left me with my Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). I have always fixed Thanksgiving so why should this year be any different. I am pretty sure I told my Doctor this and I am pretty sure he gave me the look. I’ve always been stubborn but after my TBI – I am really stubborn, hard headed, pig-headed. I did it my way and had Thanksgiving at my house. My daughter Kayla and my son Riley were there to help out. Randy, my husband, drives a truck and he would be coming home from Utah early afternoon.

I had everything planned out, look at me I have this. Then people started to arrive and Randy wasn’t home yet. For the past ten years, he had deep fried our Thanksgiving Turkey. Stress washed over me. Then I started having negative thoughts about myself. I was a failure. Why was everyone early?

I went immediately into the bathroom when I started shaking and was sweating. Kayla came in and told me I was having an anxiety attack. A what? Me never. I was always in control. She got me to calm down. Randy arrived home and Kayla went to brief him. Not knowing how to handle this he came in and said what most people would say “knock it off”. He could have slapped me and it wouldn’t have hurt as much as those three words. In all fairness, this was a first for me and for him too. We both had a lot to learn.

That year my family decided that we were going to change up Christmas. I again always had everyone out to my house. They came up with the idea we would open our presents leisurely, then go to the movies afterward we would come home and have Prime Rib. I was actually excited about this. Not everyone understood the reason behind this. They felt it was my decision and not one that my family came up with to protect me. We’ve done it the past two years and I love it.

I think I have had people say all the mean things to me:  

  • Why can’t you control when this is going to happen. I wish!
  • What are you so anxious about?Get over it! I love this one
  • It’s all in your head.Why don’t you just stop worrying?  Hear that brain!
  • You are just seeking attention.
  • You don’t know how things are going to turn out so stop worrying.  
  • It could be worse or other people have it worse off than you.
  • Think happy thoughts.

traumatic brain injury anxiety holidaysHave you ever said any of the above statements to a person?  If you have,  I urge you to get on the phone right now and call them and to say: “I am so sorry I was an idiot to you”.

If you are at an event with these obnoxious people walk away from them. You do not need to hear this garbage. Then avoid these people like they’re the plague.

To all the people in my life that have said:

  • I just wanted to let you know you’re not alone in this.
  • How can I help?
  • I am thinking of you.
  • I love you anxiety and all.
  • I on my way bringing you dinner.

A BIG thank you for understanding my anxiety. Thank you for not thinking I am crazy or for not saying it out loud.

Remember how awesome you are. If Uncle Zeke is bragging about how successful he is, remember he is also flawed and could be faking it. No one goes to a party to complain about their issues (well there are a few), most go so they can brag about what good things have occurred in their life.

With a lot of help from my Doctor, some counseling and unfortunately medicine for Depression and anxiety (I currently take Venlafaxine ER).    I am doing much better.  I have also tried other things to help me cope:

  • I have several adult coloring books that help me refocus when anxiety hits. Take these with you to a Holiday functions.
  • I do breathing exercises. Take a long breathe in and hold it for a count of 3 then slowly release.
  • Say Positive affirmations like “I can do this,” “I’m doing great”, or “Everything is OK”.
  • Write in your journal.
  • Browse the positive pins on Pinterest. Having Pinterest on my phone is a great tool if I feel anxiety coming on I just browse Pinterest. You may want to avoid Facebook/Twitter as sometimes they make me more anxious.
  • Listen to music. I know they recommend soothing music. Leave it to me to be a little bit of the opposite. I like to drive alone and turn my music up loud. My listening genre varies I like ACDC, Metallic, Rob Zombie, Rage Against the Machine, Def Leppard, Bon Jovi, KISS, ZZ Top. . . Do you get the idea? Whatever helps you is what you want to try.

 If you are feeling bad tell a loved one or significant other “I just need someone to hug me and tell me I’m not as worthless as I think I am”. Hugs are awesome.

Remember it is okay if you don’t make a big spread for 50 people this season. Someone else can host it. Just enjoy the season.

I have a sign on the wall that says “We put the fun in dysfunctional”.

If any of you have good ways to combat anxiety please comment back to me. I am always looking for tools to have in case anxiety strikes.

Christmas Eve, we are opening gifts with Kayla and her wife Makayla. I am thinking of making some easy appetizers. My daughter-in-law is the BEST cook, so I am sure she’ll help. Christmas Day will be laid back. Randy is cooking Prime Rib on the Traeger. Randy’s mom is coming over we will eat then meet Kayla and Makayla at the movies. If you know of a good movie my family would enjoy let me know (my kids are 19 and 27). What are you doing this Christmas?

Be Safe and Warmest wishes at Christmas and always,

Pam


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The Joys of Decorating My House For Christmas with a TBI

TBI and Christmas

Christmas – I have always loved Christmas: the music, the sights, and sounds. Three years with a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and Christmas is not the same to me.

 

Saturday night I decided it was time to decorate the house. My husband, Randy, and our son Riley were in charge of getting the decorations out. I left them to their task.

I went to check on them in the front room. My mind started spinning. They had pulled every box out from the storage space there was Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I immediately started shutting down, as I was having a panic attack. It ended with a heated discussion between Randy and me.

I got up early on Sunday to see if I could do anything with the decorating. I went in and I immediately spotted a big storage container that was clear and I could see the contents inside. It was my snowmen that I decorate my kitchen with. They look pretty cute the way I displayed them.tbi christmas

Back into the dreaded front room, I spotted a clear plastic container and I went to it as I could see everything that was in it and make a game plan. The other containers were red and green and there is no way to know what was inside.

When we moved to this house a year ago my Rehabilitation Doctor offered the suggestion I label each box with what specifically was in there. I did and that worked wonderfully and quickly got my kitchen unpacked.

I started opening the colored containers and it was like what is this stuff. It was like I had never seen this stuff before, We’ve had these decorations for 29 years.

The house got decorated but, I decided when it is time to put Christmas away, we are investing in more clear storage containers. They are easy for me to see at a glance what is in there and where it goes.

Tips that would make decorating easier for someone with a TBI or anxiety.

  • Make sure that you are well rested before you start the decorating. Do it in the morning if possible. Make sure your spouse hasn’t worked all day either.

  • Ask for help and be patient with your help.

  • If you start feeling frustrated you need to stop and take a mind break. It is okay if it takes you a couple of days to do your decorating.

  • CAREGIVERS: Be patient with us! Understand it is a change and we do not adapt to changes as well as we did prior to the TBI.

  • Be sure to tell us things to boost our self-esteem. Self-esteem can be a big thing we loose after a TBI.

My house looks beautiful and I am happy. I just have to remember to plan for these things.

QUESTION: Do you like White lights or colored lights? Leave me a  comment why.

Hope you have an utterly awesome week!

See you next time!!

Pam

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What the Heck is Mindless Wanderings of a TBI Survivor???

 

  • Why are you blogging? That is what most of you are saying. It is understandable you are too busy to read yet another blog. Do most of you know what a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) is? In June 2013 I didn’t know what it was either. I woke up and figure out I was in the hospital. The nurse came in all excited as I was “awake”. No one has ever gotten excited when I woke up before. She says “you have a TBI”. What the hell is that? She explains it is a Traumatic Brain Injury.

  • Who are you? My name is Pam Schill, I am 50 Pam Schill Traumatic Brain Injury Survivorsomething women  born and raised in Idaho. Presently I live outside of Boise Idaho. I am the author of Mindless Wanderings.
  • What in the world will you be blogging about? Each of you is asking “why in the world would someone come to this blog? What will I get out of the blog? Most people (including me) have no idea what a Traumatic Brain Injury is. “So you bumped your head big deal”! The purpose of the blog is to help you understand TBI’s and their impact on your life. I will also hit on the important people. The caregivers, most of the time this is a spouse or significant other.

  • My blog isn’t all about TBI’s. I am going to write on being     positive, handling stress, anxiety and other things you might be interested in.
  • How can I leave feedback??? I want you to tell me what you would like me to write about. Please leave me comments. I need comments so I know what my readers want or do not want. You can leave me comments at contactpamschill@gmail.com

     

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