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:
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:
Daily – I sit quietly (usually first thing in the morning) state to myself how I am feeling.
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.
I pet my animals. I especially pet them when I am anxious, depressed, sad or feel like crying.
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.
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?
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!
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!
Take deep breaths or learn meditation.
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”.
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!