Self-care is tough for the best of us. Putting in the time in our already hectic lives to make sure we are doing well. Actually, finding the time is the harder part than putting it in. For those of us struggling with chronic pain and illness, and it’s psychological symptoms as well as physical ones, it can be even harder. And yet it is even more important. (Side note: it is important for everyone, regardless of whether you’re dealing with pain and/or illness, just saying). So what are some easy, not overly time consuming techniques that we can fit into our lives? What will help us feel good internally as well as externally? Here are a few ideas, that I personally use to feel good.
Canadian Thanksgiving by myself? I don’t think so. Played some pool with a friend instead!
Podcasts. Particularly anything related to self love or self help. They’ll give some additional techniques for sure, but more importantly they are a reminder that many people go through periods of unhappiness, stress, and a lack of self love. The thing is, we can all come out of it. We just have to try.
Current favourite podcast.
Breathe. I know, it sounds so simple, yet many of us forget to. I particularly forget to when I’m in a lot of pain (and since I’m currently having a flare, that’s been a lot lately). A few deep breaths to centre yourself doesn’t take a lot of time, and will bring you back or get you through. Whatever it is you’re needing at the moment.
Image from: http://www.ellephysio.com/2014/04/just-breathe-week-3-prepare-inner-warrior/
Meditation. Kind of goes with breathing. If you’re a regular reader, you probably already know how big a fan of yoga I am. Set aside ten minutes each day for it. Just get out of bed ten minutes earlier. The whole purpose is to keep you present; great for many symptoms.
Image from: http://meditationunlimited.com/
Exercise. This depends on your physical well being, but even some light exercising or stretching will help induce those much needed endorphins to keep you positive and feeling good about yourself. Who doesn’t feel awesome after a work out?
Classic Hike with Spike
Do things you love. Set aside a few hours each week (trust me, you can fit this into your schedule no matter what), and do whatever it is you love to do. Art. Music. Baths. Hanging out with friends or family. Get a massage. Read. Watch a movie or TV show. Something that engages you. If it’s something that’s more stimulating for your mind, it’s better. Just try not to make it playing Candy Crush on your cell phone (does anyone still play Candy Crush) or swiping left or right on a dating site. Not that there’s anything wrong with those activities, but you can find better things for your soul.
I always find time for a good book in the bath.
Remember, you are your own best friend. Take care of you, because no one else will!