As a chronically ill person, self care is vital for me to retain my sense of self. Everyone benefits from self care however and I’d like to share my favorite tips.
1. Write about it. Journal your feelings. I find that this is low impact when my health acts up and often offers me an opportunity to gain some perspective on my stressful situations. Additionally, it allows me to vent in a safe environment- paper can’t judge you.
2. A classic, nice warm bath. This helps my sore body, helps maintain hygiene, is relaxing, and it smells great. You can add oils for aromatherapy per their instructions. I like lavender personally. I find it soothing. You can also add a bath bomb for vibrant tub water. Or, if you’re a perpetual child like myself, bubbles!
3. Light your favorite candle. Okay, I know this won’t miraculously resolve your problems but it’s the little things in life. Bath and Body Works has this candle that my friend as I described as “hot man smell,” and I loved it! Smells really can help you relax and sitting by a flickering flame is comforting. I like to accompany candle lighting with my bath.
4. Grab your favorite blanket and binge a show or watch a movie. This offers a cozy way to distract yourself for a while. Sometimes we aren’t ready to face our stressors or are too drained from them. This is where distraction comes in handy. It can enable us to get a break and reset. Walmart sells affordable fuzzy blankets!
5. Express gratitude. I do this through writing as it helps me to physically review what I am grateful for. I try to list at least three things. It can be anything from “I’m still breathing,” to “My bestie is awesome.”
6. Create something! Get artistic. If you’re a perfectionist like me but suck at art, get a coloring book. Amazon has some swear word ones that I enjoy. I can just color inside the lines instead of worrying about creating an entire piece. Otherwise, say fuck it and try something you don’t feel good at. You don’t need to be an exemplary artist to create something. It’s a wonderful distraction, relieves stress, and is productive all in one. I love painting! The gentle brush strokes are easy on my hands during flares, and there’s no right or wrong way to create.
7. Unplug for a while. Social media can be a massive source of stress. We are under scrutiny at all times, things are easily misinterpreted, and it can be addicting. Try going without your phone for a half hour when you wake up. This can help restore inner peace by not feeling obligated to engage with others for a while.
Self care is extremely customizable and incredibly important for your mental health. Do things that bring you joy or comfort. It’s vital to carve out some you time in this busy world.
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