I came across a challenge from a woman on Twitter (via @unxpctdblessing) for self care. I think if you follow me on Twitter you know I often talk about self care. I find this a challenge I fight with on a daily basis. I am constantly trying to get daily self care in, for sanity, pain management, mood, balance, etc. I have different challenges, and for sanity/mood, I struggle the least with this. I definitely make my emotional self a priority, probably because I am in recovery, and constantly vigilant to be aware of the state of my mood, feelings, thoughts, etc. I posted the Chakra picture, because I believe self care needs to happen in ALL areas of our being, and love reading about Chakras, balance, and how to feel more centered, healthy, mindful.
I read a great post on Psych Central today on Family Mental Health Quick Tip – Tracking Your Mood, which gave a few tip/thoughts such as:
- Tracking Your Mood – What Happens Each Day? One simple way to track your mood throughout the day is to make a simple chart or take notes in a journal.
- Your Mood Affects You And Your Family Each Day: If your mood is distracting you to the point that it disrupts your family life, it’s time to figure out what’s going on.
- Mood Observations Add Up: You can learn how and where to make adjustments so your mood doesn’t get the better of you.
For me, mood is a priority. Thoughts and catching self defeating, negative, stinky thinking is really important to be aware of. It is a skill I learned in all the IP’s, IOP’s, and residential treatment places I have had “vacations” at. Where I struggle with self care most is with pain. As many of you know, I struggle with migraines, have had them since I was 11, and it is the most difficult challenge right now in my life. I have ignored migraines and the messages they send to me. Migraines are telling me a few things: My neck is out of whack, the weather has changed, your body is tired, your body needs rest, food, naps, etc. I HEAR those messages but have only recently started to pay attention and respond.
When I came across the article on the self care challenge, I have to say I automatically wanted to join. I realize I am late to the challenge, that was supposed to run October 6 – October 26. I have decided I am going to start my own 21 self care challenge. Anyone who wants to join me?? As the challenge website has stated: “Most experts agree that it takes 21 days to establish a new habit.” So I intend to start today with this 21 day self care challenge. The website gives tips and strategies, so I recommend looking at what has been going on there for the last few weeks! In general, all it is asking is for us to spend up to 15 minutes following a self care tip. They also have a Facebook page.
Today’s mantra on the website is: “I deserve to talk as kindly to myself as I would to a friend.”
How important is self talk? Well it means a LOT when it comes to mood and even body image. Most of you probably know it is Fat Talk Free Week, and I think in general, monitoring the words to ourselves is key on a daily basis! I remember when I was young I would listen over and over to Paula Cole’s song:
It’s me who is my enemy
Me who beats me up
Me who makes the monsters
Me who strips my confidence.
~Paula Cole, “Me,” This Fire
I think we need to be kind, practice patience, and love ourselves on a daily basis. This mantra is fantastic, because I know I have had thoughts in the past I would NEVER use towards others, because they were so mean. So for today, I hope you all can practice a little self love, and monitor your words. Here is a little video on Fat Talk Free Week:
For the next 21 Days I will recognize the different areas of my life, and the different ways I can practice self care.
Mood states, including cranky, sad, mad, frustrated, happy, jubilant, joyous:
- Need more sleep, go to bed no later than 11
- Shower the night before work to be able to sleep in later
- Breathe before I speak
- Reach out to my guy, family or support and share how I am feeling
- Sit in the fire: When angry I will sit with it for 10 minutes before I lash out at another person, it will most likely change, evolve, or I will see the real reason for my anger
Physical Communication: Pain
- Take a pill right when the pain starts
- When I get home from work, immediately take an hour nap
- Make regular appointments with a chiropractor to adjust my neck and see if it prevents some of the causes
- Find a neurologist to discuss preventative meds, better pain management, biofeedback, etc.
- Walk away from the computer, put the phone down, the book down
- Take a bath
Physical Communication – Hunger, Fullness, or Just Right
- Continue to do what you do: Eat when hungry, stop when full, and practice intuitive eating on a daily basis
- Progress not perfection
Mixed States of Physical/Mental: Balance of Life, Work, Advocacy, Relationship
- When I feel “off” stop overanalyzing, keep things simple.
- Find a pilates class
- Take more breaks at work
- Ride the wave of emotions, do not cling, and be present/mindful of where I am
- Communicate with my guy in a respectful, open, and honest way (if I can’t do that, then I will call my Mom)
- Go for a walk
- Plan on mini out of town vacations to San Diego to see parents, friends
- Make sex a priority, fun and intimate
Bad Body Image Day
- Go to this self care list & do ANY of them
- Practice patience towards myself
- Wear clothing I am comfortable in
- Stick to a schedule of eating times
- Throw away clothing I do not wear because they don’t fit
- Reach out on Twitter, to my #RecoveryWarriors and say it sucks, but does NOT define me
I am challenging myself to this 21 Day Self Care Challenge, and I challenge you to join me as well! I will be blogging about the experience, and if you would like to share your individual self care experience, let me know!