Let’s talk Self-Care! When you have a chronic condition, sometimes it’s hard to really live beyond survival mode. Anything that might take an extra spoon or two when you are rationing them just to survive can sometimes seem not worth it. I lived this way for a long time until realizing that sometimes investing those spoons into self-care could actually help me have more spoons later on. But how to do this, when some days it seems impossible? Here’s some of my favorite, spoonie-friendly ways to care for myself that actually help me feel a lot better after all is said and done.
Bathe. To the rest of the world, this just seems like something “everyone” just does every day. As you and I know, taking a bath or a shower can potentially use all your spoons for the day. Most people find bathing refreshing, but I can find it absolutely exhausting. I have found some ways to make it better though, that make me feel better in the process. I love adding some eucalyptus oil to my shower. It helps revive my senses. I also keep a hospital stool next to the shower, so I can sit if I need to. Sitting in a hot shower, breathing in the oil is one of the best ways I can relax my body at night enough to sleep.
Saunas/Steam Rooms. I’m fortunate enough to have access to both a sauna and a steam room at my gym, and even more fortunate that my access to them is 24/7, because when the painsomnia hits, if I have enough energy to drive the few miles to my gym, I’ll go and alternate sitting in the two for as long as it takes to get my joints to calm down a bit. Both have been shown to help aid in insomnia and to ease chronic pain, and although they definitely don’t “cure” my pain, they sure help when I am hurting. I also try to spend 10 minutes or so after each workout in one or the other to help my muscles recover from the activity. Days like today though, I went to the gym specifically to sit my butt in the sauna for 45 minutes to try and feel a bit better.
Bed Yoga. Yes, it’s really a thing, and it’s amazing for those with chronic illness, and yes, you can actually do it all from your bed! A lot of the yoga from your bed sequences you’ll find online say they are to be done upon waking up or before going to sleep, but I just think they feel good, and really try to do them whenever I can feel pressure filling my body – particularly after trying to lay a 2.5 year old down for bed! This video below is one of my favorite sequences, but there's plenty out there!
These are just a few of my favorites, but I have plenty more to share with you all later. What are some of your favorite self-care strategies?