Self Care Is More Than Bubble Baths
Living with Central Pain Syndrome for the past eleven years has taught me so many things. I truly am more grateful for every ability and every breath I breathe than ever before. But somewhere along the lines as I was learning to be as kind to myself as I would be to others around me, I realized that there is more to taking care of myself than just having a daily regimen that included a oil and salt filled bubble bath with ice water before bed.
The process of discovering that I deserve the kindnesses such as excusing myself from conversations when I had to take meds, fixing my posture and only speaking words of encouragement when I want to criticize (myself or others) was a slow journey but has been so worth learning. As Alexa has written about, sometimes self care is removing toxic people or habits from your life.
I do like to think of self care in the terms of taking a bath, though. I just need to remember to bathe myself in what matters. Bathe myself in good words, an encouraging environment and affirmations. Bathe myself in the reminder that I do, in fact, have a say over how my Central Nervous System processes pain, and I can, in fact, let it know that I don’t need it to be in hyper vigilant mode any longer.
Being kind to yourself looks unique according to your own needs, but here are some basics that I suggest putting into practice: drinking at least 90oz of water per day, eating a protein snack every 2 hours, telling people, “I need to think about it”, or “I’m processing that information” when you need more time to respond, stretching for at least 15 minutes a day, and reading a good book rather than reading Fake - I mean Facebook.
I have found that there is a need for both physical care and mental / emotional care when it comes to self care. Other people around you will thank you for taking care of you and it will spill over into their lives that maybe, just maybe, they can take better care of themselves, too.