Self-Care and Why We Need It
The term “self-care” has become quite a buzzword in recent times and I am a huge fan of it. Self-care is literally taking time to care for yourself. We live in a day and age where we seem to constantly be on the go and we often forget or just don't take the time to care for ourselves. Here are a few ways that I practice self-care.
Doing something you enjoy is so therapeutic. There are several hobbies that I enjoy including crochet and making fancy greeting cards. I also love to play guitar and that has been a constant in my life for the past 21 years. A new hobby I recently started is hand dyeing wood flowers and making arrangements for my family and friends.
Taking the time to relax is very beneficial to not only our bodies but also our mind. I love to take naps, even if it is just a short catnap in the afternoon when I have 30 minutes to myself. Relaxing might mean watching your favorite television show or sitting outside in a lawn chair on a beautiful day. Yoga is another great way to ground yourself and get in purposeful movement at the same time. Relaxing in a warm bubble bath with a good book is also at the top of my favorite ways to relax.
Whatever is on my mind
I have kept a journal for many years. While I don't keep up with it as often as I would like I still really enjoy it when I take the time to sit and write in it whatever is on my mind. Something I recently started writing down is “5 things that don’t suck” whenever I am feeling anxious or down.
Gratitude and struggles
Keeping a gratitude journal is extremely helpful. Whenever I am not feeling myself or am stuck in a bad mood due to my circumstances, I can look back and realize all of the things I am grateful for. While I do try to keep my journal upbeat, I do write down my struggles as well which is also good to look back on and see how far I’ve come and what I did to overcome that particular issue.
Spend time with loved ones
Getting together with friends and family is a wonderful way to lift spirits. If you are unable to meet in person, pick up the phone and have a nice chat that way. Writing letters is an almost forgotten form of communication but is something I like to do and receive as well. There will always be that excitement when I open up my mailbox to find a handwritten letter from a friend that I can’t wait to read and write back!
When dealing with chronic lung illness we often find ourselves spending all of our time and energy to keep breathing. Add on our daily responsibilities of work, family, and home and it can leave us with not much time for ourselves. Being intentional in carving out time for self-care can make a world of difference in how we feel both within our bodies and our minds.
What are some ways that you practice self-care?
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to COPD?