I decided that 2018 was going to be the year I finally started taking self care and “me time” seriously. It was a main feature in my 2018 hopes and dreams post. So I thought I would write a post about exactly what that was going to involve.
My chronic illnesses mean that pacing is really important. If I have a good day, I can’t and shouldn’t cram as much in to it as possible, because it will inevitably mean that the next day will not be a good day, or the result will be a flare up. Pacing is so difficult to stick too, because as a mum, I want to do as much as I can for my daughter. To put it in terms of the popular Spoon Theory, I would, and often do, spend all of my spoons on my daughter. But this is not sustainable, it’s not good for my health, both physical and mental and in the long run it’s not good for my daughter, especially if I trigger flare ups.
I have come to realise that “Me Time” or self care, or whatever you want to call it, is important for everyone, but it really can be make or break for people with chronic illness. I owe it to myself to look after myself, and I owe it to my daughter to look after myself too. So that means big changes…
Reading More (and not feeling guilty about it)
I love reading, and books. All things book related really, be it candles or bookmarks. So I am going to embrace it. I am going to spend more time reading and no time at all feeling guilty about reading (which I did find myself doing… “I am really enjoying this book but I should be doing….”)
I also want to write more about books on my blog too, and I started doing this from the new year (and you might have noticed there has been a few book-related posts. The round up post I wrote of All the books I read (and loved) in 2017 was so fun to write, and it was amazing to look back over all 67 of those books and find the common themes I loved, and to see that as the winter closed in I had a couple of months of reading Vampire books.
I am not altering my reading challenge for 2018 though, it will stay at the 24 books it was last year as I don’t want to increase the number and increase the pressure on myself. I am also starting a Masters later this year so that will obviously mean that I have less time to read novels.
Write More (and not feel guilty about that either)
I have fallen in love with writing again, and I am about 50k in to a novel I have been dreaming about for years. I am loving the whole process of creating worlds and people. I have shared another update about my WIP, which discusses what I have been up to over the last couple of months.
I have decided that I am going to devote more time and energy towards this goal as I find that I feel so refreshed after spending some time writing, and plotting and thinking. It makes me so happy, and happy is good!
My body is my worst enemy right now, it is a source of constant pain so I try to ignore my body, it’s not really working and so I have decided that this year I will treat it nicer, and in return hopefully it will become my friend, instead of my enemy.
I am going to try to have more baths (and reading in the bath too) and also treating myself to some pampering with my 7th Heaven Face Masks and Treatments*. (They have been great so far on even my sensitive skin and they are cruelty free products, which is kind on the soul.)
I hope that it will help me to reconnect with my body and we can become friends again. Fingers and toes crossed.
Be More Positive
I think this is going to be the most important thing, but also the most challenging for me. I know that I am a pessimist, for me the glass is definitely half empty. I wish that I was able to be more positive in general. I think that it would help me feel better to be able to look back over the day and have the positive at the forefront of my mind, rather than the negative.
I am taking the time at the end of each day to focus on the good things that have happened, no matter how little. I have a little journal which can record a few lines from each day for 5 years. Each of the pages has a space for five days of that specific date. It’s wonderful to read over my little snippets from the same day from previous years. I am currently on year three of the journal and it really helps me to see little patterns but also to smile at the positives which have happened on any given day.
I hope that over the course of the next year I become better at practising self care, being kinder to myself and not feeling guilty about taking time for me.
Do you have any self care tips?
*PR sample, all thoughts and words are my own.