I have always found Winter a difficult time of year. During the cold dark slog of January/February I find myself lacking motivation and in recent years, I have struggled with what I now know where Fibro flare ups. I am not sure if it’s the cold, the dark, the low mood or a mix of all three. But I have noticed, especially last year that the winter felt like one flare up after another.
Living with constant, chronic pain is hard to deal with, even when the sun is shining and the warm helps ease it a little. The sunshine seems to help a little with the exhaustion from yet another awful nights sleep. But in the winter the sun never feels strong and warm enough and certainly doesn’t last long enough.
Last year I found Claire’s Comfy Corner which is a wonderful blog and it’s fantastic for sufferers of chronic pain/illness. Reading Claire’s blog helped me when I was diagnosed. One of the posts that I love is ‘What Would You Put in Your Fibromyalgia Cuddle Basket?’. Not only is this is a great idea (even on my pain management course we were advised to have a flare up ‘in case of emergency box’) but I love Claire’s suggestions of what she puts in her box too.
Now that the winter has hit, and already I feel like it’s going to be a long winter (and I just want to hibernate) I have created my very own ‘cuddle basket’ or Self Care Box and I thought I would share what I put in mine. Here’s my list;
Hot Water Bottle (I get really cold even with millions of layers and the heating on high so this is essential)
Fluffy Slippers/Warm Socks
A fluffy blanket
Fingerless Gloves (even for in the house)
Chocolate (kind of an essential at all times for me!)
My Kindle (it’s lightweight as during bad flare ups I lose the strength in my hands/arms. And the light can be dimmed right down to help with my light sensitivity)
Notepad and Pens (writing things down really does help)
Movies & Boxsets (in the evenings I am currently watching CSI as I have not seen many episodes before – I am on season 5 and I love it!)
Lots of Cups of Tea (probably best not to put these in the actual box!)
Comics for Boo – (she loves doing these and they are great so we can sit and do something together when my pain is really bad)
Colouring Book – (currently working my way though a Harry Potter Colouring Book)
Happy Photos (usually look at these on my phone)
Fresh Flowers (because they always cheer me up!)
It’s been so helpful to me to plan for this and then have everything ready even if it’s not physically in a box together. But the biggest thing for me is the fact that I am starting to accept that I need these times to look after myself. And that I can give myself permission to relax and focus on getting over the latest flare up. That’s the most important thing. I want to say a big Thank You to Claire for her Cuddle Box post and for her blog in general!
Do you find it easy to set aside ‘me time’ or ‘self care time’? What would you put in your ‘cuddle basket’ / self care box?