You have probably heard the phrase ‘self-care‘ a lot over the past few years. It is a buzzword that seems to be sticking, and many are advocating for the practice of self-care to be something everyone regularly does. This is especially important for those living with chronic conditions. Being in the pain all or most of the time, along with physical limitations and fatigue, can be exhausting itself. Taking the time for yourself to do something that makes you feel better is more important for those who don’t have the luxury of living life in the way those without chronic illnesses can.
How do you practice self-care, even when you can’t get out of bed? It can be tricky but not impossible. Making sure you meet your basic needs of eating, drinking, washing, and maintaining your hygiene is as self-care, and for some, this is more than enough and all they can do.
Ask for Help
If you know you are struggling with your health condition, ask others for help. Be it your healthcare provider, family, or friends, or even your workplace if you go to a place of work. Knowing when you need to relax and take it easy is something most but not all people living with a chronic illness will recognize. Plan ahead for when you feel your symptoms may get worse and lean on those around you for help to take some of the pressure off you and allow yourself time to heal as you work through this period.
In some cases, you may need the help of a personal injury lawyer if a third party is responsible for the cause of your pain or chronic illness. Doing everything you can – seeing qualified professionals, keeping regular check-ups, speaking to a therapist, and finding treatments that work for you will help you build a support system for when you feel like you need the extra support.
It can be tempting to skip meals or reach for junk food when you feel bad. Comfort food feels well, comforting. But doing this regularly won’t serve you well when it comes to your long term health. Even though your body isn’t 100% physically, you can make sure you are eating a well balanced and varied diet. This will help to boost your immune system and reduce those sluggish feelings associated with a diet lacking in a variety of fruits, vegetables, and healthy foods such as seeds, nuts, fatty acids, and all the minerals your body needs to function correctly.
Once you know what you need as a bare minimum to help you manage your symptoms, develop a routine and ways of managing your day to day activities. Look for tools, hacks, and tricks to make things easier for yourself and allow yourself breathing space so as not to overdo it. Know your limits and make a list of what makes your symptoms worse and what you can do to alleviate them when they flare-up.