Today’s topic is remembering to practice self care in times of stress. Taking care of your body, mind, and spirit is important to do in all phases of life. And I would say it is absolutely crucial to practice self care during times of stress or upheaval.
I am fairly disciplined to take care of myself. And lately I have really needed some TLC because I feel like I’m flying by the seat of my pants!
Today is my wonderful Wednesday- my day off in the middle of the week. It feels so nice to sit in my quiet sunny kitchen and just take in the morning. I just took Buddy for a good long walk around the neighborhood. The past 2 days it was freezing out and I was too exhausted after work to do much. Bob still has a lot of exhaustion from his Crohn’s flare up so it was all he could do to make it to work.
Making the effort to get up and get outside- even though it’s cold and I was tired- was a little gift I gave myself. Once outside I could witness the beauty of this early April morning and enjoy walking and warming up and exercising and being with my Buddy boy…
I have had such a hard time sleeping lately – mostly due to worry. Last night was my “free” night- no pressure to work the next day. Yet I still slept fitfully and woke up before Bob’s alarm clock. And I knew a good walk this morning would help me clear my head and get a good start on my day, and it did.
It’s funny. I had such high expectations for this blogging adventure. I started thinking about doing this blog last summer after I went to the Byron Katie retreat at the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, NY. I started a meditation practice and things just felt so nice. My son was starting his sophomore year at school and Bob was settled into his new job. My job was fine as well. All was good in the world.
But then life just kept throwing us zingers. Bob’s health issues can seriously scare the crap out of me. It’s weird for me being middle aged and seeing my husband, who was always so healthy, be in pain and depressed and feeling badly. Chronic illness sucks man. 🙁
At the start of the new year, we switched health insurance from Bob’s company plan to mine, because it was cheaper. But what a frigging nightmare. Bob has to have these intravenous infusions for his Crohn’s disease called Remicade. (The drug itself is very toxic and can cause cancer but that’s another story…) He gets the infusions every six weeks and it is a big part of what keeps his illness in remission.
Well since we switched health plans, it has been a logistical nightmare getting the new pharmacy and the Crohn’s doctor’s office to get it together and as a result, Bob missed his last infusion. The new insurance company even denied his Remicade! Even though he’s been getting it for over a year. What the hell? Anyhow, I am pretty sure missing his dose of Remicade is what caused his recent flare up where he had a partial bowel obstruction a few weeks ago.
So we continue to wait for these idiots to fulfill the STAT doctor’s order for Remicade. It has not been fun.
So another thing I am doing for my own health and sanity is taking all pressure and expectations off myself for this blog. I am hoping to create some community and connect with others, and it will come in time. I must say I do get quite a boost from posting on Instagram– there are so many nice people there! 🙂
Normally I am very quiet at work about my husband’s health because I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer and I do believe that being positive and upbeat helps. But yesterday at work I felt pretty low, so when a girl I know who has ulcerative colitis and also gets Remicade infusions asked me how Bob was and I just let it all out to her. I couldn’t help it.
I told her it was pretty crappy lately and how sucky our insurance company was, and how rude the doctor’s office has been to us. It felt good to connect with another human being who I know understands. I do appreciate so much that she let me vent to her. I needed to get my negative feelings out, and this felt right.
Lately when I hear people at work talking about their lives sometimes I can feel myself getting envious and maybe bitter. Isn’t that awful? But I see them talking about regular things that people and couples and families do and we are so far away from that right now.
So I need to catch myself. I have to remember not to compare my lot with others. Everyone suffers. It’s all relative. Nothing good can come from comparing my situation with anyone else’s. I am grateful to remember that today!
Our house feels like a nursing home lately. All my husband can do lately is sleep. I’m talking sometimes from the minute he gets home from work, and sometimes all day on weekends. And when he is in pain it is scary and I feel very helpless. And I am not about to be going out with the girls while he’s at home suffering. So I just sit here and witness all this.
And I have to remember that This Too Shall Pass. I need to center myself and be present and practice patience to the best of my ability.
But this is my life right now and I don’t want to wallow in self pity. Which is why I force myself to get up early on Wednesday’s and get outside with the dog, even though I’m not sleeping well. I am also going to the gym soon for a BodyPump class. Getting this post out is also something that is helpful to me. Expressing how I’m doing through the good and the bad…
It’s not that I’m doing a lot for myself these days. It’s that I am doing little things. Sometimes little things are all you can do… but they still count 😉
It feels good to take care of me and take time for my needs and well-being. Self care is not selfish 🙂
And there are moments of happiness even through this rough time. It’s not 100% awful and I need to remember that. And it’s because I am learning to be mindful that I can notice and savor the little moments of happiness and peace when they come. Like last night, for example:
We both got home famished and there was seriously no food except a frozen pizza and egg noodles. The pizza was bland but Bob cooked up the noodles with garlic and olive oil and Parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Damn it was so good! Then when we watched a funny show on TV and held hands and it was just nice. 🙂
So I’ll just keep plugging along here and continue practicing small acts of self care and compassion. Even really little things help – like giving myself a pass on household chores and just doing a little spit shine if I’m tired. Hey, who’s gonna know?
Wishing you well and reminding you to make your health and well being a high priority in your life – especially when the chips are down. Remember, self care is not selfish!
xo, Lisa Arcelia
One of the things I love to do for myself is always have a candle going in the kitchen when I’m working. Having a beautifully scented room is a pleasure, and the flame of the candle is soothing to me. I tend to go for the spa-like fragrances and I just adore Bath and Body works candles. This Eucalyptus Spearmint Stress Relief Candle is just wonderful. (I also have the lotion!)
Thank you for reading!
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