SOCIAL MEDIA

How I Do Self Care With A Chronic Illness *

Thursday, 9 May 2019

-*This post is in collaboration with ThriveTalk, all opinions are my own. It also contains PR/gifted items-
 Some days I hate myself and I hate my body due to my chronic pain and I purposely don't give my body the self-care and rest it needs because I'm so annoyed (silly right?). Other days, I'm kinder to myself and stop kicking myself when I have to take a day off work, cancel plans and say no to a blogging opportunity etc. I'm trying to be kinder to myself as this is just me now and I have to accept that. I think anyone reading this with a chronic illness/chronic pain will understand where I am coming from. 

So how do I do self care when I'm basically crippled up in pain with my back or pelvic pain and can barely move from my bed and/or on days when I'm feeling really down in the dumps?

Catching up on sleep or or even allowing myself to have a cheeky nap in the afternoon if I really feel I need to works wonders most of the time. I've also found that using a self heating Space Masks eye masks* has been a complete game changer on nights when I'm struggling to sleep or even if I have a bad stress or hormonal headache. It is more of a luxury product but it does help.

I'm a big fan of using face masks in general and I prefer to use clay based masks usually just because they suit my oily skin the best. However on days when I'm feeling unwell or when I'm just feeling low but want a pick-me-up I tend to pop on a quick fix face mask like the Sanctuary Spa 1 Minute Daily Glow Face Mask, Pixi Glow-o2 Oxygen Mask or a sheet mask. I highly recommend Yes To and Oh K! for sheet masks btw. 

I've come to the conclusion that Multi Use Balms are such a good invention! My current fave is the Egyptian Magic All Purpose Skin Cream* and I always keep it either on top of my bedside table or somewhere in my bedside table drawers as I use it every single day. I've found it to be great to use as a lip balm, eye cream, hair balm and hair mask and it can also be used in more ways too. It contains Olive Oil, Bees Wax, Honey, Bee Pollen, Royal Jelly and Bee Propolis.

I really enjoy watching something funny and/or cheerful when I'm feeling rubbish. I'm currently rewatching Stella which is brilliant (starring Ruth Jones) and I'm watching the final season Jane the Virgin which always makes me laugh without fail. I also like to listen to happy, sing along kind of songs too just to try and perk me up.

I've found that having a warm bath filled with Epsom salts or Pink Himalayan bath salts has really been helping to calm my pain when it first starts to flare up bad. I obviously like to use some Lush products including their shower gels and bath bombs too. 


-L-R from top to bottom: Strike a Posie, Follow The Petals, I Feel Flower-ful
Gardenia My Heart, Merci Bouquet, Young, Wild and Free-sia-
-Wearing the shade Merci Bouquet*-
 I know it may sound silly but sometimes just painting my nails a pretty colour just makes me feel like I have my life together (when I really don't lol). I've been really enjoying Morgan Taylor's Spring Collection nail polishes* as they are literally my perfect kind of shades as I love a pastel or nude colour on my nails. I'm not too keen on super bold shades as I just don't think they suit me. The Morgan Taylor polishes apply so easily and they stay on well too. I also love the names of the shades - Strike a Posie, Follow The Petals, I Feel Flower-ful, Gardenia My Heart, Merci Bouquet, Young, Wild and Free-sia (see above photos for reference).

I don't want to sound horrible but sometimes talking to my family or friends on either the phone or via text is the last thing I need when I'm in a lot of pain or feeling low. It kind of drains my energy even more. However I know they are always there for me if I do need or want to reach out and have a chat or just to tell them how I'm feeling. I've got a good bunch of people around me who I know I can rely on and the past year has really shown who is really there for me no matter what and who isn't. I've also reconnected with some old friends over the past year too which has been nice.

Getting out of the house in general is quite hard for me. It's not that I don't want to make plans or go out shopping and etc. It's because I don't know how I'm going to be feeling from one minute to the next as my pain can just come on strong and that's it, I'm pretty much on the floor in agony. Thankfully I find CBD oil and balms help to take the edge off the pain most of the time. But I definitely have the fear of flaring up in the middle of a supermarket or shop and having a crowd of people around me wondering what's going on and that really plays on my mind even when I'm having a better day. But if I feel like getting out of the house then I will try to. Sometimes even just having a little walk down my garden and back up again is a good way to clear my mind and to get some fresh air if I've been stuck in the house for a few days.

Haley Neidich, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker and the clinical director of ThriveTalk.com and has some great tips and advice on doing self care when you have a chronic illness.

She says "It's easy for mental health and wellness professionals to preach about self-care, but self-care takes real devotion and the underlying ability to care for, nurture and honour yourself. When you're dealing with a chronic illness, self-care looks much different. Self-care with a chronic illness is honouring where you are and what you're capable of on any given day and being very patient and kind with yourself on the days where you have less to give. In practice, self care can be as simple as closing your eyes for one deep breath, peering out the window to really soak in the view, listening to a great song that takes you away or having a morning journalling practice. One of the greatest gifts that those suffering from chronic illness can give themselves is the space to talk about their feelings. Talking to an online counselor is a great option for those you might be short on energy but nee the support." 


How do you do self-care and what ways work best for you?

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