General Question

Aethelwine's avatar

How do you take care of yourself?

Asked by Aethelwine (42961points) March 1st, 2015

People often tell you this during difficult times. What little things can be done when you can’t get a break?

What have you done to care for yourself?

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25 Answers

talljasperman's avatar

I went for ribs in stead of having a panic attack alone

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I tend to work too much and I’m too hard on myself. So I’ve employed a life coach. Someone I talk to about my goals and how to achieve them. Part of the reason for having her in my life is to help me make time for myself. It’s helping. I factor in time to go away or take some photos or whatever. And she is a great sounding board.

Recently I’ve started guitar lessons. I’m pretty shit if the truth be told, but it’s been on my bucket list for a long time and it’s purely for me and it makes me do something totally different and outside my comfort zone.

What have you done to take care of yourself lately @jonsblond? I know you’ve been facing some challenges.

hominid's avatar

When times are difficult, some of us forget self-compassion. Sometimes we lose the ability to be compassionate towards ourselves, while it flows naturally towards others. Slowing down, listening to what we need as though we were listening to a loved one in need is a small thing that can be helpful. Also, sometimes life is difficult. Allow yourself the luxury of experiencing the full range of emotions, including anger, resentment, frustration, and deep sadness. If we don’t, we’ll often feel these emotions anyway, but then add more pain on top of them by kicking ourselves for feeling them. They are ok, and they will pass.

livelaughlove21's avatar

After reading the details, I’m not really sure what you’re looking for. But I take care of myself by…

- working out
– eating well, but having things I love in moderation
– seeking medical care when necessary
– keeping myself distant from crazy family drama
– being in a healthy relationship with a good man that treats me right and puts up with my shit (no easy feat)
– going to bed early every night…getting up at 4:30 to lift requires sufficient rest
– cuddling with my dog
– talking out my ridiculous anxiety issues with my husband
– small spurts of me time, spent doing yoga or listening to music
– being highly prepared, organized, and forward-thinking (read: anal and obsessive compulsive), which helps with the aforementioned anxiety

Aethelwine's avatar

@Earthbound_Misfit Since we have to be quiet and have the blinds closed on most days I opened the sunroof on our vehicle during my drive to the store and turned the music up really loud. I also slept for 10 hours last night.

Aethelwine's avatar

@livelaughlove21 I was thinking about those who are dealing with illness or hardships and what little steps they can take to care for themselves during their struggles, but your answer is good. I’m not feeling picky. :)

janbb's avatar

Hot bubble baths
DVD watching in bed
Cups of tea
Talking on the phone with friends
Cooking or baking something
Reading a good escape novel
Thinking about all my good friends

kimchi's avatar

-exercise (#1 distractor, reward)
-go shopping
-hang out with your friends
-go to a fun place
-play a sport
-dance to a favorite song

gondwanalon's avatar

I never touch recreational drugs including alcohol and tobacco. Eat a healthy diet. Get enough sleep. Exercise regularly, often (every day at least one hour) and vigorously.

I also engage in competitive sports mostly for fun and friendships.

Unbroken's avatar

Talking to someone who cares about me. Getting outside myself. Challenging myself. I just started volunteering doing things i havent done before. Not only am i helping others but myself.

I do energy healing three times a week with a person who os more advanced then i. I do it on my own too.

I like exerting myself creatively. Lately that has involved knitting cooking and just a bit of fledgling writing. I read frivilous or uplifting things also helpful educational things.

But i have tons of time given o dont currently work i probably would not be able to balance it all if i was working.

funkdaddy's avatar

I try to find something that I can do without thinking, that I can lose myself in a little bit. For me it’s usually things I’ve been doing since I was young that are physical but not really exerting.

So, shooting free throws is mindless and lets me get away from everything else for a while. The same with hitting baseballs at a batting cage if I can get to one. Walks might be a more universal example, if I’m going to the top of something tall, all the better.

I also take a little time every night after everyone goes to bed, close the door, and just refill a little bit in private. 15 minutes is huge sometimes.

Aethelwine's avatar

Here’s another question. What do you do when you feel like you are going to break from too much stress?

funkdaddy's avatar

I’m sorry, hugs.

I think it has to match your personality some, but…

I remember previous bad times, and notice how distant they feel to “now”. The current hard times will feel that distant someday.

I try to remember people who have gone through hard times so that I can get to this point and feel that I’m paying my dues in the same way. Whether it’s someone directly (partners, parents, friends, etc.) or someone I admire who went through more.

I remember that everyone has their moments, and sometimes just getting past it is all you need to do. Sometimes numb is ok for a little while.

is there anything we can do?

kevbo's avatar

My answer could take a number of forms, and it’s not much different from what I’ve been contributing lately.

Today, though, I’ll say something like “let go and let God.” Hand all those worries over and ask from your heart for healing. Do it earnestly, even if you aren’t religious—ask whom- or whatever entity suits you. Ask as often as you can.

If you want to add a second step, say “thank you” for everything. Say thank you for hardships as well as respite. Again, do it earnestly.

I guarantee it’ll create movement for you.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

When I feel like I’m going to break from too much stress, sometimes I give myself permission to have a big cry, and sometimes I cry really loudly. Life is crap sometimes and it hurts. I think crying can be a very good way of releasing the pressure valve.

I know you have a good man. I hope he’s doing better healthwise. If he is, and you feel the need to cry, hopefully he’ll be there to hold you while you let it out. It’s amazing how much better you can feel once you’ve let it go. Or… if that doesn’t work, you live in the country, go outside and scream at the top of your lungs and let it out that way. I’ve done that before now too.

Blackberry's avatar

Cook for myself then sleep. Always feel better when I wake up.

jca's avatar

Sometimes solitude is the best company.

I was chatting with a good friend last night about parenting and she said when she was little, on her mother’s birthday, the mother said she just wanted to be left alone and not hear her name called all day.

gailcalled's avatar

I have recently returned to a daily 20 minute meditation period. I lie on a padded exercise table with a pillow under my knees, and a heating pad under my lower back, which is pretty relaxing in itself. I then play a guided meditation tape. Then I do some yoga stretches. Then most days I get on the treadmill for whatever time the body can do.

I also am using the diaphragmatic breathing often through-out the day.

Use the breath to remind yourself that you are living moment to moment. Observe rather than judge. When you feel powerful emotions, examine them from a distance if possible. The repetitive practice helps.

I took an 8-week mind-body stress reduction course over 20 years ago and still refer to the book.

Full Catastrophe Living : Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness Paperback –
by Jon Kabat-Zinn

“The stress reduction program created by Kabat-Zinn, called Mindfulness-based stress reduction, is offered by medical centers, hospitals, and health maintenance organizations.” Source

canidmajor's avatar

If I can’t get outside to do something (our cold cold snowy winter has somewhat precluded that) I get out of myself sometimes by planning and designing elaborate gardening things, from building potato towers to strawberry steps, to small greenhouse units. Total mental immersion in those projects helps to ease my stress.

I wish for you and end to this stress and for your husband to be better soonest.

Strauss's avatar

Plenty of good suggestions.

Schedule (and honor the schedule) some “me” time, even if it’s only 10 minutes at at time.

longgone's avatar

To answer your first question: I accept my feelings, and I try to understand they will not last forever. Here are some of the things I do to stay sane:

1. Go for a high-speed bike ride, preferably while listening to music
2. Do something with my hands. Baking works especially well.
3. Take a nap just long enough to barely fall asleep.
4. Take a hot bath
5. Do something to make someone smile.
6. Create a playlist of songs which make me feel like I can take on the whole world. Movie soundtracks work well. I then put on headphones and play that list while writing down whatever I feel like pouring out. Here you go, some of my favorites.

As to your second question: Prioritize. Try to see what is really important, and forget about everything else for now. If that means you’re eating frozen pizza for dinner, and the house doesn’t get vacuumed – so be it. Shrug it off and repeat your mantra. “Not my circus, not my monkeys.”

janbb's avatar

By not getting over-involved with arguments on Fluther.

Aethelwine's avatar

@funkdaddy Thank you. Talking with all of you and reading your responses helps. We’ve been dealing with terrifying health scares in our family since 2012, one after another, without a break. I don’t know what anyone could do to help with that, except hugs. Hugs are good.

@janbb Excellent advice. I’ve been avoiding those as well.

Aethelwine's avatar

Thanks everyone!

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