This month, I am joining in with the monthly writing prompts from A Chronic Voice for the first time as I only recently discovered this lovely online community :-). As well as the monthly prompts being a great read to discover how others interpret the words each month, it’s also especially helpful for new bloggers, like me, to be able to join in with an initiative like this.
Recently, I’ve been struggling with my self esteem (which is a recurring theme for me) and whenever this happens, I’m less inclined to take time for self care. It was a chance conversation with the lovely owner of a gift shop recently opened in my neighbourhood which made me realise that my own self care has taken a back seat lately and that this was something I needed to change. Self care is essential to everyone but particularly for those of us living with chronic illness, when it needs to be a perpetual motion in order for us to best help ourselves. As I considered the June prompts, they seemed to lend themselves well to my new regime of putting self care much higher up my own agenda.
Accumulating – I’m a real bookworm and my first port of call whenever I am trying to make changes in my life are always books. So, given the current dip in my self esteem and self care, I have been purchasing books to help me (well, hopefully, anyway).
Despite the fact that my bookshelves are already creaking under the weight of books, there’s always room for a few more…I’m especially looking forward to reading ‘Kind Words for Unkind Days’ by Jayne Hardy, which was recommended to me.
From the books I read, I usually make handwritten notes in a series of small notebooks that I carry around with me for whenever I need a boost.
Harmonising – This month, I’m trying to create a more harmonious relationship between my body and mind. Often when self esteem is low, self care doesn’t happen as I feel that I’m not worth caring for. Added to that, the frustration of inhabiting a fibromyalgia ridden body means that I often cannot do what I want to do or for as long as I want to, which, in turn, makes me feel even worse about myself. So I’m trying to be more accepting of and kind towards my body by focusing on the good things and the things that I can do.
Prioritising – I’ve stuck a beautifully illustrated postcard onto the back on my journal which reads “self care is not selfish” as a reminder that I will prioritise self care. I’m making sure that I do at least one thing just to for the pleasure of doing it every single day. It might only be something small like taking an afternoon nap, having a freshly brewed coffee whilst sat in the garden, or lighting a favourite candle but in doing these little things just for myself, I’m reinforcing a message that I am worth making the effort for and as a result, I’m already feeling a little bit better about things 🙂
Carving – In order to make sure that I can focus on self care, I’ve had to ask for help with things to carve out the time I need (especially on days when I have wanted to take a nap). Instead of me having to think of what our evening meal will be, we’ve ordered s few make-at-home meal kits which at least takes the thinking out of the process and my husband has taken on more of the cooking, so that’s been great. I’m trying my best to ensure that the time freed up is used for self care.
Training – Like a lot of people, I’ve put on weight during the past year as I haven’t been doing as much exercise as I would normally due to the lockdowns, but also because I have been eating too many cakes!! The weight gain and decrease in fitness have played more than a small part in my self esteem issues and so I’ve started following a running training programme with the end goal being to run a 5km. Whether I will get that far, who knows, but I’m actually enjoying my early morning (very slow) jogs in the park and seeing all the wildlife there.