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Are You Practicing Proper Self Care?

Are You Practicing Proper Self Care?

I read a book last year called “Extreme Self Care” by Cheryl Richardson. I thought I took good care of myself until I read it. The hardest part about self care is it often feels self indulgent. Especially for women. We spend so much time as women taking care of other people. Our children, our parents, everyone, but ourselves. It is ok to take care of yourself.

Taking care is really a reflection of how much you love yourself. If you care about yourself it’s not selfish to put yourself first. It’s the most important thing when you have an illness. You have to be careful how you use your energy. If you use too much energy, you may be in pain, or end up in the hospital. I once went into crisis because I went to lunch and walked around the mall. Seriously. I met a friend when I did not feel well. We ate lunch at the mall and then I walked a short distance and when I got home I was in such pain. The only reason I went to lunch was because I was recuperating and (I had cabin fever) I had been home for weeks. I wanted to see my friend. I felt good, but I wasn’t ready for lunch. I felt good and yet, I ended up at the infusion clinic for two days in a row.

I took care of myself. The problem is not me. I know that sounds delusional, the problem is explaining to healthy people how you feel. They don’t often understand why you can’t go to lunch. Lunch is not taxing. Its not difficult. Yet when you are ill it’s the hardest thing. Driving yourself, not taking a pain pill so you can drive, being achy. We spend our whole lives doing everything when we feel bad, so sometimes it hard to differentiate what’s too much to do. For me that day lunch was too much. I now ask my friends to bring lunch and visit me at home for an hour. I still have people over and I don’t have to go anywhere. I get to visit without being exhausted. This is the key to caring for yourself. Make adjustments to make you happy. If your friends want to see you have them over. I had a friend over recently and served hot tea and cookies, while I wore a warm up suit, I would have felt comfortable in my pajamas. If this person is a true friend they will understand your limitations.

I have since sent at email to several friends explaining how my energy level is. Here is a copy of the best explanation I have

Once I sent this out–everyone understood. I even tell my husband. I don’t have the spoons to cook dinner, bring home take out.

Taking care of yourself means learning to say no to others, eating well, being strong, and staying as healthy as you can, for as long as you can.

Start eating well, exercise to stay strong, drink lots of water to stay hydrated, and do something you enjoy. Find a hobby to occupy your time when you are ill. You need something that is not to taxing to do when you don’t feel well. I read or knit. I like puzzles also. Sometimes like today I write an article. Find a hobby you can do when you don’t have energy. Something you can do at the doctors office or in the hospital. It needs to be portable. I get joy in knitting something when I feel awful. I feel that I am being productive in between bouts of sleep.

Try self care, then try extreme self care. It will change your life, and if anyone tells you it’s selfish, they are trying to push their agenda on you. It’s not selfish to take care of yourself it may save your health. No means no. Take care of yourself.

What are the ways you practice self care?


About Author

April Farrell-Hasty

April Farrell-Hasty

I am first and foremost a patient with sickle cell anemia. I chose to treat my illness more holistically. I have been a vegetarian for more than 25 years. I use homeopathy, accpunture, along with allopathic medicine. I have volunteered with the sickle cell foundation for decades. Working as a mentor and working with parents whose child was just diagnosed with sickle cell. I have also worked with teens who were aging out of peadatric sickle cell and not quite ready for the adult group. Because they were off to college. I've also talked a few over protective parents of sickle cell kids into allowing their child to go away to college. I've organized sickle cell retreats. I train yoga teachers and teach yoga. I specialize in restorative yoga. I chose to work with people who need yoga. People with chronic illnesses, people who have a lot of stress. I feel people who are chronically ill need yoga to help manage the illness. I teach patients with all types of disease, and yoga has helped them maintain or get better, rather than getting worse. Most chronically ill people get worse. Yoga helps ease the stress of illness, and learning to breathe properly helps manage pain. It has proven to be very beneficial for people with fibromyalgia, arthritis, sickle cell anemia, and other illnesses. Restorative yoga helps maintain homeostasis. I also teach more physical types of yoga. I have certifications in personal training, wellness. I am a reiki master.

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  1. Pat
    Pat February 24, 19:49

    Thanks for reiterating this issue. My daughter needs to read and heed this article. It could help her to not overdo it and end up in pain. JUST SAY NO!

  2. may
    may March 02, 01:26

    Thank u for the great piece of advise I am going to change and start taking care of my self

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