This is another post for the ‘National Health Blog Post Month’! Today’s prompt, well, one of the bonus prompts asks us to write about how we take time for ourselves. Well, since starting trips out with the P.A, I am finding that now I am having less time to really take time for myself to rest and recuperate!
I am a daughter. I am a volunteer. I am a friend. I am a writer and social networker. All these identities which are a part of me, takes time away from taking care solely for me. I have obligatory chores to carry out around the house, to take some pressure off my parents. Once a week, I volunteer for a few hours at a local Mental Health Resource Centre; plus all of my responsibilities as secretary of ‘Life 4 Living’. And there’s my regular writing for the blog, and keeping my social networks up to date also. And of course, my now weekly outings with the P.A too!
All these take time away from looking after me sometimes, and often after a busy week, I am burnt out – fatigue setting in, and with all the symptoms becoming flared, it means that I may have to spend much of it in bed as it leaves me unable to function. Well, clearly this is body’s way of telling me to SLOW DOWN. This is because, no matter the chronic condition that an individual may be facing there are two factors that are often responsible for those dreaded flare-ups: stress and overexertion. So we need to listen to our bodies when it is telling us that enough is enough; STOP AND REST!
So, from now on I am going to spend some time possibly everyday to spend relaxing and taking some time for me to recuperate; to take some time out from the rat’s race, which is life. So, how will I do this? What are my favourite ways to unwind now?
Well, at the moment, when my days are often filled with activities and chores, at night however, I am often extremely tired, and consequently I am left unable to do much anyway. As a result my nights are often spent vegging out on the sofa watching television. Something light and does not require a lot of thought to help me relax and unwind from the day’s events. A lot of the time, this is spent with my parents, or when it’s time for the soaps just Mum! However, sometimes to take time for just myself, I may prefer to spend the time alone, so I will spend some time by myself in my bedroom, and watch a favourite film of mine (if it’s a bad day and need cheering up then it’s definitely time for ‘The Proposal – one of my favourite films!), or even one of my television boxsets (anyone for some Grey’s Anatomy?).
Another favourite pastime of mine, is reading. A love more than opening a book, and delving into the story; loosing myself along the way. Often, to relax and unwind before turning in for the night, I will spend some time reading a book. Now I have a personal assistant, I have been able to spend some time at the local library; and have enjoyed myself taking time to look at the books on offer, and have just found a love for the writer Tess Gerritsen – even reading two of her books in under a week! Although, of late, double and blurred vision have plagued me, even lasting for a few days. My personal assistant has suggested trying some audio books instead, so next time I may do just that instead so at least I do not have to give up my love of books entirely, when my vision is becoming an obstacle for unwinding.
Another activity that I sometimes partake in to unwind and take time for myself is inevitably time spent on the computer – this could be anything from a bit of online shopping (just browsing usually though!), to playing games or spending time on social networks, chatting to friends.
I know a lot of people take a lovely, luxurious long bath to relax and unwind after a long day – unfortunately we no longer have a bath, but instead have a walk-in shower. I love to spend some time in the morning; setting myself for the day ahead with a relaxing warm shower, with some glorious shower products to take time for myself.
There are always classes that you could take part in. A class in something which you have an interest in, say astronomy or flower-arranging. For me, I would love to take a course in web design but the inevitable lack of transport would be a barrier for me. But for some of you, this could well be an option – and by signing up for a class, you are making a commitment and as they are scheduled, it forces you to take time out for yourself every week.
This weekend actually, I am planning some time for me by going out with a dear friend for a meal out somewhere. So there’s another option for taking tine for oneself – by going out with a friend, or loved one and doing something which you both enjoy, and something which will take you from being stuck in the house, as well as taking you from your illness for a couple of hours. This could be anything you want – bowling, watching a film at the cinema, a trip to a museum or art gallery, a trip to the theatre or just a meal out somewhere – as long as it takes you away from the journey of despair that is your chronic illness. Go and have some fun!
What are your favourite ways of taking time for yourself? Any other ways someone could spend time relaxing and unwinding from the stresses of life?