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Feel like overwhelm has become your baseline? That used to be me, too. But I now have tools that help support me back to a state of calm. And I'm sharing them on the podcast today! Click to listen in :)

Reducing Overwhelm and Creating Calm: A Podcast Episode

I have a long history with overwhelm. Starting as a young child I remember my thoughts running wild with worry. As I grew, I went through life carrying a high level of responsibility and near-constant knots in my stomach.

And as often as those outside of me would recognize that I was “stressed” or “overwhelmed”, the most commonly-passed-on advice was the following:

“Don’t be stressed.”

Yeah…thanks. (But not really).

It really wasn’t until the last few years that I started pursuing what change could look like. I wondered what it could feel like to have tools that I reached for, and that actually…you know…worked?!

Flash forward to this year and I finally feel empowered with tools that have helped me engage with calm in moments where overwhelm used to be inevitable. And there’s something so wonderful about not feeling like I’m spiraling downward without a life raft!

It’s been through my recent exploration of neuroplasticity and the brain’s natural role in healing that I’ve recognized that calm doesn’t just happen. It’s created. And WE can create it.

Tune in to today’s episode of The Wellness Crossing, where I’m diving into the tools I use to support calm. These are the tools that help me bring my mind (and body) into a state I can feel both comfortable in and empowered by. And you can, too!

Related books I’ve read:

(Affiliate links below)

The Honeymoon Effect by Bruce Lipton

Have you tried any of the tools mentioned on the podcast today? If you’re looking for a resource to help you incorporate some calm-supporting practices into your daily routine, you can download my free resource: Brain Vibes!

Tune in to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, & Google Play!

 

Learn 6 tools I use to reduce feelings of overwhelm and bring my mind (and body) back to a state of calm in this episode of The Wellness Crossing Podcast. Click to listen in!In this episode, we're talking all about overwhelm and how we can bring our minds back to a state of calm. Tune in to hear about my journey through overwhelm and the tools I've learned that help me create more calm when I'm feeling stressed. Click to listen in!

For far too long I lived without tools to bring calm in moments of overwhelm. Be it symptoms, too much on my plate, or challenging relationships, I felt helpless when stress settled in. But this year I've been learning to embrace tools that actually help me create calm! And I believe you can, too. Click here to listen!

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Student in Self Care: How My Perspective is Changing | It's easy to lump self care off into the corner of pampering ourselves. But it's SO much more than that. But how to you prioritize self care in sickness? Here's a look at how I'm learning to find balance in Lyme disease.

Student in Self Care: How My Perspective is Changing

As my eyes opened I remembered what day it was. Today a friend was visiting. And so the pep talk began…

“Conserve your energy, Kami. We don’t need to crash before she gets here.”

This particular day it was one of the hard mornings. Each day when I wake up there’s a level of this hit-by-a-truck feeling, but today the dial was turned up.

Some days I listen to my body well. Others I push it far beyond what I should. And this body? It gets cranky. In a big way. I’m then glued to the couch for hours or days, pain levels through the roof, and what little energy I had is gone. On those days, simply standing up from the couch can put me into tears.

Self care was hard for me long before I got sick. I was a busybody with a near-constant full plate. Sickness has merely highlighted the fact that I deeply struggle with resting, refilling, and fighting off the pressure to be constantly doing something. It’s challenged me to prioritize and appreciate the value of taking care of myself.

Emotionally. Spiritually. Physically.

And I’m still very much a student in this area.

This is a sponsored post for Self Care Catalysts. I have been compensated through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. All opinions remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.

Self Care encompasses a variety of tasks and routine that help support whole body health. It takes time to find a balance, and when you're sick there are very clear struggles that present themselves. Here's how I'm learning to find balance!

Fighting chronic Lyme disease has pushed me to find tools for supporting myself that I can use even on my hardest days. But sometimes? I ignore even the most effective tools. Because self care doesn’t come easy for me. And I’m guessing it might not come easy for you either.

I’ve seen people translate or focus on self care as “pampering”, but it’s become so much more to me. Don’t get me wrong – there is a lot to be said for all the feel-goods that come with a fresh new do. To me, that can feel like a mini vacation and is definitely an aspect of self care!

But what I’ve been learning is that my self care has to involve a wide variety of tasks and outlets. To refill ALL of me. Giving my body, mind and soul the healing, support and rejuvenation they need.

I have to make a conscious effort to pay attention to the messages they send me, know my limits, and do my best to listen. But when you’re sick? You better believe this has an extra layer of hard to it.

Physical Self Care

If I have a day where I am feeling even the tiniest amount of relief from pain and symptoms, I can read that message and respond with a loud “LET’S CONQUER THE WORLD.” So instead of always seeing it as a sign that I may have listened well the day before, I take it as an opportunity to get stuff done. And not always in proportion to my energy…

Good self care takes care of the WHOLE you. Body, mind, and soul. In chronic illness our bodies need it more than ever. Here are some of the ways I'm learning to care for myself as I fight disease.

Needless to say, this is one area that has been complicated to learn. Yet, I’ve accepted this truth: that my physical self care is multi-layered. And each layer is equally important.

There is my supplement and treatment schedule that I need to follow. Diet I need to stick to. A list of detox supplements and therapy to fit into my day. I need lots of rest. Even on the days I am feeling a little better.

My body is weak and working hard to fight off a constant attack. I have to remind myself of this even when I’m feeling “okay” (translation: “not as awful as usual, but still really sick”). I’m aiming to find a balance in this. Knowing when I can handle an extra push to enjoy something AND the aftermath, and when enough is enough.

Part of that looks like planning ahead. Such as having paleo-approved breakfasts ready in advance since my mornings are typically the hardest part of my day. Or setting alarms so I don’t miss a detox therapy or supplement dose. Anything that will help set me up for success and take stress off of my day.

Emotional Support

Beyond the physical effects illness brings, our emotions also take a pretty big toll. There is loss and grief to wade through. We might become frustrated with how often we disappoint others. Facing disbelief from doctors and others also weighs heavily on us.

One of the most healing things for me in this area has been connecting with others who understand this life. There is always something soothing about talking to someone about what you’re experiencing and them “getting it” on a whole different level.

What I'm learning about balancing self care in chronic illness. The good, the hard, the journey.

It’s also been a huge comfort to have found family and friends who support me and respect my limitations. That alone helps keep my stress down, not having to fear saying no to those who won’t make me feel guilty.

Spiritual Support

I feel that my outlets for spiritual self care have the ability of spilling their benefits into the physical and emotional realms quite easily. Sitting on a bench near a local lake, feeling a gentle breeze and taking in the view and sounds of nature can be soothing to the whole of me.

There’s physical comfort in a cool breeze, emotional comfort in the beauty, and spiritual comfort found in soaking it all in. This is now one of the primary ways I’ve felt connected to God.

The times my husband takes me for a drive through the southern Oregon hills or I sit out on my front lawn surrounded by the beautiful scenery is healing, even if for a moment. Because it’s free of energy-zapping distractions and full of life and beauty. The creativity and colors that surround those moments is like balm for the soul.

Self Care in Chronic Illness: How to find a balance when you're sick.

Finding a Balance

As I’ve struggled my way through these last few years of my illness taking a turn for the worst, I’ve been slowly working to find balance. And every time I make a step closer to that, each moment of relief or emotional healing I experience, I embrace it. It take work to unlearn something that has become deeply ingrained in us. It doesn’t happen overnight.

So that morning my friend was coming I made a choice. I gave myself only what I knew I could handle before she came. I bypassed picking up before she came, and focused on tasks I could do at the couch. Made sure to take a break or two to lie down.

I don’t have it all together in this department. But can I share something? Those times when you really do give yourself what your body, mind or spirit is telling you it needs: it’s healing. Maybe not in the “I’m cured” variety, but in a way of sustaining.

That’s what draws me back into the mindset of taking care of myself. Knowing that I’m giving myself just what it needs to survive.

And even, maybe, someday…to thrive.

 

What does your self care look like?

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Resting takes intention. Beyond the hours, days, weeks on the couch often required by chronic illness, we must intentionally carve out space and time for healing rest. For our body, soul, and mind.

The Importance of Pausing for Rest

I originally wrote this piece two years ago and stumbled upon it recently. It was a message I needed to hear again. Though my struggle with connecting with God lately is real and raw – the reminder to find a deeper state of resting is ringing true in my heart. So today I share again for us all.

What do you find yourself doing in the pauses of life?

The moments where there’s nothing on the calendar, a cancelled meeting, or perhaps a quiet hour alone…do you rest? Read? Cross off a few things on your to-do list? Turn on the tv?

Not long ago, I had a couple days that were more full than usual with conversations and time with friends. My spirit was feeling lifted and thankful for those sweet moments. It was a cherished respite from the alone time that normally fills my days – something that often is a necessity due to how miserable this disease can make me feel.

I purposefully left the rest of the week open, knowing my body would need the rest and recovery time.  Back when I was working, on-the-go and we were having company most weeks, I think I would have embraced the moments as time slots. Space to fill with a few things I just “had to get done.”

I carried so much stress then and it was a struggle listening to my body (and my husband) telling me I needed to rest. It was easy to feel like my tendency to stay busy was justified. But I remember the consequences well.

Instead of filling that extra slot of time in your calendar with yet another errand or meeting, maybe it's time to carve in a time for rest. For Reflection. For calm.

In the many moments of resting and alone time I have, there are many areas of my life and character that feel strained by my physical limitations.

And this whole idea of “resting well” has been heavily on my mind and heart.

I can be forced to rest on the couch due to my health most days, but there’s an even deeper state of resting I think God may want to cultivate in my soul.

Our hearts and minds can be just as on-the-go as our bodies, if not more so. I can find my heart dwelling for too long on the things I can’t change and want to. The people I care for, and all of the things I think I need to do, but physically can’t.

I can busily occupy my thought space with worry, frustration and what ifs. But I know there is freedom when I can find rest and let go of the things I struggle so hard to hold on to.

While I do believe there is good found in being productive and having a schedule (major planner here), there is also so much good in unplugging and carving out quiet time for our soul, mind and bodies to rest.

To refocus on those things we value most. Those that truly are the most important. Quality time with loved ones, quiet time connecting with God, loving others well, rest for the soul, and taking care of my health need to be at the top of my list.

Above the rest of the noise that can constantly invade my thoughts, my dreams, my state of being.

Embracing rest in the midst of chronic illness | Living Grace

So today, in the busy hum of whatever our day holds, I pray we can carve out even a moment’s pause of rest. An opportunity to recognize a piece of beauty in the day and breathe a sigh of relief as we let go of whatever it is we’re holding onto so tightly.

This day is precious. We are here for a purpose. We’re loved.

May we consciously choose to live in the comforting, peace-giving shadow of our Father, for however long we can muscle our restless hearts into sitting still in that place.

Psalm 91:1 – those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

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