June has been a tough month for me. I got off my fibromyalgia medical treatment and it’s been much harder than I expected it to be. Pain soared, as have my emotions and sleep has not been easy to drift into. So, June has really challenged me to take care of myself. Whether I want to or not, my body has made sure that I slow down and support myself through this transition. For this reason, self-care has been of utmost importance to me this month and I’m going to share with you, what’s helped.
Have you watched “Why him?” It’s a story about a father meeting his daughter’s boyfriend and he is in for a big surprise. It is absolutely hilarious and relatable. I watched this with my mum and dad, and we were in fits of laughter; a really good way to de-stress! Watching the boyfriend character, played by James Franco, is actually really cathartic. He is so uninhibited and raw – very childlike – he says things that I only day-dream about saying 🙂
Easy Bed-Time Reading
At night is when my discomfort tends to soar (hence, the lack of sleep), so I make sure to support myself with light-hearted reading. What’s better for this than children’s books? I started reading “The Little Prince”. What a sweet, sweet book. The two characters, the airman and the child, discuss issues related to the human condition, but they do this in a childlike manner. The story allows the reader to look at the world from a fresh perspective.
Going for gentle walks when the sun isn’t blazing, has been a great way for me to unwind at the end of the day. I am walking with the intention of just being: feeling myself move, feeling the air on my skin, breathing, and looking at the people, the sea, the moon.
Yoga helps me to release tension in my body and to focus my mind. Although I go to hour-long classes sometimes, most of my yoga practice involves me at home, listening and responding to my body’s needs for a few minutes. Sometimes, it’s as little as 2 minutes, sometimes I go for 20. If you are new to yoga, it’s great to be guided by someone who knows yoga well. If you want to practice at home, check out Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. She has some great videos that aren’t too time-consuming, and most of her videos are targeted to meet a specific need – such as anxiety or shoulder pain – so you are sure to find something that is relevant to you.
Going to therapy helps me to work through the really difficult parts of my experience. Instead of pushing the unpleasant thoughts and emotions out of my awareness, therapy gives me a safe space to look at them, with the support of my therapist. Not acknowledging the troubling parts of our existence may seem functional for some, but most of the time, these unexamined troubles keep resurfacing in ways that can really disrupt our lives. Therapy allows me to see these issues, to challenge myself to learn from them and to make something good out of them.
Time with Family and Friends
One of the most nurturing and relieving of activities has been spending time with family and friends. The most healing aspect of being with loved ones is that I feel free to be as I am – pain or no pain, my experience is acknowledged. Being around others, whose presence I enjoy, has allowed me to feel connected. Being with people I love reminds me that I belong. Belonging brings safety and peace of mind. When we feel at peace, we can cope.
I hope that these activities will offer you support when you are going through difficult times too.
Sending you love,