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Self Care

 I do not handle stress well, I will eat chocolate any chance I can get. I have hobbies, just not a lot of time or money to do them. But what do you do to take care of yourself so you can take care of others?

I am extremely bad  about this. I will take care of every one else until I am utterly exhausted, then I am stressed and start snapping. I have to get better about self care. I need to do something that gets me out of the house, my kids will find me where ever I go in the house I think I might have a gps locator some where on my body… and whatever I decide to do needs to be inexpensive. 

I think initially I am just going to start going out by myself to run errands. It is nice to have a quiet car ride.

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Comments 253

  • Shea

    I totally feel you Melissa (and I only have 1 child– but im a single parent too and I homeschool so it can be very demanding). I dont have a lot of money and … I get hounded sometimes by my son, and then my own self to get the housework done. I haaave to set boundaries, and take out time for self-care, and I want to model that for him too. So I have learned to put my foot down and I am like "hey, I need a break, Im tired, my head hurts. You're going to have to play by yourself for a while. I'll get you setup (with the nintendo or tv or a movie) and then you let me rest in my room for a while and only come in if you really need me". It has helped him get a little more independent (and figure out how to open his own snacks and start to figure out the TV.) Usually I will take small 15 minute breaks throughout the day rather than long breaks. That is enough for me to rest and recharge and then I do the next task. I eill take them once I become consciously aware I am stressed, and I take them in my room. 

  • Melissa G

    The sun is shining brightly today and I am going to try to do something for myself this afternoon….

  • Pljohns

    Oh Melissa-if you figure out how to do this, please share with us!  I am AWFUL about taking care of myself!  I will freely tell anyone that Lynn comes last-my family, extended family, job, house/bills etc and THEN me.  I end up exhausted to the point I can't go on and that's no good for anyone.  I have yet to find a way for others to stop being demanding on my time-I've tried-but I get them "this will only take a minute" but what they don't realize is how many other minutes everything takes for everyone else and end the end, there isn't even a minute for ME.  Sometimes I think that sounds really selfish of me and that's what keeps me from putting my foot down.  

    I am the sole person for my parents AND my MIL (don't get me started on her) as well as DH and both DS.  Both extended families live out of town (like 6 and 10 hrs out) so you would think they couldn't demand much-WRONG. There isn't a week that goes by that I don't hear from my MIL needing help with her amazon account or some computer issue or can't find new pants-crud, I had to even be on the phone with her when she picked out a new electric blanket!

    My Mom called last night while I was on the phone with Amazon-DH told her I would call her back-by the time i got off the phone with Amazon, she had called 4 times (in less than 45 min) and all she needed was to see how we are and did we have a good weekend.  She use to call the house phone and if I didn't answer, would immediately call my cell, and if I didn't answer, immediately the house phone again and it went back and forth until I did answer one of them.  I finally put a stop to that.

    Now that the boys are older, DH gets his feelings hurt if I run errands and he doesn't come with me.  Sometimes I just want to scream that I want a few minutes JUST FOR ME.  So, please share if you figure out how to take care of yourself-I can use all the help I can get!

  • Shea

    Yay Melissa, I hope you did something for yourself today! 

    PLJohns, I too am a work in progress, but I think we bothe ARE making progress on speaking up for self-care, and others are starting to step in occasionally to help out. Part of it is us ourselves finding our boundaries and needs with our health and adjusting ourselves to the change and part of it is others adjusting. It'd be nice if we could just do it all, all the time. But for me, there can be rougher days and easier days– rougher times of year and easier ones. So it isn't a constant formula for me.

    Today, I did virtual school, (15 min break) made all 3 meals at home and clean-ups (breaks after each one), played with Tommy after virtual school (video games and imagination games– he helped me maje lunch), AND did 2 loads of laundry. Had to stop there.. Im nebbing now. Ive had a pretty good headache and tiredness today so there's been a fog over it all, but I still got stuff done. I think I might try to take a linger break now and watch a show or nap. Then Ive gotta get Tommy in the bath. I am tired. 

  • Pljohns

    Shea-in case I haven't told you lately-you are such an inspiration with everything you do, how much care you give Tommy AND you do it by yourself.  I couldn't do half what you do if I had to.  You got a lot done yesterday.  I hope you're feeling better today.

    You are right-we're all a work in progress but we are making progress.  Last week was one of those weeks where EVERYTHING was bad because of my asthma-life insurance junk, work junk, family junk., couldn't even enjoy my new car because of the new car smell (I got some of the bags you recommended and they helped A LOT).  I just really felt like a worthless piece of humanity  BUT it will get better.  Work is better, my car is better, I have options with life insurance and extended family is just, well, it's there.  

  • LK

    I applaud all of you who are raising your children and dealing with your asthma and sometimes other members of your family who have health issues.      I don't know how you do it all.  

    When our kids were still young and living at home I did not know I had asthma.  I had a chronic cough and very slight shortness of breath but nothing that really affected what I could do ( at least that's what I keep telling myself now ) .  

    Self Care is one area where I am in the same boat as most of you.  I always put everyone else and their needs before me and mine.  For one thing it feels good to help someone else out.  For another, isn't "Mom" the one EVERYONE depends on??  And once you have shown that YOU are the person who will get things accomplished then others automatically turn to you for help.  

    Like you, Lynn, when my asthma is not behaving then everything else just doesn't go well at all.

    Only recently have I had started to put myself first by telling people, granted it's only occasionally     ,  that I cannot do something because there isn't enough of me to go around or it will trigger my asthma.  I still feel guilty that I have to say "No" but am trying to become more comfortable with the fact that it is in everyone's best interest if I am healthier, less stressed and can breathe better.

    While I was at PT this morning, a lady younger than me, came in and was on the table next to mine – it is all in one big room.  In the course of her talking with the PT and the admin, I heard her mention that she had aggravated her old back/hip/spine injury by going to participate some sort of aerial acrobatic 'fun' sport.  Things like hanging from a suspended horizontal bar (like the ones the acrobats at the circus use) and swinging and falling on purpose.  I imagine there was some sort of safety precautions but to do that when you already have back problems!?    The admin mentioned that maybe she should have realized that it wouldn't be good for her to do that activity and the patient's reply was "But it is fun and I can to those sorts of things".  I couldn't resist and said "Just because you CAN do them doesn't mean that you SHOULD do them".  She replied that the PT should 'fix' her so she can continue to do what she wants to do.  Hopefully that patient will decide that there are times when it is in her best interest to NOT do things even if she thinks she can.

    The moral of my very long story is that just because we want or think we want to do something, doesn't mean it is good for us.  

    Point being that we, myself included, need to somehow figure out a way to stand up for ourselves without feeling guilty that we can't do everything that everyone else wants us to do.

    Sorry for the long post!  I got on a roll!!  

    Believe me, I pray for wisdom and discernment for myself every day!!  I sure need it!  

  • Pljohns

    It really doesn't help when you tell people that there isn't enough of you to go around and you can't do some things and they say "oh, we understand" and then a week later, they are back in the game INSISTING that you do something for them.  I've had to tell people that I can't do something right then because I need to do a neb-and the honest reply I've gotten twice is-can't you do that when you finish what I need you to do-NO!  Then they get mad and don't speak to you for months until they need something again.  Extended family can be a challenge-

  • Melissa G

    I went to the mall yesterday all by myself! It felt so good. 

    I agree, people do not understand there is only one of me and I cannot do it all. Or the fact that I know I am overweight but right now I just do not have the time to dedicate time to exercising every day. Or just the fact the I struggle with the way I look, and maybe people should stop bringing it up to me. 

  • Pljohns

    I hear you Melissa-people have no idea what prednisone does to you or that without air you can't exercise-it's a horrible cycle and one that we can do our best to break a little at a time.  Right now, not exercising isn't my asthma's fault-I just don't have any time but between midnight and 4AM to do it!

  • Melissa G

    Lynn, if there were only more hours in the day…no wait, we would fill those hours too with the many things we need to do. 

  • LK

    Lynn, I am sorry that you have to continually remind your extended family of those things.  That can wear a body down quickly.

    Pljohns posted:

    It really doesn't help when you tell people that there isn't enough of you to go around and you can't do some things and they say "oh, we understand" and then a week later, they are back in the game INSISTING that you do something for them.  I've had to tell people that I can't do something right then because I need to do a neb-and the honest reply I've gotten twice is-can't you do that when you finish what I need you to do-NO!  Then they get mad and don't speak to you for months until they need something again.  Extended family can be a challenge-

    Wow, sounds like very selfish people.  The people who still insist that you finish something before you neb are so ignorant that it takes me breath away.  (Pun intended.    )    See what being able to breathe better does to my sense of humor!  

    Melissa,   Compassion is not a virtue that is in high abundance.  I've never understood why people feel like they have the right to comment on others' appearances.  What ever happened to following the Golden Rule?  "Do unto other as you would have them do unto you."  If folks would honestly take a second and think about that it would make life a lot better all round.

  • Melissa G

    Lisa, I totally agree. And if people could only get a glimpse into our world, they would not know what to say. 

  • Melissa G

    You are right Lynn! My best friend never really understood, although she has always tried. We went camping together and she was amazed of what our day truly entails. 

  • Pljohns

    Most people would give up and just be content to sit on their tails, not even try to work or take care of their house or anything-they might just find out it’s not always easy.  At least everyone on the board here absolutely understands what life is like-don’t know what I’d do without all of you

  • Shea

    I just caught up on here. Melissa going by yourself to the mall sounds magical Did you get yourself something? And that is frustrating when people make comments/judgments about weight or appearance– but we know you are doing everything to keep your body healthy and functioning and taking care of family and I am telling you those airbrushed models are not a true ideal image in any way sgape ot form but it is annoying that they are portrayed as such. Many people realize beauty is not tgat, it is an amazing woman such as yourself! I struggled before finding my sizes because of prednisone weight and such– but I mostly try to find clothes I feel comfortable and good in. I have found beach/swimwear to be the most difficult. For swimsuits, I like long exercise pants that are made of that swimsuit-y material and then a tankini type top with a baggier cover-up top. I actually bought that ensemble today at Target– I had my son eith and was tired and had to get groceries but I picked it up without trying it on because I really want to get to the beach and set up the kuddie pool and teach Tommy to swim this summer and I realuzed not having good swim outfit was hindering me. I charged it all–lol– I have been racking up my credit cards with all my hurricane stuff and then the clothes but … I will pay it off over time and I beed these things now. 

    PLJohns you are so sweet, your compliments made me smile ❤ And I tell ya, you are an inspiration to me because you take care of your 2 DS and your DH there in your home AND you work fulltime… I cannot even comprehend how you do it, but it is masterful. Of course adding asthma on top is the kicker…

    And we cannot do it by ourselves– we need compassion, we need clean shared air spaces, we need (what is the opposite of ignorance?… Informed?).. Ill use that for now– we need family and coworkers to be informed AND willing to be part of the solution (not the problem) and we need it to happen without exhausting us anymore! So.. I need that little magic cablamo emogy here: Poof! Kazaam! Bibbity Bobbity Boo! Abracadabra! I hope that works!

     

  • LK
    Shea posted:

    So.. I need that little magic cablamo emogy here: Poof! Kazaam! Bibbity Bobbity Boo! Abracadabra! I hope that works!

    Shea,  All of what you said is spot on!!  I especially like the "Bibbity Bobbity Boo!" because it reminds me of Cinderella's fairy godmother!  Great movie!!  (The carriage horses were my favorite part!  Imagine that!    )  

  • Shea

    Haha yes Lisa– I actually sang that Cinderella song in chorus in elementary school.. I still know a lot of the lyrics, lol, it is funny how that stuff sticks in your head forever. Such a great movie! (And beautiful horses!)

  • K8sMom2002

    I really like hearing what people are doing to take care of themselves. It's a good reminder for me to do nice things for myself. We all need to fill our cookie jar first! That way, we can share our energy and vim and vigor with others!

  • Melissa G

    I didn't buy myself anything…was going to until I realized Grace forgot to put my debit card back in my wallet. I do need to go back out and get an outfit for Grace's grad ceremony next fri. 

    Shea, yay for a new swim outfit! 

  • Pljohns

    Melissa-the next time someone makes a comment about your weight-just tell them this@

  • Shea

    Well– I didn't go swimming yet! Lol… But soon!!! Today I did my 2 breathing treatments. I mailed a baby gift out to a pregnant friend who lives out of state,  and mail-returned my son's virtual school books. We are all done with the school year yay! (I did squeeze in a music lesson inspired by some worksheets we got from joining a summer library reading program. I grocery shopped– I bought a steak to share with my son on Memorial Day–I decided steak with veggie skewers made on my electric grill. I dropped off a prescription refill. I played with my son. I talked to my mom on the phone. made all 3 meals at home and cleaned up. And I rested–even, both my 15 minute breaks rest AND even got a Tv show in. And caught up on here. So I think it was a good self-care day… I do not feel rushed or overwhelmed in my body and I didn't have any big asthma exacerbation. 

  • LK

    Shea, that sounds like a very good day!  You accomplished so much, too!  The best part is that asthma was not giving you a lot of grief today!    Hope tomorrow is as good!!

  • Kathy P

    I think I need to go do some retail therapy this weekend. I just don't remember when the girl is getting home .If I go to the mall without her, I'll be in the dog house! But I do need some new dress pants. 

  • Brenda Silvia-Torma
    Melissa G posted:

    The sun is shining brightly today and I am going to try to do something for myself this afternoon….

    Did you do something for yourself on Monday? 

    – Brenda

  • Brenda Silvia-Torma
    Melissa G posted:

    I went to the mall yesterday all by myself! It felt so good. 

    I agree, people do not understand there is only one of me and I cannot do it all. Or the fact that I know I am overweight but right now I just do not have the time to dedicate time to exercising every day. Or just the fact the I struggle with the way I look, and maybe people should stop bringing it up to me. 

    So glad you had some time for yourself!! 

  • Pljohns

    Shea-What an awesome day you had and so glad your asthma behaved!! 

    kathy-I'm going to be doing some retail therapy this weekend with my Mom (and all of the SEC tournament wives at the mall) so it should be interesting

    Melissa/Lisa-glad you guys like the weight saying-I thought it was appropriate and will definitely shut them up.  People kill me with all of the questions about how much weight you've put on…..I have been known to get so annoyed at them that I've flatly told them to go take 60 mg of pred for 3 weeks and see how they turn out!  I guess common courtesy has just gone out the window.

    Won't be any self care of me this weekend-I'm the care giver to my parents all weekend.  I was up until around midnight cleaning a little bit but mostly moving stuff around so Mom could navigate without tripping.  In their house, she stays on an electric scooter but we can't get it in our house because of the stairs so she has to walk and she can only walk a few steps, gets her can and bag foot caught in anything on the floor so all of the throw rugs, bath mats, dog beds etc have to be picked up and furniture moved so there is a wider path through the house for her.  It's a challenge.  DH and I will be moving to DS' room so they can have our room and master bath and DS is on the hide a bed in the basement (he actually likes it because he can play on the computer until he gets tired and just roll into the bed from his computer).  

    I will spend all day Sat at the mall with Mom.  Dad never gets here out to go shopping at all so I try to spend a day with her out.  We have what she has always called our "nutritional lunch"-a big bowl of chocolate ice cream from the ice cream shop-and we stay out as long as she wants too.It will be day of picking her up to get her in and out of a wheelchair and pushing her in the mall but that's OK-as long as she has a good time, that's all i care about.

  • Melissa G

    shea, that is great you accomplished so much! 

    Kathy, I love retail therapy! It helps cure just about anything. 

    Lynn, I hope survive the weekend. 

    Dh and I are going out to run errands together tomorrow. We normally don't get a chance to do that. I am excited to spend some alone time with him. 

  • LK

    Was able to wash my hair this afternoon!!  Even with having to be extra careful of all the sutures, it feels so nice to have a fairly clean head.  I even called the Dr's nurse to be sure I could wash it only 24 hours afterwards and she confirmed that it was okay to do.   Funny how the little things can make a body feel so much better!

     Kathy,  Have fun with the "retail therapy"!  

    Lynn,  Remember to breathe this weekend!  

    Melissa,  Have an enjoyable time with just the two of you doing errands!

  • Shea

    LK glad you were able to shower without bothering the sutures. 

    Kathy, and PLJohns, I second that retail therapy is a great idea!! PLJohns make sure to keep an eye out for something yourself for being so awesome (it is something I regularly do lol…)  (and the icecream sounds yumm). 

  • Melissa G

    Lisa, I agree, nothing like being able to wash your hair or get a shower. I had to have neck surgery 12 years ago and I remember the first time I was able to get a real shower, I almost cried.

    Ice cream for lunch sounds good to me! 

  • Melissa G

    I think I am going to administer some self care this afternoon and take a nap in a little while…

  • LK

    Thank you, Marie.  I am doing fine.  Nothing to worry about.  I had four cysts removed from my scalp last week and a couple of the sutured areas are a bit uncomfortable when I try to sleep.  

    Hope you are doing well!

  • LK

    Thank you, Melissa.  It does get a little old only sleeping on one side!    Thankfully, it is a little better each day.  Haven't needed Tylenol since yesterday morning, so that is an improvement!

  • Pljohns

    Lisa-s glad your head is getting some better every day.  That must be really hard to sleep!

  • Melissa G

    Self care….getting dh a new car so I can have my car more often and go to store when I need to. I would like to get into a better routine of grocery shopping and can only do that if I have a car. And having a car also means I can go out by myself! 

  • Shea

    Yes let us know!!! (I swear I cannot even use the restroom in peace.) I love that my son is around but I am still working with him on: a little privacy and respect that I need time to rest!

  • Melissa G

    Shea, I can't remember the last time I was in the bathroom without being disrupted. My girls just walk in and talk, my son knocks on the door and asks anything he wants and my dh walks in and just starts having a conversation. Then they wonder why I get snappy. I am a much happier person if I can have some quiet time each day.

  • Shea

    I consider myself a rechargeable battery and sometimes I just need to plug into the charger and, if I am real low, not be used at all until I get some charge in me.