What Does Self-Care Mean to You?

My anxiety disorder makes it hard for me to take care of myself. I recently started stocking these “Orgain” nutritional shakes for times when I suddenly realize it’s been 12 house since I ate something. At least I can get nutrition through a straw. Why am I so anxious? Because my therapist is on vacation. It’ll be fine. She’s coming back. I’ll see her on Monday. In the meantime, the stuff I usually tell her is just swirling around my head. I honestly can’t explain what talk therapy does or why it helps me so much. I can explain how it helps with specific problems, but it hadn’t occurred to me until this third week of her vacation to wonder why talking to my therapist is so necessary. My mom asked me why I still go twice a week. It never occurred to me to stop, but since she asked–it’s because my psychiatrist for most of my in-treatment years told me that twice-weekly therapy would probably help me more than meds. (I didn’t ask him why that was.) All I know after weeks without therapy is that I go because I feel better. Why? Maybe I’ll ask Linda (therapist) when she comes back.

In the meantime, I’m distracting myself, and trying to cut myself a break in my head. Ease up on the guilt in the ol’ inner monologue. Like so:

Thanks to Groupon, I got to go with Kate, my friend and future coworker at Joyful Birth, to a cute little salon and get a mani/pedi.
Thanks to Groupon, I got to go with Kate, my friend and future coworker at Joyful Birth, to a cute little salon and get a mani/pedi.

Yay, sandal season! It’s hot here. Looking cute is the only way I can make myself feel better about it. I HATE the heat. Hate hate hate it. And we have no AC. But I have pretty hands and feet!

What do you do for self-care? This is the beginning of a series in which I attempt to write short posts around pictures like that one. Give me ideas!

4 Comments

  1. Aurora Parlin said:

    I think the two biggest things I include in my self care are getting the proper amount of sleep (I’m in bed from 10pm until 10am) and talking my daily two mile walk. It’s not just exercise – being outside allows me to use my senses, listen to music, and just relax.

    June 2, 2013
    Reply
    • Anne-Marie said:

      I’m writing a post about sleep! So high on the self-care list.

      June 2, 2013
      Reply
  2. Heather said:

    Im having a great time reading your blog! I deal with anxiety too and sometimes its totally crippling and taking care of myself does not happen. I have found out that my anxiety all but disappears if i stick to a strict diet catered towards low blood sugar. Its socially crippling so i fall off the diet really easily. That being said food of course is a big one and i have had those meals in a can! They have too much sugar for my diet though so some days i live on peanuts and baby carrots. And i find it so hard to take care of heigene or cleaning house on bad days. I’ve thought about blogging about the selfcare thing as well, its usually the first thing to go right?

    July 12, 2013
    Reply
    • Anne-Marie said:

      Thank you so much for reading, Heather! It’s funny you say that about the blood sugar, because a nutritionist strongly recommended that I stick to a diet that would keep my blood sugar even and avoid spikes. She said a spike in blood sugar causes and increase in adrenaline, so it would obviously impact anxiety. But I really rely on sugar for comfort, which goes waaayyy back. I tried to stick to it while TTC and pregnant, but you are right–it’s very hard! It’s more than just socially crippling; it’s dramatically inconvenient. It made me aware that everything seems to be sugary, somehow! A banana was not a good snack, suddenly. Good for you for sticking to it. Serious admiration, here. Also: EVERYONE should blog about self-care! It is the first thing we (and especially women) throw out the window when things get stressful. It’s not a problem unique to those of us with anxiety disorders. It’s a very real problem across our culture. Think of all the bragging you hear about how little sleep someone can function on? Bah.

      July 18, 2013
      Reply

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