Get your mind out of the gutter, this isn’t a masturbation post. Sheesh.
I am beginning to hate the words “Self Care”. These two innocuous four letter words are all I need to hear to turn me into a foot stomping whiny-pants toddler. It doesn’t help that I am already in physical crisis when I do hear the phrase so my tearful regression isn’t all that far away to begin with but being reminded it’s time to practice self care is being reminded I am no longer able to just shoulder the burdens of my life and continue on.
It means I have to stop pushing through the pain and discomfort and start doing something to repair it.
It means being a grown up, an actual, fully actualized adult who recognizes her limitations, acknowledges and respects them, and then behaves accordingly. For some undefinable reason I don’t want to be that adult. I want to be Superman. Well, Batman. I want to be Batman. Superman is too morally rigid.
Batman doesn’t practice self care. Batman lives in an underground cave and throws his life away on a childhood obsession with his parents’ killer, wrecking havoc on the criminal underground along the way. That sounds a lot more fun than practicing self care.
Unfortunately, I lack both the physical capability of Batman and the limitless financial resources of Bruce Wayne so I am stuck with self care. Here are some of the things I do to reduce my discomfort and general sense of malaise when I am unwell.
- I put on pants. This may seem silly but staying in my jammies all day simply underscores how sick I am. Even if the pants I put on are sweats, which differ very little from jammies, the transformation in my mood is appreciable. It’s as though my brain says “I am now in pants. I could leave the house now, even if I am not going to. Ever again.”
- I put ice on my head. I am pretty sure I have permanently damaged nerves in my skull through consistent use of ice. I have also noticed that heat on the neck and ice on the face works well, somehow. Maybe it confuses the brain so much it can no longer manage to send as many pain signals because it’s too busy trying to determine if you are freezing or baking to death.
- I accomplish something small. I am not exaggerating. I mean small. In the past I have accomplished: Matching socks. Making the bed. Feeding the cat. By accomplishing 1 small thing I prove to myself that other things can still be accomplished.
- I pet my cat. My cat is the only creature on earth who is happy about my chronic ill health. She gets so much attention and love she would not otherwise get if I were Batman. She pays me back by generally making me feel as though I should be lying in bed all day because that is, in fact, my job. According to her.
- I watch a favorite movie or t.v. show. When it gets to be too much and I am feeling really down I throw myself into someone else’s world for an hour or two. Escapism rules.
- I blog. Telling my tale of woe to the two or three of you who read me does help it feel less woeful. Thank you.
There are some new things I plan to start doing as a result of the conference I went to last week.
- I will write a two minute email every day to someone expressing gratitude for something. Just thinking about gratitude raises our Seratonin levels and helps us feel better.
- I will be finding one good thing I can do for the world online each day. Maybe it will be clicking the button on the HungerSite, or sharing a particularly cool Kickstarter on my social media page. It will be something. I will continue to do good even from my darkened cave.
So there you have it, some self-care tips from a ranting whiny 40 year wanna be Batman. Why wouldn’t you listen to my advice?