Saturday, 26 March 2016

The Importance of Good Self Care


For this years Mother's Day my sister and I decided to give my mum a pamper day at home. My sister prepared a lovely afternoon tea for us and provided treatment in the form of face masks, foot spa's and hand massages, to name a few.

I spend the vast majority of my day-to-day life resting, so I was taken by surprise at how therapeutic I found being pampered. I realised then what my poor achey body had been craving - good self care. I made it a goal to spend some of my spoons taking care of me

Self care doesn't come easy as I feel guilty and selfish, but as a mum if I take care of myself I benefit my family. In their research for the book 'Work andFamily-Allies or Enemies?' Stew Friedman and Jeff Greenhaus discovered "The more time that working mothers spent taking care of themselves, the better were the emotional and physical health of their children."

In addition Stew Friedman says "while it might seem noble in the short run to sacrifice the needs you have to cultivate your mind, body, and spirit, over time it’s a recipe for burnout." 

Everyone of us needs to spend our spoons wisely, and make sure we take time to replenish. 

The Mental Health America website also had this to say:
"Taking good care of yourself is paramount to the success of your recovery process. People in recovery find that their physical, spiritual, and emotional health are all connected, and that supporting one supports the others. Taking care of all aspects of you will increase the likelihood that you stay well."
(Underline added by me)

I'm a firm believer that we'll only have a shot at recovery if we treat it holistically - mind and body. I resolved to take care of myself better.

One place in particular that I found the pampering beneficial was my eyes. The cooling, refreshing mask was a nice contrast to the usual aches and pains I feel there, so when I went home I ordered one. 

A good gel eye mask has many benefits: 

• The coolness offers great relief from the constant aches and pains I usually feel in my face, particularly around the eyes and forehead. 

• The chilled mask helps to constrict the blood vessels, reduce puffiness and makes dark circles appear lighter and the skin smoother. 

• A cool mask helps to regulate my body temperature if I get too hot at night time (which I often do). 

I also use cucumbers for a more natural way to do the same job as the gel mask. They can reduce dark circles and the ascorbic acid helps to reduce puffiness. 

The added benefits to cucumber are that they are high in silica and anti-oxidants so they're anti-aging (something I'm definitely more interested in now I'm getting older) and help to soothe irritation.

I'm looking forward to taking care of myself more. 
What are some of the ways you take care of yourself? I'd love to hear them, leave a comment 🙂

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Mr Brownstone by Yasuhiro Onishi

I was browsing an online art gallery when I scrolled past Mr Brownstone and had to scroll back. As I looked into his face his sad countenance resonated within me. The other portrait work I have seen from Yasuhiro Onishi can be quite uncomfortable for me to look at with their piercing eyes, but I keep being drawn to Mr Brownstone. 
Although he has the piercing eyes with the dark circles and the little pupils, they convey a deep sadness and struggle. 

The beak on his nose suggests ridiculousness to me, making me think of a jester making others happy whilst hiding his turmoil and worry.

I guess that's why it resonated with me. Living with an invisible illness is exactly like that each day. Putting on a smile for others whilst hiding our struggles, worries and sadness. 

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

Kindness is the essence of greatness!

9 years ago I thought I was on the way to greatness, or what I deemed greatness. I had overcome the insecurities of my youth, I had found a job I loved and I had buckets of will power and motivation. 

When ME/CFS/SEID hit I lost all of it overtime. My limited capabilities meant that I had to stay in bed and I thought that I was achieving nothing. (I learnt that listening to your body, being able to pace and live within your limitations takes a different kind of will power and motivation!)

What I like about the quote above is that it emphasises that greatness doesn't come from all we achieve. To be great starts with who we are. Our kindness has a great impact on those around us and it's affects are far reaching. We can achieve more than we know. We can  be kind no matter what our capabilities :) 

I'd love to hear your thoughts, leave a comment below.