This post is part of the Epilepsy Blog Relay™ which will run from November 1 through November 30. Follow along and add comments to posts that inspire you!
I read a graphic the other day that said something along the lines…”It takes a person with epilepsy five times more energy to do something than a person without epilepsy.” I tried to fact check this stat, but I didn’t have any luck. But one thing I do know is – I could definitely relate to the sentiment. Like many with epilepsy, I constantly feel tired. I can never seem to get enough rest. I wake up multiple times each night, grind my teeth while sleeping, and have anxiety that often keeps my mind racing, when I should be off in dreamland. I cope in different ways, but with a busy schedule that often causes me to feel unbalanced, I’m finding self-care to be more important than ever. Here’s why…
Today, we are more overwhelmed than ever. With technology, social events, health challenges, work commitments, family time, that second (or third) job many of us have… Check out these stats from The American Institute of Stress:
- The top 7 reasons Americans are stressed are:
- Job Pressure
- Poor Nutrition
- Media Overload
- Sleep Deprivation
- 77% of people regularly experience physical symptoms caused by stress.
- 54% of people said stress has caused them to argue with their closest friends and family.
- 30% of Americans say they are “always” or “often” under stress at work.
- People reported the following physical ailments due to stress:
- Digestive Issues
- Muscle Tension
- Appetite Fluctuations
- Teeth Grinding
- Sex Drive Fluctuations
- Stress has also been known to cause psychological issues such as:
The weight of the world and feelings of stress are enough to make me not want to get out of bed some mornings! I want to share some of the excuses I’ve made for not making time for self-care, why they’re bullshit, and how you can flip your brain script to see why self-care is more important than ever. But first, let’s look at some happier stats about self-care …
- 95% of people connect self-care with healthy habits
- 53% of people believe self-care is important for their well-being
- 46% of people are proactive in caring for their health
- 92% of people want better control of their health
That last stat, y’all! WOW! How powerful is that!? 92% of people want better control of their health! You know what? YOU CAN HAVE BETTER CONTROL OF YOUR HEALTH, and it starts with self-care. Let’s get down to business and push through our bullshit to be better versions of ourselves via self-care!
EXCUSE #1: I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR SELF-CARE: (Did somebody say,”bullshit?”) Do you have time for social media? Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated. Skip one of the hours you spend scrolling the gram, and schedule an hour of self-care. When you don’t have time for self-care, you aren’t presenting your best & healthiest self to the world. You’re worth an hour (and more) of dedicated self-care, but start small until you get into the habit of dedicating an hour a day to self-care. It can be anything from buying ice cream when you want to treat yourself or purchasing that new pair of boots you’ve been admiring.
EXCUSE #2: I CAN’T AFFORD SELF-CARE: (I smell bullshit.) You’re joking, right? You can’t afford something that can be free? Self-care doesn’t have to be an expensive trip to a spa. There are so many ways to practice self-care without breaking the bank! You could even practice self-care by extending things you already do. For example, instead of taking a shower tomorrow, opt for a warm bath. If you want to really indulge add some essential oils, bath salts, or bath bomb to your bath water. (I like to add lavender and rose oils to my bath water and follow up with a moisturizing lotion.) Some other ways you can inexpensively practice self-care are: meditation, drinking a warm cup of tea, reading a book, listening to music, practicing a hobby, having reflection time, writing in your journal, or watching your favorite movie.
EXCUSE #3: SOMETHING ELSE IS MORE IMPORTANT: (What kind of bullshit is this?)What’s more important that your health and well-being? N-O-T-H-I-N-G. You can’t work, help others, be a friend, spouse, be their for your family, or accomplishing your goals if you aren’t taking care of yourself. Your best self is your healthiest self. Do you value your life? your body? yourself? If you answered,”Duh.” to any of these questions, you should be practicing self-care. When you value yourself, you want to do what’s best for your body, mind, and spirit. We have to be grateful for our bodies – our soul’s vehicle. Even though I may have a neurological disorder, I’m grateful for all of the amazing things my body does for me. Focus on being good to your body, and your body will be good to you – mentally and physically.
EXCUSE #4: I FEEL FINE: (Don’t bullshit a bullshitter.) But how are you really? Pushing away feelings of stress or overwhelm and continuing forward like a freight train isn’t a healthy way to live. When you don’t process or deal with your stress it will continue to pop up in your life in other ways – through physical, psychological, and other life challenging ways. Maybe you think self-care makes you look weak…? I think it’s a very strong and powerful action to practice self-care. You’re saying to yourself (and the world) that you are important, you value yourself, and love yourself. So, even if you “feel fine,” try treating yourself once a week to something, or do something you’ve been wanting to do. See how it makes you feel… I bet you’ll feel at least a little better. Take it up a notch when you feel comfortable with the idea of self-care and find what self-care rituals work best for you.
Look, we all have excuses for different situations or topics in our lives, but self-care shouldn’t be one of them. If you, like me, are living with epilepsy, it’s especially important to practice self-care. Stress is a seizure trigger with many people with epilepsy, and self-care can help ease some of the stresses of life. Take the time to figure out what works for you, create your self-care schedule and ritual(s), stick to your self-care commitments, and don’t make excuses! It really is that easy. What are you waiting for?