Over the years I have talked about being a ‘spoonie’. And when you’re a spoonie, self care is a must. But it can be hard, to say the least. I find that I have no time in my day to have self care. Either I am busy working or caring for my family or I just simply don’t have the spoons to do so. Yes, providing self care does require spoons. If you don’t have the energy to move, how can you care for yourself? If you don’t have the energy to process thoughts, how can you care for yourself? You can’t.
So what is a spoonie? A spoonie is a person who uses the spoon theory to describe self levels of energy when having a chronic, invisible illness. SO WHAT IS THE SPOON THEORY? It was created by Christine Miserandino. It is a way to measure how much energy a person has and how much energy is required for tasks. For instance, it may take me 1 spoon to get out of bed, 2 spoons to shower and get dressed, and another 2 spoons to make breakfast. The total spoons a person starts with is up to them. I personally start with 15 a day. Some days I wake up and I start with a full 15. Other days I wake up and I start with 7, because my pain level, fatigue (yes a person can just wake up and feel fatigued), and soreness have already taken up 8 just to get out of bed.
To get self care is to restock your spoons. When you do this you can gain energy throughout your day. Maybe self care will keep you at the same level you are now versus using up spoons. Either way, self care is a required thing for those suffering from an invisible illness. So how does one provide self care? There are many ways a person can do this and most are low cost or free.
- Turn your phone off or silence it
- Now a days, we are so connected to everything around us. Facebook, twitter, instagram, tumblr… we are always checking out and filling our peeps in on our day to day world. Stop it. At least for a few hours. No updates, no posts, no photos. Just you and you, without constant social media. Also tuning out can unplug you from depressing news in the world.
- Hot bath or shower
- The warmth of the water can easy tight muscles and relax the body. Take some time to close your eyes and just let your body enjoy the water. Take some deep breaths.
- Deep breath meditation
- Breath in for a count of 4, hold for a count of 2, exhale for a count of 6. This has helped me out a few times.
- Dance party for one
- Turn on some music and jam it out. Let loose, it’s just you so have some fun. Get your heart rate up there, twerk, side shuffle, be-bop, and twist your way to happiness.
- Enjoy your fur babies
- If you have pets, give them some love. I truly believe that animals have healing powers. Just petting them, kissing them, and playing with them will lower your blood pressure, relax your muscles, and calm your mind. Plus who doesn’t smile when their fur babies are having fun?!
- Self massages
- Get some lotion, and give yourself a hand, leg, or head massage. It may not feel the same as if someone else were doing it, but we reap the same benefits. This increases circulation, calms the mind, relaxes tense muscles, and releases toxins that can be flushed out of the system.
Finding the time can be challenging. When we have work, family, homecare, cleaning, cooking, and chores to worry about. But I promise if you schedule 5-10 minutes a day, you will not regret it.