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To most, the words “self-care” conjure visions of face masks and nail polish. But, for those of us battling a chronic illness, self-care looks a little different. It isn’t taken up by hours doing things that we don’t otherwise have the time to do. Rather, it is taken up by time doing things that we need to do to allow our bodies time to recover from the strain of a long week at work or school–things like taking time to watching movies and focusing on ourselves for a moment if we can. The next time you need a day filled with self care, experiment with including the following 10 essentials:
1. Comfy Cloths/PJ’s
Comfy clothes and pajamas are a must for relaxing. It’s a good idea to buy some loose-fitted clothes that won’t put pressure on areas where you feel pain and put them aside for days when you need a break from dressing uncomfortably.
2. Scented Candles, Lotion, or Essential Oils
3. A Calming Beverage
4. Books or Movies for Entertainment
I constantly waver between reading and watching TV for entertainment on days when I can’t get out of bed due to pain. For that reason, I always keep a small selection of books I’ve been wanting to read on hand. I also take full advantage of my online subscriptions for watching TV shows and movies on demand.
5. A Journal
Keeping a journal is a great way to stay focused and positive despite battling a chronic illness. On tough days, try filling half a page with things you are grateful for or enjoy. Over time, you will have plenty of pages worth of material to look back on and be thankful for!
6. A Coloring Book for Adults
Adult coloring books are a perfect way to distract your mind to let you take a break and focus on nothing for a little while, especially if you are waiting for a dose of medicine to work.
7. A Blanket
A nice warm blanket, especially a heated blanket, will keep you warm and cozy while watching movies or reading.
Listening to music is another great way to distract your mind for a bit. Investing in a good pair of earbuds is definitely worth it, especially if you enjoy listening to audiobooks or podcasts!
9. Nail Polish or Makeup
Painting your nails or applying some makeup can go a long way in making you feel more like yourself on days when your body feels like anything but. Try keeping a few makeup and manicure accessories in an easily accessible place for days when you have little energy.
10. Fresh Flowers or Plants
On days when you don’t have the ability to go outside, bringing a little bit of the outside in will make things seem brighter indoors. A small plant or bouquet of flowers on a nightstand or dresser is sure to boost your mood.
What are some of your essentials for self-care days? Comment them below!