The importance of self-care

There’s the stuff we do almost every day.  It’s almost habitual after a while.  There’s certain exercises and certain diets and monitoring movements and adjusting for pain.  And then there’s the out-of-the-ordinary stuff that messes up any semblance of a schedule we might have had.

Yesterday I wrote about feeling almost sick.  I did the right things to take care of myself: I got a little fresh air and exercise and spent the rest of the day resting.  I took something to help me sleep and managed to sleep almost 10 hours with only a few interruptions.  These days, that’s fantastic.  Still, I woke up today feeling horrible.  I’m not sick sick.  I don’t have a fever, my stomach is fine, I’m not coughing or sneezing.  My only real symptom is that I feel lousy.  I spent the morning watching tv.  Then I took a nap for 3 hours.  Then I watched more tv.  I was going to read, but I fell asleep before I even found where I’d left off on the page.  Doing dishes and typing on the computer are the most activity I’ve had today.

Now, this all sucks, no doubt.  I wish I felt better.  There are things I was going to do today.  Then again, I’m so glad I was able to do this.  I’m not working right now, so I didn’t have to worry about upsetting a boss or missing project deadlines.  I know that when I really need a day like this to rest I shouldn’t worry about those things.  I know that.  But I still worry about it, and sometimes I push myself to go to work when I shouldn’t.  Of course, that only makes the symptoms much worse.  So yeah, today really wasn’t all that bad.  I lost a day that I could have spent doing other things, but it’s worth it.  Hopefully I’ll feel better in time for Thanksgiving.  And if not, well, there’s only so much that any of us can do about our health, right?

There are some lessons I have learned very well from the illnesses.  Accepting my situation when it means a major disruption to my life is not one I have learned well, and it’s one I have to keep relearning over and over.  Today has been a good reminder; my health is what matters.  Jobs and friends and errands and everything else can and will wait.  It is more important that I take care of myself.  Now, I just have to be sure to remember that next time, too.

If any of this sounds familiar, if you can relate, please share it on Facebook and/or Twitter.  This blog is new, and it would be great to share it.

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