taking care of myself

One thing I learned through the past few years is how important it is to really take care of yourself. I haven’t always been the best at this, although I did try (even when maybe from the outside it didn’t seem like I was. I really did the best I could under the circumstances.)

Someone commented to me yesterday that it seems like I am doing a good job of taking care of myself right now. That pleased me, and made me think about what I am doing to take care of myself and what I could do to take even better care of myself.

What I’m Doing Now:

  • Nothing, when I need to do nothing. I’ve been sick, so I’ve spent a lot of time in bed the last month or so. But beyond that, I have a lot of time to myself now and sometimes all I want to do is get in bed and peruse fashion sites online. Or flip through magazines. Or just pet the cat and watch the birds. Or stare into space. I’m doing a lot of that lately. It’s actually quite good for me, I think.
  • Cleaning and sorting. I’m not doing a ton of this, but I’m doing one little thing at a time when I feel like it. I went through the “medicine box” and threw out everything expired. I finally got rid of the bags of shreddable junk mail in the garage. I’m cleaning and sorting the food cupboards (if I haven’t used it since we moved in, out it goes). This has been sort of fun and very satisfying, especially since I’m not planning it at all. When the urge strikes, I sort and clean. Otherwise, I leave it.
  • Sleeping. I’ve been sleeping really hard. I fall asleep within 10 minutes of turning out the light, and I don’t think I move all night long. My therapist thinks my body is doing deep healing through this intense rest. I don’t even hear the phone. It’s kind of a miracle I hear the alarm in the morning.
  • Taking it easy in general. I decided it was perfectly okay to get a few healthy frozen dinners and keep them in the freezer, and to get a big bag of pre-seasoned veggies from Costco. I’m trying to make one big healthy pot of something on Mondays and then use that for my lunches during the week, but for dinner I’m cutting myself a big break for awhile. Frozen is fine. Veggies and rice is fine. Soup is fine. Ice cream is fine. Just tea is fine, if I ate lunch that day. I’m just not going to worry about it.
  • Having some fun. I’ve reconnected with some friends who’ve slipped by the wayside. I’ve gone to a karaoke bar with people I barely know. I’m going to go see some comedy at a club in San Francisco in a week. I’m trying to say yes to everything, with the caveat that I can change my mind later and back out of the plans.
  • Seeing family and friends. As much as I can. Old friends, new friends, all my family. Seeing everyone as much as I can. It’s been too long.
  • Living it up a little! When T. lived here we never had alcohol at home, which was fine with me since I’m not a big drinker, but now there’s nothing stopping me from a glass of wine or a beer every now and again. But I have no idea what I like, anymore. So I got a (cheap, but recommended) bottle of white wine, a (ditto) bottle of red, a six-pack of oatmeal stout beer and a six-pack of plain old cheap lager. It will probably take me six months to drink all this but who cares? (ps, please come over and help me drink all this; it’s a little embarrassing)

What I Am Going To Try To Incorporate:

  • Drinking more water. I am bad about this one but I’ve been trying. I don’t drink much of anything, in general. Need to do better at this.
  • Exercise. Chelsea, the world’s best dog, is with T., which is good for both of them (although I miss her like crazy). But now I have stopped exercising. Well, I got flattened by a terrible cold for the past month, and so that probably had something to do with it as well. My best friend is going to train for a half-marathon in May. I don’t think I’ll do the race, but I thought I might follow the training with her just to get in shape and have some stress release. As soon as I stop coughing like an old man who smokes two packs a day, I’ll start.
  • Being creative. Make some art. Do a few little projects just for me. I’m not going to push myself on this one but as I’m starting to feel better in general, some ideas are coming up. I’m totally skipping any sort of holiday crafting or baking this year (although I might make a single batch of my favorite cookies… save a few for myself and then take the rest to the office) but after that, yes. Time to use that art room.

That sounds pretty good, don’t you think? Basically I’m just doing whatever I feel like. If it’s something big, then great. If it’s something little, or if it’s nothing at all — also fine. Total self-acceptance. I worked my ass off for many years and now I’m going to do whatever the hell I want, even if that’s to sleep all day on Saturday and then spend an hour cleaning the stove with a toothbrush. (not that I did that. nope. not me)

10 thoughts on “taking care of myself

  1. It does sound like you’re doing a good job. I have such a hard time remembering that it’s okay to do nothing sometimes. The past few months have been really hard, and I think my life would be a little bit easier if on the days when I just feel like hiding under the covers I have myself permission to do exactly that. All this to say that i might borrow a couple of ideas from you.

    • Feel free! (and feel free to write to commiserate, if you want…) Yes. Doing nothing is very good. Staying in bed is highly therapeutic sometimes. I’ve barely been able to read anything, and I’m just letting that be okay.

  2. I also suck at keeping hydrated. If it weren’t for hockey and brushing my teeth, I’d probably never drink water. And as far as your dinners – that’s one of the few things I miss about living alone. There are nights where toast and tea sounds like a fine dinner to me, but I feel like I need to provide something more than that to the growing small people who live here. I guess that’s point number two in favour of the kitties :)

    • I need to really work on this. Ironically the only time I feel like drinking water is right before bed. I could drink like two big glasses of cold water right before bed and be very happy. Except for the part where I have to pee in the middle of the night. Argh.

      And yes. Cats do have a NUMBER of points in their favor — their indifference to being fed anything other than dry food is just one of them.

      • Ugh, I try not to drink almost anything after about 10pm since I can’t stand getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom (bearing in mind, of course, that I’m on a late-to-bed, late-to-get-up schedule.) But I’ve completely fallen in love with fizzy water and try to have a glass in the morning while I’m putting together breakfast. Sort of sets the day to rights. Otherwise I just make certain I have a bottle at my desk and try to make certain I get through it at least once a day.

        It’s friggin’ hard to be hydrated if you’re not thinking about it.

  3. Such good things you are doing for yourself! I hope your cough goes away soon. Until it does, regular walks in the cool fresh air are always nice. I’m always after James to drink more water. I have a big water bottle at work with me and I make sure I drink the whole thing by the time I go home. At home I drink another glass or two of water throughout the evening. In summer, when it’s humid, it’s enough. Winter is so dry though I find myself now trying to force myself to drink even more water and it isn’t easy. I’m very happy you have included being creative on your list. It seems that has sort of fallen by the wayside this year and you are so darn good and it makes you happy.

    • I’d thought it would have been gone now, but it’s hanging on. It’s waaaay better, however. I should take a walk tonight, that’s a good idea. I need a big water bottle for work. I’m going to try and drink two big mugfuls of water every day to start.

      And yes, more creativity is necessary. I think I might skip a holiday party this weekend and take care of myself and start a painting or just do a little something for myself.

  4. i think all of this sounds great.

    im a big stress cleaner. i think there is something to be said about the power of a clean, uncluttered area.

    and beer and wine is great too. (Trader Joes has the BEST CHEAP wine ever.)

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