I know many people who jokingly say ‘treat yo-self’ all the time. And I think we say it often as a way to cope or compensate for making ourselves a priority. But the thing is – we need to take care of ourselves.
In the past week I’ve had 2 people call me and tell me they weren’t feeling well (they weren’t you know, dying, but they weren’t feeling themselves) and cancelled what they had for a day to take care of themselves. So if you were wondering this is kinda one of my mantras.
I’ve had issues with headaches much of my life. I didn’t realize how much until facebook memories became a thing, but seriously, headaches have become a norm in my life. For the last two years on the first day of each semester I tell my professors I’ve struggled with chronic migraines because I think it’s important to be upfront about it with my professors. And yes, you read that right – chronic migraines.
From Oct 2012- April 2013 I had a chronic migraine. Some days the pain allowed me to function, many days my pain was so severe I was bed ridden. Literally all I could do was lay in my bed in my dark cool room. It was miserable. January of 2013 I went to a neurologist who diagnosed me (prior to that I just lived in the misery). I was in physical therapy and started taking a medication to help but it took from January – April to actually get rid of the pain. I slept 16+ hours a day. My roommates tiptoed around me. I couldn’t eat most days because I was in so much pain I was nauseous.
Since that April when I got cleared from physical therapy I have been going back to my neurologist every 6 mos. Last year at one of my check ups they asked me if I still weighed 108 lbs. I’m pretty sure I laughed in response to the question. Because at that point I was probably 150ish. And prior to my sickness, I think the last time I weighed 108 lbs was probably my freshman year of high school.
Okay, so I’ve painted this picture of how sick I was. Once the pain was gone, it became a process of learning to exercise, eat right, sleep, and to say no to things. It taught me that it’s a good thing to treat myself to a massage at the end of each semester to get the stress out of my body.
You see, when my perpetual headache started I had just quit my part time job and it was like all the stress from the previous 8 weeks of the semester caught up with me and my body freaked out and shut down.
So all of this happened 3+ years ago, why am I writing about this?
Well, over the 3 years I’ve been on my medication I started at 10 mg and had built my way up to 30. Then in February, I was sick of feeling gross all the time and knew exercise was what needed added to my life, so I joined a gym. After several weeks of consistently working out I felt like I couldn’t enough sleep. One of the effects of my medication is sleepiness. I take it before I go to bed to help my body relax so I can sleep. So knowing the sleepiness was an effect of my medication and I had made a change in the frequency I was working out, I decided to go down on my medication and see what happened. After about a week I began to feel like a person again! It was the most bizarre thing. It was easy to wake up in the morning… strange, good, but strange.
When the semester ended and my routine changed exercise went bye-bye. I just kinda lost the habit of working out again. At the end of July I started going to the gym again. I set a goal that was realistic for me – I wanted to work on getting my mile time. That’s a goal that works with something I love doing – running. And it’s been great because I’m seeing benefits.
Last week I started having my sleepy feeling again and I knew that meant I could go down to 10mg. I’ve gone all week with taking just the 10mg and haven’t had any symptoms or headaches!
All this got me to thinking of the importance of self-care. I literally need less medication to help me sleep when I’m taking care of myself and eating well. This July when I had my usual 6 mos check up I actually got cleared from my neurologist. I don’t have to go back. He gave me refills for the next year, and my hope is to be completely off the medication by the time that year point is up!
So next time you think you need to justify your decision to treat yo self, please don’t. You are important. And, if we aren’t taking care of ourselves we can’t take care of the people around us.
If your feet are hurting you and you’re thinking about getting a pedicure, just do it, treat yourself to a pedicure.
If you love massages and hold tension in your body, especially your shoulders and neck, get a massage.
In need of feeding your soul – find a way to go to adoration or mass or confession. Get out in nature. Look for the beauty of God in your life.
Do what you need to do to take care of YOU because YOU MATTER. Take of your body, your mind and your soul. Treat yo-self, and don’t feel guilty about it because you. are. worth. it.
My darling, you work hard in each day of your life – selflessly giving your all to your friends, your family, your job, remember to fill your cup so you can continue to pour out from it.