Self Care is More Than Just a Bubble Bath

Self-care is not only about Spa days and bubble baths. In fact, I’ve never been to a Spa and I can’t remember the last time I took a bubble bath. Somehow, self care has turned into a dirty little word that means we’re selfish and self indulgent to put ourselves first. Except, we aren’t. By putting ourselves first, it means that we value who and what we are when we’re at our best. It means knowing that in order to be there for others, we need to prioritize being there for ourself, first. It means knowing that to take care of others, we need to put our needs first. And somehow, all of this has become equated with being selfish, instead of being smart. I know, because it’s something that I continue to struggle with. But this week, I have taken a step back and decided to re-prioritize, putting myself at the top of my list.

This week I am absolutely overcome with anxiety, struggling with PTSD and am completely overwhelmed with 3 Doctors and 4 tests in five days. I knew this week was coming and I prepared for it with my Therapist, Amelia. What I didn’t count on as we prepared, was that I would actually put in to motion much of what she has taught me over the last couple of years. I know she will be proud.

I actually ditched going to see my folks (gasps!). Going to see them is pure torture. The trip has recently been taking us close to two hours each way. The last return trip, I vomited into a grocery bag all the way home. Cars and I just don’t mix well anymore. Add in the complexity of having other family members I’m estranged from showing up to complicate our visit, just meant I was not in the correct mindframe this week to go. While I debated that choice for nearly two whole days and then was temporarily wracked with guilt, I stuck to it. I just didn’t have all that to give this week.

My Daughter called all excited with a facial party she’s having at my house. It’s sort of the first real “event” in her super exciting wedding preparations. But, as excited as I am for her wedding, I had to be honest with her and tell her I couldn’t focus on that, until I got through this next week. Then I would focus on what cookies we should be baking. And it was okay! She understood and was okay that I was honest with her.

My Husband helped me clean the house on Sunday, which was awesome. He also caught up on some lingering projects that were making me nuts, like taking out the ACs, so we could turn on the heat. Having help and ensuring everything was straight and settled for the week meant I didn’t have to do it this week. Instead, I’m focusing on working on my Master Reiki certification.

Yesterday, by the afternoon, I couldn’t get going to get going. I wrestled with my conscience (that twit is strong!) and argued myself that when I’m not in pain, I shouldn’t be sitting watching tv. Instead, I gagged that conscience that never stops harassing me and you know what I did? I sat and watched tv. Because it’s what I needed to do right then.

After 5 conversations and careful consideration, I decided to cancel the Cardiologist (boy that was alot of C’s in that sentence, right??). Seeing him isn’t emergent and he likely has nothing more to offer in the way of a miraculous new cure for my Dysautonomia. So it’s okay to say I’m overwhelmed with all the health stuff this week and to delay things that are not as crucial.

It’s going to rain here all week, literally, for the next seven days. So I was plagued with guilt when I didn’t walk the dogs yesterday. I was in too much pain and just didn’t have the mental wherewithal to push through it. The dogs, miraculously survived skipping yesterday’s walk and we instead played fetch and worked on tricks. Today, I need that mental release of walking them.

As tomorrow arrives as does the onslaught of my latest medical dramas, if all I can do is get through all those appointments, then that’s all I can do. It’s enough.

And that is what self care really means. It means eating healthy foods and exercising. It means going to the Doctor and taking my medication. It means leading a life that is full of meaning and intention. But it also means that in order to do any of that, maybe I also need to sit and veg for hours or eat nothing but Oreos for today.

It means that sometimes in order to be the person who does what I should, sometimes, instead, I do what I need. And that’s okay. Taking care of myself is okay. And sometimes, putting myself first is too.

Take care of and love yourself today. <3 Stace

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Fighting with Fibro and Living With Purpose. Mom, Wife, Blogger and animal lover. Fighting with Chronic Illness on a minute by minute basis; sometimes winning.

11 thoughts on “Self Care is More Than Just a Bubble Bath

  1. It’s funny, but whenever I talk about self-care, I talk about the very same things you mention here, and bubble baths and candles never enter my mind…. Great post Space! Pinning to my self-care board.

    1. Thanks Terri, I’m so glad you liked it. Thanks for pinning it. It’s been a hard learned lesson, but one I’ve really learned the power of this week. We don’t always need to put ourselves first, but sometimes, it’s just necessary to be able to forge ahead with *all* we have on our plates.

  2. I never have bubble baths, but I do practice self care, and I completely understand what you mean! Well done for making positive choices for your own well-being 🙂

  3. I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently with doing my ‘alternative thoughts’ post I did on self-care recently. I think being assertive, making your needs a priority and saying no can all be really difficult, yet so important when looking after ourselves and taking responsibility for our own wellness. It sounds like a very tough week, but I think you’re doing well with trying to look after yourself through it all, even with the hard things like where your daughter’s wedding is concerned. Wishing you all the very best with the appointments and tests. Try to rest and de-stress when you can. Sending hugs!  ♥
    Caz xxxx

    1. Thanks so much, Caz!! And you know, you’re so right. It’s really, really tough to set and keep boundaries. Two of the people I love most in the world have a really, really tough time with that and I have seen what it does to them-one is now gone. I truly believe had she set and kept (even some) boundaries, she’d still be here with me today. You can’t give until you’re depleted-it just isn’t sustainable and I think people like us, with big hearts, tend to do that to ourselves. Sometimes, it’s okay to just push pause. I think I’m finally starting to learn that. I give you permission to do the same, Caz LOL. You deserve it ❤️

  4. I liken it to what they tell you on airplanes (so I’ve heard): put your own oxygen mask on first, because if you don’t take care of yourself, you certainly will not be able to take care of anyone else. Guilt is a big bugaboo we all need to learn to let go of. It’s not our fault we are ill. It’s not our fault. I always tell people, if you can’t deal with me as I am, then don’t keep me in your life. I may be hurt, but I’ll survive. The last thing is, just because you’re related does not mean you are obligated. Eliminating toxic people from our lives applies to family members as well as anyone else. That’s my take on it, anyway.

    1. Wow!!! Great analogy! You’re SO right about the oxygen masks!! I hadn’t thought of that! And I agree about family….it’s a tough choice, in the beginning, but it has been super healing to be away from such toxicity in my life. Its so, so true. Somehow people believe that because you’re related, you get cart blanche to be awful; that’s just not how I see it. It’s tough because my Dad won’t let me know if people are coming. Which puts me in a really bad position. So while I’m not prepared to walk away from my folks, it really stinks to not be respected enough to get a heads up. Most times I can deal with it, but if I can’t now, I just won’t go. His loss. Thanks for your super supportive comments. We all need more acceptance in our lives and the courage to be comfortable with who we are. You send a great message!! ❤️ Stace

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