Self-Care When Life is Exhausting

Photo credit: hsingy on Flickr
Life since November 9th has been pretty exhausting and disheartening, but I think it's all starting to catch up with me. Or just piling into something overwhelming. Or something.

Stuff with my chronic illness has kind of taken the spotlight for me this month. I've been flaring multiple times a week—probably at least partially due to stress—and I just started a new medication I'd been avoiding for years for various reasons (one of them being it's injected weekly), which in theory should help significantly, but it's been emotionally exhausting. Combine that with watching the GOP dismantle ACA and knowing there's a very real possibility I may not be able to get insurance at all once I turn 26 in just over a year, and thus may not be able to treat the disease upending my life—

It's just. It's a lot.

Monday supposedly will be the day the GOP reveals their replacement plan, so I should know—soon—how much this is going to affect my future. But between this and other exhausting things happening in my life, I've become intensely aware I need to take care of myself right now.

So. Here are some self-care tips for when life is exhausting. Tips that I will be trying to implement myself.

  • Take as many breaks as you need. Breaks are important, and especially when you're dealing with A Lot and it starts to feel overwhelming, it's important to give yourself permission to take the breaks you need. After all, you're not going to do your best work if you burn yourself out.

  • Step away from social media when needed. Social media can be great sometimes for various reasons, but sometimes it can be stressful. And some days, you just don't have the energy, or emotional space, etc. to handle whatever is being discussed. And that's okay. You don't have to be there for everything.

  • Comfort food is delicious. I'm thinking I might make (low sugar, because sugar triggers my anxiety) brownies or something because it's been a rough week and dammit, I deserve brownies. But seriously, don't underestimate the power of comfort food, whether that's tea, soup, your favorite meal, or your some kind of dessert.

  • Baths and showers are good for de-stressing. And relaxing. Basically, they're nice if you let them be.

  • So are candles. I love candles, especially ones that smell like sweets. You are probably noticing a theme here. That's okay. Candles can be very relaxing.

  • Also reading. Bonus—you can work toward your reading goal! Just don't stress out about that part, because that sort of defeats the purpose of reading to relax. 

  • Talk to uplifting friends. I can't stress enough how much it helps to have supportive people to talk to. Whether those friends are online, local, or something else, make sure you take time to talk to uplifting people in your life when you need it. 

  • You don't have to fight every day. This has been especially important for me to remember. Especially with everything going on politically, it feels like there's always a dozen things to fight everyday—and unfortunately right now that's not really far from the truth. But you don't have to tackle everything every day. You're allowed to take breaks as long as you need. You can't fight if you've run yourself into the ground, so whenever you need to take a day or week or whatever off—do it knowing it's okay.

So that's what I've got—now I want to hear from you. What self-care tips do you have? 

Twitter-sized bite:
In stressful times, self-care is essential. @Ava_Jae shares some self-care suggestions and things to remember. (Click to tweet)

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