Not The Self-Care Your Mama Taught You

"If you're struggling, you deserve to make self-care a priority. Whether that means lying in bed all day, eating comfort food, crying, sleeping, rescheduling plans, finding an escape through a good book, watching your favorite TV show, or doing nothing at all - give yourself permission to put your healing first. Quiet the voice telling you to do more and be more, and today, whatever you do, let it be enough." - Danielle Koepke

What is your definition of self-care? Not what society puts out there, is it? Many of us with IBD can't take baths for certain periods of time due to manifestations like Fistulas, Abscesses and more. Does that make us less caring for ourselves than those who are able to drop a fancy bath bomb in the tub, tape it and enjoy a soak? No! We each, as human beings, define what self-care is to us, whether that be going for a run, meditating, going to the movies, viewing an art gallery, painting your nails, listening to Pandora - you define what that care really is.

Self-care, to me, is self-love. It's being proactive with your health before you have to take that moment to do.. nothing. It's being self-aware of your own needs, and action in putting steps forward that sometimes cut out other people from the picture as well as sometimes adding them. For me, self-care includes my therapist, my psychiatrist, my whole care team. The older I get, the more I covet all those refused naps as a toddler (can I get a refund??) and I enjoy sitting around doing absolutely nothing!

Self Care for IBD

Here are some examples of self-care you might not have even thought were self-care:
1) Going to the grocery store and getting fresh air.
2) Order yourself flowers - have them delivered and enjoy them. Soak it in Better yet, go to the Farmer's Market & pick out your own!
3) Sitting in a hammock, catching the warm sun on your face & breathing fresh outside air.
4) Having a dance party with yourself
5) Binging on all your favorite movie trilogies
6) Canceling plans with someone in order just to have "quiet time"
7) Laying on your back doing absolutely nothing
8) Making lists of what you want to get done (goals) vs. what you need to get done
9) Doodling.
10) Brushing your dog
11) Taking a shower.
12) Get dressed up for YOU and not go anywhere.
13) Sitting on a lawn chair on your porch and just taking in the open air.
14) Look up your favorite restaurant recipe and make it yourself at home! (Texas Roadhouse Cinnamon Butter FTW!)
15) Rearrange your room. It's amazing what a new space & scenery in the same space can do for your mental space!!
16) Playing Candy Crush or a board game or solitaire (BY YOURSELF!)
17) Completely shutting off your cell phone and not having a planned time to turn it back on.
18) Be kind to yourself - make a list of 10 things you love about yourself.
19) Play solitaire by yourself - listening to music, listening to meditation or in complete silence!
20) Advocate for yourself (You can't pour from an empty cup.).

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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