Self-care when you need it most

I’m taking a 2 week online course called Cultivating Self Care by Vivienne McMaster.   It has been helpful to reassess my daily self-care habits through journaling and self portraits.  We are looking at our current self care routines.  We are getting new ideas to try in the future.   I’ve made some self discoveries that surprised me.

Nobody takes care of me when I’m sick.

I’ve had the flu for the past 48 hours and haven’t felt like doing much of anything.   I had no energy for all those lovely self care habits I usually enjoy.  Just getting out of bed to get a drink of water was the extent of my self care for the first 24 hours.  Pulling cards from the Balance Resource Card deck only made me feel guilty that I wasn’t doing things to take care of myself.

I needed to take a break from the list of “shoulds”.

I asked myself “What do you really need right now, my dear?”   And the answer was the simple things.  I gave myself permission to sleep all day.  I asked others prepare meals and do the dishes.  I drank enormous amounts of water and hot tea.  I even got frequent walks to the kitchen and bathroom.  I surprised myself by taking a brief walk outside to get some fresh air.

Here are a few things I discovered this week:

  1. I need to give myself permission to take care of ME first.  All. The. Time.
  2. I need to pay attention to what I really need.  Not what I think I should be doing, but what I need at that particular moment in time.  It might just be simple little things like getting a glass of water or getting a breath of fresh air.
  3. It’s ok to ask others to help.  Especially when I’m sick.  Most of the time others are willing to help out when asked.

Now that I’m feeling better, I can ease back into some of my regular routines.  When I’m ready.

What do you do for self care when you are sick?   Give yourself permission to take care of yourself first!