Back in January I wrote about the importance of self-care and some things I vowed to work on myself. As May is Fibromyalgia Awareness month, I decided it was time to check in and see just how good or bad I am doing on my own self-care. Practice what you preach, and all. I have found more success following strategies for healthy living, than I ever did taking a pill that the doctors prescribed. So taking care of myself has to be my number one priority, in order to minimize my fibro-flares. You cannot, after all, drink from an empty cup, and having a flare can often feel like you are running on empty.
Here’s what I wanted to improve on:
- Sleep – I am still not getting enough, but of course some of that has been neck pain-related. I am getting better about not watching the news as much before bed and turning off the alarm on the weekends to let my body sleep. I also am finding I am not waking up as much during the night as I used to. Granted, that may be due to the occasional muscle relaxer for my neck pain, but whatever the cause I will take it.
- Work – This is a hard one. I am still working too much and eating at my desk most days of the week. I am in the middle of a managing a software upgrade project right now, so extra work on top of my already busy day. I really want to get better at this and walk away at the end of 8 hours. I have been getting away from the office one day a week for lunch and doing mid-day exercises at my desk, but I am still shooting for two lunches away or even a lunchtime yoga class!
- Massages – I have had two massages this year and have another lined up for this weekend. This isn’t nearly enough to take advantage of that muscle memory, but it’s better than last year. What I am doing is:
- Religiously using my foam roller for my back, hips, and legs every day. This self-myofascial release significantly helps the pain and work out the knots, and I am not having as many flares in my hips and legs. You can find a lot of exercises on Pinterest and Youtube using your foam roller.
- I also have a standing desk at work that I use several times a week. They say sitting is the new smoking, so I try to stand as long as I can do it without pain.
- Regularly working out at home – yoga, walking, elliptical – several times a week.
- Time management
- I am getting better at planning the week ahead with my schedule and my meals, and reviewing what was done each week. I went back to a written planner, coupled with my Outlook schedule on my iPhone. The written planner is used for work, volunteer, personal, and blog tasks, all color-coded and gives me a bit of a creative outlet, as I have been decorating and writing inspirational quotes in that. I find I spend more time looking at it, writing things down, and planning, since I am decorating along the way. 🙂
- Grocery shopping online – I did this once. They didn’t have several items in stock and did not substitute and I received moldy strawberries. So I still had to make another trip to the store. I can see where this would be handy for staples though, to keep a running list made, but I actually enjoy perusing the aisles at the grocery store.
- Web surfing – I do still seem to lose track of time some weekday mornings, but I had significantly cut back on my use of social media.
All in all, I am at least moving in the right direction, so I am giving myself a solid B- so far. I believe too many hours in front of my computer are also contributing to my neck problems, as I noticed a significant increase in the numbness and pain down my right arm as I was using my mouse this week. I have a series of desk exercises (deskercise!) I am using, recommended by our wellness coach at work, to stretch and relieve some of the tension. I find they help, but so would getting away from my desk. 😉
So this month as I try to help increase awareness of Fibromyalgia, I am also doing a 28-Day Reset of my diet from Cassie Ho of Blogilates and continuing to work on the above list. Sometimes I slip back into bad eating habits (I admit I sneaked a few Robin Eggs around Easter), so getting back on track is in order. You have to love yourself enough to follow a healthy lifestyle, which in turn will help keep you from running on empty. ❤
Shine for Fibro
Finally, I want to recognize another blogger who created a great campaign idea for the month of May. Brandi over at Being Fibro Mom developed the Shine a Purple Light for Fibromyalgia concept and #ShineforFibro hashtag, which I have used on a few tweets this week. So pop on over to her page using the link above and read what she has to say.
How are you doing on your self-care? Are you staying strong?