I’ve had a chronic illness since I was eleven. It’s not the most important thing about me, but it has taught me the importance of taking care of myself. A few nights ago accidentally drank too much caffeine and ended up unable to sleep, body aching and wondering how my energy levels would be effected at work the next day.
But I was pretty calm. I’m well practiced at getting through on low energy and have a few techniques to not just get through, but be productive on low energy or when I’m in pain.
Here are my self care essentials for when I’m feeling either or both of those things:
Muscle and Joint Gel
Not exactly sexy or exciting but very very important! I use the Mussleflex Gel which is made from green lipped muscles and has high levels of glucosamine.
It also has menthol which gives it a cooling effect, perfect for aching muscles and inflamed joints.
I apply a lot of this to painful joints and get through tubes and tubes of the stuff, always having a back up tube stored away.
If you can’t sleep and have swollen feet, rubbing this onto the back of your legs and propping them up on a stack of cushions can really help.
Water, water, everywhere
I am not the best at drinking water. I prefer Diet Coke if I’m honest which I know is terrible.
Usually, other than momentary lapses, I have Diet Coke only before lunch. The rest of the time I try to drink plenty of water.
This is definitely a work in progress.
But drinking water is so important and we all know it. I now have a filter bottle at work to make tap water bearable and I’ve just set up a water tracker in my bullet journal as a reminder to drink more H2O.
Over the years I have taken a lot of supplements and vitamins. Most of my vitamins I now get on prescription because of my vitamin deficiencies and for a while I thought this was enough.
Then I did some research and discovered fish oils are vital for certain chronic auto immune diseases such as Lupus. It’s really important to take pure fish oil not from the liver as this has high levels of toxins that do more harm than good.
I now take Bare Biologies Lion Heart Capsules every day and so far I’m feeling really great on them.
I’m sure this one is no surprise but I always have to have a relaxing book on hand for nights when I can’t sleep.
At the moment I’m particularly loving travel writing such as Outrun by Amy Liptrot and Names For The Sea by Sarah Moss to immerse myself in possibilities for my next holiday.
If you’re struggling to sleep but too exhausted to read then consider a podcast. I love Conversations From the Heart With Yoga Girl. I also find music too stimulating to fall asleep too so like rainforest sounds or gentle classical music on Spotify to lull me to sleep.
If you’re to walk and get some fresh air everyday this can really help boost your mood, tell your body when its time to sleep, aid digestion and prevent joints and muscles from eating stiff.
However if you are too unwell to get out and about consider sitting by an open window or getting wrapped up in blankets and sitting out in the garden. Just a little bit of fresh air can help boost your spirits and you could consider some Engle stretches to ease any pains.
Over recent years I have started taking my self care more seriously. There are some parts of our health we have no control over, but we can still help ourselves.
Recently I’ve been reading The 4 Pillar Plan by Dr Chatterjee and it has a lot of really useful information. It covers sleep, being still, exercise and eating and is full of simple steps we can all take as well the more complex reasons why each pillar is important.
Let me know what your self care essentials are and if you like this type of content please let me know by liking the post and I’ll make sure to post more lifestyle posts and share more about how I cope with my chronic illness..