Prior to developing a series of chronic illnesses, I didn’t really give much thought to listening to my body when I put it in over-drive. What do I mean by over-drive? Drinking too much, studying too late, eating crappy food for extended periods of time, running on very little sleep and/or food, etc.
I was compared to Wonderwoman in college-not because I actually was, but because I juggled working full-time, being a part of lots of extra curriculars, and finishing two Bachelor’s degrees in a little under three years. I was hustling every day, most were 10-12 hours of go-go-go…and now, well, I can’t.
My body will literally break down in every way possible when I stress it out. My GI symptoms will go haywire-like throwing up foods I can normally eat, lower GI distress, ya get the points. Mental health is also a big one, because when my body starts to go on the fritz, so does my mind. I get anxious about going out in public (goodness forbid I get sick somewhere there isn’t an available restroom), about how many things I won’t be able to get done because my body’s falling apart, etc.
SO. What’s the point of this little aside? Since I’ve started actively dealing with my different health issues, I’ve really started to zero-in on how important self-care is. So what’s self-care look like?
-I book an appointment for a massage when my body is so knotted up I can’t sit up straight.
-I avoid foods I know are more volatile with my body when I’m stressed out.
-I adjust to allow for enough sleep every night.
-I have also adopted (and have to keep reminding myself) the mindset that if I put in my best effort, that’s all I can ask of myself. No over-studying. No over-stressing. Yes, both in reasonable quantities are healthy, but for a type-A workaholic with a variety of chronic health issues, that could mean a trip to the hospital (which, let’s be honest, NO ONE has time for that).
So, give yourself a break, spoonie or not, and learn to live and let go. Studying is important, but at the end of the end of the day, grades and classes aren’t everything. They really aren’t. What’re your top tips for avoiding the stressors of finals? Any must have products?