Self Care – Napping is Okay

Today, March 12th, 2018 is National Napping Day.  I am going to be completely honest, I took part in this special day today.  This day had me thinking about something I have to be reminded of quite often by friends, family, and medical professionals.  Sometimes it is okay to slow down.  Without taking time for self care there is no way to maintain the lifestyle that I have.  It just cannot be sustained.

Although the occasional nap is obviously amazing, this is not the only way to practice self care.  Self care also will not look the same for everyone.

5 Ways to Increase Your Self Care

  1.  Set aside a time that you can do something you enjoy daily – this can be anything that you find relaxing and that brings you peace.  Imagine setting aside time everyday to read a book, write in a journal, or take a relaxing bath.
  2. Exercise – spend some time exercising everyday.  This does not mean you need to plan to head out to the gym everyday but pick something reasonable to you.  Stretch out, do some yoga, take a walk around the block.  What level of exercise do you think is reasonable?
  3. Prioritize Sleep – This is something that is essential to continued maintenance of lifestyle.  Prioritizing sleep means trying to sleep at night but also taking time for the occasional nap as needed.
  4. Be Accepting of Help – It seems kind of counterintuitive that welcoming in help is a part of increasing your self care, however, it is really important that you allow others in to help you.  It is also important to balance that help.  If you do not want someone at your home because you just don’t feel ready for it then don’t feel pressure to accept that type of help. Think about how someone can help you on your terms.
  5. Unplug Socially As Needed – Sometimes there is a need to step away and socially take a mental break.  This can be one of the most challenging things to do and it isn’t something that will be a part of self care for everyone.

So, how about you?  Did you take part in #NationalNappingDay?  What is one way you can increase your Self Care?

Read more about Erica’s story at www.cervivor.org/erica

Turning 40 – Changing my Mindset

2018 is my year to really feel beautiful inside and out. I’ve been through an emotional ring of crazy for the last few years. I don’t believe in setting a resolution for myself but strive to do a little better each day. With that, I intend to end my self hatred about my appearance. I truly think turning 40 has helped with that. It sounds like nonsense but I believe there is a turning point for people and this is mine.

As 2018 is beginning to unfold I am finally choosing peace. I am determined to work on my emotional well being and am choosing to be and feel beautiful. I say this because for the last 6 years my life has been an uphill effort. I will be a 6 year cervical cancer survivor this year and with that there have been struggles that I have had to overcome. Even though being diagnosed with cancer, you would think one would have the desire to exceed and want to live a better quality of life. I let myself go. With the constant worry and needing to make decisions that would ultimately change mine and my family’s lives forever altered who I was.

I didn’t know how to manage my stress and that led to depression and then anxiety just a year and a half after I was declared cancer free. You see, there seems to be a stigma associated with HPV related cancers and I was ashamed of my diagnosis. I only told a limited amount of people to keep it under the radar and I was more worried about what others would think of me because of the type of cancer I had. I also didn’t want people to feel sorry for me or to be known as just another girl who has cancer.

Turning 40 has helped change my mind set for which I am thankful for because at one time I didn’t think I would reach this number in age. I am beginning to live my life for me and work on my strengths rather than focus on my weaknesses and am slowly ridding my thoughts of worry about what I think others think of me. I am celebrating being me and have stopped second guessing wearing that bright lipstick and/or false eyelashes and am just doing it because it gives me confidence. My healthy lifestyle will be a gradual work in progress.

As with any life journey there are obstacles and this has been mine. The realization of being given one life has finally settled in. So I ask while you’re out in the world being kind to others, make the exception to be kind to yourself and allow yourself to feel beautiful so we can strive to be the best version of ourselves.

Read more about Kristine’s story:  http://cervivor.org/stories/kristine/