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Self-care? What does it mean to you?

Old 07-12-2012, 09:43 PM
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Self-care? What does it mean to you?

Yesterday my therapist urged me to embrace my new situation (single, new place) as a first step toward better self care use the time/energy I spent on XABF and his drinking, etc. etc. to better nurture myself.

I'm trying to identify for myself what my course of action should be and what really needs my attention.

So I'm curious what you did/have done/want to do to better care for you?

My short list:

1. Exercise. I want to resume my regular routine. (Now that I don't have to try to hurry up and see XABF right after work so he won't get drunk.)
2. Cook quality meals. (I got away from this not only because of XABF, but because my house was on the market for a long time, and I had to keep it pristine. It was easier just to go out/get carryout and we went out all the time.)
3. Focusing on spirituality. For me this is continuing going to church (even though it was something XABF and I started doing together) and also reading/learning more.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:00 PM
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Regularly going to AlAnon.
Maintaining a daily routine.
Including my Higher Power as part of that daily routine.
Keeping my environment conducive to quality sleep every night.
Practicing self-discipline every day.
Reaching out to others every day.
Making decisions about what I will allow into my life, each and every morning.
Maintaining an attitude of gratitude. Practicing identifying those things for which Inam or should be grateful for every day.
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Old 07-12-2012, 10:21 PM
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Gosh Jessiec, I could have written your list... All the same things I've been trying to do while detaching, as things at home get worse. Funny how we let our diet go; I think it's because they dont eat well, or appreciate great food

Journalling to reconnect to my authentic self.
Making more time for hanging out with friends, especially those that knew me before I met my ABF.
Paying more attention to what my body is telling me- eg. headaches mean too much stress and not enough sleep, so go to bed earlier.
Take time to imagine/visualize a happy future for myself.
Prayers, and personal pep talks to counteract all the negativity.
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Old 07-13-2012, 05:42 AM
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I journal every day. Make sure I read my Al Anon materials daily. I also try to take at least one meal where I am more thoughtful about what I'm eating, which is hard while on vacation right now, LOL! Exercise daily, yesterday I ran/walked a mile to the beach and just sat there sweating on the sand before I returned and I used that time to pray and reflect. I won't have that kind of free time once I get back home in August and school stuff will be starting up.

Also, I have been working on my mental self talk. When I start falling into a negative pattern, I stop, and then I try to figure out where it's coming from and how I can change it. Oh, and I like to get pedicures so I try to do that once a month.
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Old 07-13-2012, 06:35 AM
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In addition to your list I also worked on:

**} Getting better sleep - it benefits every other area of my life when I get sufficient sleep & I felt deprived & burned out for too long

**} Prioritizing all my checkups & healthcare; I started (& love) acupuncture, got new glasses, etc. All the little personal things I had been letting slide by.

**} Devoting more time to my yoga & meditation practice ~ this also ties into my personal spiritual focus.

**} Working on gratitude in all areas of my life

**} Trying new things when the opportunity arises (even small silly stuff.... one of my BFF's loves jumping in the car with her 4-yr old & heading to the beach & sometimes she heads out late on a Friday or Sat, grabs a happy meal, spends an hour letting her kid play while she just sits on the beach & listens to the waves.... I never joined her because I'm not very beachy, it seems like a lot of work & mess to go through & drive 45 min each way just to listen to the water. But I went & DD & I had an amazing time. It was a good, albeit silly, little reminder that changing up even small things in my world can make a positive difference.)

**} I made a list of things I wanted to work on, no matter how insignificant. Smile more, stop apologizing as a knee-jerk reaction, doodle more, stop judging myself & others, etc.

**} Drink more water! Sounds stupid but I had fallen out of the habit & this silly little change makes a huge impact to my overall health, which translates to benefitting my mental health as well.
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Old 07-13-2012, 06:41 AM
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I would like to add exercise and working a mindfulness program. When I actively pay attention to my thinking and breathing I find it much easier to live in the moment.

One of the books I read on mindfulness was by a doctor who did before and after brain scans of people using mindfulness for issues like stress, depression and trauma recovery. He could actually show how the parts of the brain being used changed during the course of the process to healthier patterns.

Your friend,
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Old 07-13-2012, 06:43 AM
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Your 3 items sound great! I agree with them. What really helps me is urge surfing. It is a technique for dealing with anxieties. Facing situations without drama. Inner calm. sobriety rocks.
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Old 07-13-2012, 06:45 AM
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Lizatola reminded me of another - pedicures!

I take at least 1 night every 2 weeks to do a full beauty treatment. Facials, pedicure, deep hair conditioning, dying my eyelashes, etc. All that stuff that makes me feel girly. I'm super blessed to have a hot tub, so I use it at every opportunity.
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Old 07-13-2012, 06:46 AM
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Another thing I like is waking up and listing things you are grateful for. In the beginning, it took a while. Now the list goes on and on. It's comforting to look around and see good things surrounding you. Environment does matter. Hugs.
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:07 AM
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I have another one that is really important:

Having and maintaining a facial care program every morning and every night.

Don't go to sleep with make-up on your face ladies!!!
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Old 07-13-2012, 07:51 AM
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1- The gym (been at it for 15 yrs and will always be at it)
2- Al Anon
3- friends
4- work
5- eating super clean
6- rest
7- Meditation
8- retail therapy ;-)
9- staying away from the ex's
10- laughing as much as I can

I do a lot towards my self care, I always have. My biggest mistakes in life are the men I meet.
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:44 AM
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I've finally gotten to the point where I can sit with my emotions and let them be.
Let them be what they are.
Without freaking out about them.
(Well, most of the time, at least... )

For me, self-care starts with allowing myself to feel whatever it is I'm feeling.
And reassuring myself that I am worth taking care of.
This summer has been the summer of ME.
I honestly feel like I've held myself like a baby and reassured myself, hugged myself, let myself know that I'm lovable and lovely just the way I am right now. And that any changes I want in my life, I need to want because they add value to my life, not to live up to someone else's idea of what I ought to be or do.

I go to the gym when I want to. I eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full. I have long staredowns with myself when offered to go out and do something with friends -- I don't want to become a hermit, but I'm so used to doing what other people want that half the time, I don't even know what I want myself.

I've journaled a lot. Thought a lot. Cried less than I thought. Walked so many miles I need new sneakers. I've learned to say no without coming with excuses.

I'm not there, but I'm listening to myself. And that, for me, is the first step in taking care of myself. Finding out what I really want. Making sure I feel the love.
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:50 AM
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When I first separated from my AH, self-care meant resuming the basics that had been lost in an all-consuming alcoholic/codependent marriage. Exercise, eating right, getting back on schedule with check-ups, drinking more water, getting enough sleep, etc. Hard to believe most of those things went by the wayside.

Now that the basic physical nurturing has become routine again, I focus on nurturing my soul. For me, that means spending as much time in nature as I possibly can, playing with and walking my puppy, and of course taking and processing photographs.

I've also made the decision to leave my job of 15 years, sell my house, and downsize my life. It just feels like the right thing to do at this point in my life. I'm so looking forward to spending my time doing what I love, rather than doing what others expect.

L
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Old 07-13-2012, 08:57 AM
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I'm so looking forward to spending my time doing what I love, rather than doing what others expect.
Quoted for truth.

Thank you for that insight.

Your friend,
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:33 AM
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1. Exercise. When I was with the alcoholic, my entire being seemed to revolve around her and she despised exercise. Me, I before getting with her was obsessed with it. Now that it is gone, I can indulge in the weight room and the track once again.
2. My Harley. That bike is the best thing ever, myself and my uncle ride every weekend, I thought the alcoholic could get into riding and she tells me "you need to get saddlebags for my 12 pack".....wow.
3. Al Anon, my support group and lifeline.
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