The Exhaustion of Self-Care and What I Did About It

Many times chronic and mental illnesses will impede on our ability to take care of our own needs. The fatigue, brain fog, pain and the like overtakes the want to do daily things. Laundry, showering, washing dishes, filling pills, and walking the dog are all good examples. There is no possible way that you can get every single thing done in one day. Especially when it is already just difficult for you to exist.

I find it the hardest to keep up with my showering routine without a lot of moaning and groaning. It just requires so much effort on my part to complete that process. The water affects my POTS, my blood pressure drops, my heart rate skyrockets, and I get dizzy. This ends up taking me a lot longer to shower than an “average” person would. Most of all, it makes me dread when it comes time to shower.

Over the years, I have found that a bit of planning is involved to lesson my pre-shower anxiety and dread. Addressing my physical symptoms for one, has helped me hugely in this struggle. I have gotten a small shower chair to use for shaving and also whenever I feel dizzy in the shower. I also was gifted a small barstool like chair which I use to sit on for drying off, drying my hair, or just taking a break. In the few months since I have gotten these, I have noticed a big difference in the physical side of the problem.

The other thing that I am implementing is pre-planning. Since the physical side of actually taking a shower has greatly improved, I am now just dealing with the anxiety before hand. So I have found that if I plan what day I am going to take a shower on, it helps. I then know not to plan any activity before it and to have plenty of rest after my shower. This doesn’t always work out, of course, but it changes the way I interact with that anxiety. This planning gives me a concrete way of taking control of the situation.

Compared to six months ago, I am doing a lot better in regards to my shower taking, although it is a fluid process. That is ok, being imperfect is “perfectly” fine. We are humans of course. While I can never completely change the situation I am in, I can find ways to help myself physically and to think about it in a different light. Whatever you are having trouble with today, think about what might help you modify your approach to it. Would sitting during the activity help? What about taking frequent breaks? Feel free to take my experience as a guide.

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Image by joe137 on Pixabay

One thought on “The Exhaustion of Self-Care and What I Did About It

  1. Pingback: April’s Chronic Illness Linkup | The Chronically Unimaginable

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