Self-care during difficult times is a fundamental aspect of the healing process and the foundation for good health. A significant percentage of people with disabilities experience difficulties in this area, including stress, anxiety, depression, physical pain, confusion, anger, feelings of isolation and helplessness, etc. Self-care includes activities that help you maintain your emotional well-being and learn to cope effectively with life’s challenges. Your self-care skills are the key to maintaining your health and helping yourself to lead an entire life.
The following are tips for maintaining self-care during difficult times:
1) Be honest about what you need
This can include talking to family members or friends, getting professional counseling, attending support groups, going to the doctor, eating nutritious food, exercising, meditating, journaling, listening to music, taking a break from stressful situations, and using spiritual practices to relax and calm down. You may also want to consider creating an action plan that helps you get things done despite your situation. For example, if you have a lot of clutter at home, decide how much time and money it will take to clean up. Then set specific short-term goals (e.g., every Monday afternoon), long-term goals (e. g., every year I’d like my house to be cleaner than it was last January), and milestones (e.g., cleaning out one room per week).
There are different types of therapies which include: CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), DBT (dialectical behavior therapy), EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing Therapy), mindfulness therapy, Gestalt therapy, psychodynamic therapy, hypnosis/hypnotherapy, EFT (Emotion Focused Therapy) and others.
These therapies offer a variety of benefits. For instance, some of the benefits of emotion-focused therapy include:
-relieving negative emotions such as fear, shame, and anger
-reducing the intensity of painful memories
-decreasing impulsive behaviors
-increasing awareness of thoughts, beliefs, and feelings
-increasing attention span and memory recall
-improving cognitive flexibility, concentration, and creativity
If you need therapy, talk to your therapist about options and treatment plans. They should be able to give you information on available treatments in your community.
Regular exercise improves energy levels, keeps you mentally sharp, relieves tension, and increases self-esteem. It is often used as part of wellness programs for those with chronic illnesses or disabilities. Ask your care provider to guide you through some exercises suitable for you. Examples include bodybuilding, cardio, and high-intensity integral training.
Staying active and busy does not always mean having fun or being positive! Relaxation techniques can help you let go of worrying thoughts. Some relaxation exercises include meditation, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, yoga, and body awareness exercises.
5) Spiritual practices
Spiritual practice helps us find meaning in our lives, understand ourselves, and become more accepting of who we are and where we come from. In addition, spiritual practices increase mental strength, promote personal growth and develop empathy.
Eating healthy foods provides nutrients that keep you fit and strong and aids in the overall maintenance of your body. Consider purchasing nutritional supplements such as Omega 3 Fatty Acids, probiotics, fiber, and minerals to ensure adequate intake of essential nutrients for optimal health. As an added measure, consider keeping a diet diary to monitor and record changes in nutrient intake over time.
7) Quality sleep
Getting quality sleep every night enables your body to physically, mentally, and emotionally replenish itself. It’s essential to get enough sleep because sleeping gives your brain a chance to consolidate memories, develop new ones and prepare for the next phase of your life (or even just the next hour!). Sleep is essential for maintaining emotional health. In addition, adequate sleep also contributes to higher alertness, concentration, and memory retention.
8) Coping skills
Stress happens when people encounter stimuli that challenge their beliefs, values, identity, resources, or capabilities. The experience of stress often evokes physiological responses, including increased heart rate, shallow breathing, muscle tension, and sweating. Over time, prolonged exposure to stress has been linked to developing physical conditions, such as hypertension, ulcers, and headaches. Research shows that people who learn relaxation techniques effectively manage their stress, cope well under pressure and perform at their best. Other research suggests that learning and using relaxation techniques can enhance performance in many aspects of life.
Self-care plays an integral role in promoting and ensuring good health. Maintaining self-care during difficult times will support you in managing your illness and coping with any challenges. Being proactive about staying fit and healthy is all about making lifestyle choices that make you feel better. Good self-care includes eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, getting enough rest, and keeping yourself relaxed. Make sure you know what is needed to stay on top of things and understand how to take charge of your health. Also, consider enlisting professional help if necessary.