Tuesday, July 10, 2012

self care & self soothing


This is such an IMPORTANT part of our lives.  We need to take care of ourselves.  We need to respect ourselves.  We need to love ourselves.  But it can be SO hard when the eating disorder is the one in control.  When we don't care about ourselves... how are we supposed to care for ourselves?  When I was struggling with my eating disorder and depression, I didn't care about myself at all.  I hated the things that I did, the way that I felt, the way that I looked... I hated me.  And I couldn't find my way out.  I didn't believe that I deserved any different.

But I did find my way out.  And now, in recovery, I am learning just how important self care and self soothing are in my life.  When I don't take care of myself I notice a difference.  In how I feel, how I think, how I act.  We only have one body.  That's it.  It's the only one we are going to get.  It is unique & special to us.  And it is beautiful.  Now in my life, I try to care for my body as best as I can.  I try to get enough sleep, proper nutrition, & a healthy amount of exercise.  I try to listen to my body when it is trying to tell me what it needs.  If I am sick, I rest.  If I am stressed, I try to relax and take a time out and go for a walk or something.  Learning these things took some getting used to because I had ignored & abused my body and what my body needed for so long, and it took time for me to recognize and be mindful of how important all of these things are.  But they really are so important.

Self soothing is also just as vital in our lives!  Throughout my recovery, I have found things through trial and error that work for me when I need to self soothe.  And the IMPORTANT thing is that they are healthy ways to self soothe instead of my old unhealthy behaviors.  Some of the things that I like to do to self soothe are: laying outside in the sun reading, writing, or just closing my eyes and relaxing.  Taking a nap, going for a walk, going for a drive, talking a bubble bath, getting a massage.  Exercising in a healthy way.  Coloring in a coloring book or drawing.  Putting together a jigsaw puzzle!  That is one of the things that relaxes me the most.  I love to sing along to music and sit on my floor and work on a puzzle.  Going to the park and swinging on the swings.  Playing sports.  Spending time with people I love.  Going window shopping or browsing through thrift stores and finding hidden treasures.


What are some of the ways that you use self care and self soothing in your life & in your recovery?  

11 comments:

  1. All very valid points!!!

    It's amazing how simple this stuff is when we stop and break it down. Happiness isn't winning the lottery (although don't get me wrong, I wouldn't turn it down!) or running off into the sunset (ditto). It's reading in the sunshine, laughing with friends, daydreaming, relaxing.

    Glad to hear you are putting all of this stuff into practice - yay you! xxx

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  2. Hello Jenn. That's a good question you have asked about how do we self care and self soothe. I think I need to be better at it. You have made me think. Take care. Behind The Smile.

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  3. At last, I am getting your updates to my blog....
    At first all these things are quite natural its only when something comes along to upset it all (ed/mental health problems/depression) that we need to relearn.

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  4. I love the way you responded to this theme - you are living proof that recovery is possible and that learning to be kind towards yourself, to nurture and nourish yourself is completely possible also. You're wonderful and a blessing to many - i hope you know that xxx

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  5. I learned in the hospital that doing a puzzle helps me feel like I can problem solve. It calms me, helps me think clearer and it makes life feel less out of control. Life still feels overwhelming at times, the puzzle doesn't take that away, but it makes me feel more in control and helps me to stay present.

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  6. Jenn, this is beautiful. I thought I was the only one who likes to swing on swings! Hehe! Great post!!! xo

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  7. I try to remember those things for myself, but it's hard. I try to tell myself how lucky I am to have a healthy, strong body, but then I revert right back to not feeding it or taking care of it.

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  8. I love the idea of doing puzzles, I so enjoyed them as a child. And colouring! Oh the joys of a fresh box of crayons! Thank you for this post Jenn!

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  9. Jenn, just wanted to stop by to say hi and that I hope you are ok...haven't heard from you in a little while. xoxo

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  10. Hey, I've just found your blog

    I have anorexia/bulimia and am also a recovering heroin addict
    I still have a very negative self image as well as body image and struggle to treat myself kindly
    I have hope though and reading your blog gives me more hope

    Love and light x

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  11. I had an eating disorder when I was 15. I enjoyed finding your blog. Stop by mine if you would like, when you get back. I think it is really important to take the time to self-sooth. I read, blog, walk and run, hike, sew..all of which are really relaxing to me.

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