We have all heard by now that we need to make time for ourselves but do we? Do you on a regular basis exercise self-care? I know for me, that’s a concept that I never understood until I had celiac disease and I realized that my body just couldn’t keep going anymore. I had spent my entire life pushing and pushing and I suddenly found myself at a place where my body just said no more. I needed to take better care of myself but I had no idea what that even looked like. Sure a good night’s sleep sounds like heaven but what did that even look like? I use to sleep about five hours a night and now my body just requires more now. But how much more?
The honest truth is it varies. In the beginning there were days where I slept for twelve to fourteen hours and I was still absolutely dead tired and now seven to eight seems to be a good number for me. Your body needs to heal and sleeping is one of the best things you can do for it. So when you are tired, lay down and stop pushing yourself. I know easier said than done when I couldn’t get everything done that I needed to when I only slept five hours a night, how are you suppose to get everything done now when you are sleeping fourteen? The answer is your not and that’s going to have to be okay.
But what else qualifies as self-care? Massages, long baths, meditation, quite time, reading a great book, getting your nails and toes done all qualify as good ones. The question is how often do you do them?
I know for me, my day does not function well if I don’t take some time every morning to have some quite time for me. I need to ease into the day and just enjoy some lemon water, some journalling and to inhale the beauty of bay in my backyard before all the craziness of my day begins. I’m not sure if its because I always feel like I’m on all day that I just need that time for me. Same goes for my pm ritual, I find if I meditate before I go to sleep, it slows down my thoughts and relaxes me and allows me to sleep so much better than on the nights when I skip this.
Massages are something that I have always done but that was mostly as a pain management technique because I have had back and hip issues for a few decades now. And then when I had a nasty infection in my lymph system (as a celiac complication) those massages helped me function again. So massage is definitely another goodie.
What I have also found is that I require much more and longer recover time than my non-celiac friends and family and that has to be okay. When I have had a really busy week of non-stop one thing after another, I absolutely need some down time for my body to recover whether that be a day to sleep a few extra hours, some time to read and curl up relaxing, whatever it is, my body requires it now. So I had to learn to schedule in down-time for myself before my body demands it.
When you have celiac disease, it is a lifelong condition but what you have to remember is that in most cases you were misdiagnosed and/or this has gone untreated for years and in many cases decades so your body needs time to recover and heal in order for you to feel 100% again. Resting isn’t one weekend, isn’t a month, it depends on your body and how badly you have treated it and how badly you continue to treat it. You have to learn to listen to the clues that your body is sending you.
And, if you don’t learn to slow down and change your lifestyle… your body will do it for you in the case of disfunction, pain, and/or additional complications. I have found that celiac disease is truly a blessing as I now understand my body better, it has forced me to slow down, figure out what is most important and to listen to the clues that it is sending me.
What clues is your body sending you?