When I look back at 2018, I feel pride. I fought my ALS hard. I forced myself to finish all my meals, even when I had zero appetite, to minimize weight loss. I made it to all my appointments, though I had to reschedule multiple times. I asked for help when I needed it. That’s probably the toughest thing for me because I hate feeling like a burden.
There’s one area where I dropped the ball, though: mental health. Ironic, I know, since I write this mental health column. I simply didn’t practice true self-care.
I thought I was practicing self-care. I made time to enjoy myself and binge-watch new shows and old favorites. I laughed and had fun. However, I was numbing myself. After difficult conversations, I immediately turned on “The Office” or something else funny. I wasn’t giving myself space to feel my emotions. I certainly wasn’t rejuvenating, which is the heart of self-care. Self-care should leave me energized and empowered.
This year, I am going to try this one-hour formula for a mind, body, and soul reset. The power hour formula allows 20 minutes for each category, and the website lists activity ideas for each one, which is incredibly helpful for a beginner like me. I also recommend that caregivers take a power hour to prevent burnout. The body aspect may be difficult for us pALS, so stretching is a great option. Since I am immobile, I will have to do passive stretching with the help of a caregiver. I am looking forward to reading, stretching, and listening to my favorite podcasts to recharge in 2019.
How will you practice self-care in the new year?
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