Here are some examples of things I've done lately, to help me stay as positive as possible, during a time of a lot of drama:
- Lots of sleep. Getting plenty of sleep is a critical component of staying healthy with lupus, and is even more important when it's also a stressful time for me. I try hard to get a minimum of 8 hours a night, but am not afraid of bumping that up to nine hours, when time permits & I feel I need it.
- Working out. I try to work out regularly anyway to manage my stress level (as well as for health reasons). During times of stress, I find that working out & eating well are the first that usually go, as I make excuses to treat myself. I've been better this time, mostly because I have a half marathon I'm training for. Today, for example, is one of our big reorg announcement days, & I got up extra early & ran 4 miles on the treadmill ahead of the start of my day.
- Eating well. I've been working for years on cleaning up my diet, and reducing sugar and carbs. Because of M's eating changes, it's been timely lately based on our meal plans, etc. I've also noticed a small difference in my weight, based on reducing carbs. Not eating sugar is a clear win from an energy perspective, as well as just overall calories. I've done much better over the past month or so on staying on track than I normally do during stressful times.
- Journaling. It was one of my 2019 goals to journal regularly, and to recap things I'm grateful for. I like the few minutes out of the day, & enjoy looking back at how I was feeling.
- Meditating. I've been pretty inconsistent with this one, but always find it helpful when I make the time.
- Planning ahead. Nothing is worse during a crazy stressful week than coming home to an empty fridge and no planned dinner. Thinking ahead to my week & planning my workouts, my menu, etc all make it so much easier to stay on track & reduce stress.
I've had plenty of falls off of the wagon, but feel that these steps are going a long way to reduce stress. And, most importantly this time, I know I have my sabbatical coming up, which helps tremendously. I know there will be a break ahead, if I can just make it through this. What about you? How do you practice self care? Anything you'd add to the list?