Saturday, October 11, 2014

Self care is not a bad word

Five years of learning to do self-care and one week of graduate studies and I forget every lesson I have learned.
I didn't eat this week. The level of reading requirements are crazy high, and the pace just as high. Everytime I though I would just finish one more thing...I went way past that one thing and never ate. After weight loss surgery, you must get a high protein diet. You can only fit approximately 1/2 cup of food in your stomach, but you must have a minimum of 60g of protein daily. Skipping even one meal can make that goal nearly impossible. Not eating until dinner time is far worse. Not drinking the water bottle sitting at arms reach is even worse.I also did not stop to exercise this week. Lack of movement causes arthritic joints to get stiff. Add to that the issue that Psoriatic arthritis is highly sensitive to stress. I feel like an 80 year old woman today, just one week into the next three years of my life.So, I am working to develop better plans for better attention to self care. Not only did my arthritis flare badly in the night, but my vision is blurry now. I cannot possibly read the long list of reading requirements if I cannot see from blurry vision. So, by failing to practice self-care, I have sabotaged my study efforts, and created more stress for myself.So in addition to focusing on the mandatory work I must finish before I can call it quits for this weekend, I am working to develop some better routines that will fit into graduate studies but will also put self-care back as a high priority. I am buying protein powder. If I need to rely upon drinking a protein shake instead of eating lunch for awhile, at least it contains both calories and protein to keep me functioning. I will exercise at least three days per week, without negotiations. I will shower and dress and not study in my PJs simply because I *can*.There is more that I need to work on, but these basic steps are where I need to focus. If I don't practice self-care, I will not be able to stay healthy and functioning and I won't be able to finish this journey before me. I have cost myself and my family more in the total shut down I am experiencing today than I would have cost to practice self-care every day and prevent myself from being here.