#SelfCare vs. Me.

I struggle with the practice of self-care. I understand the need. I understand the concept. I love the glamorization of it- I’m just bad at practicing it.

I tend to live by the “hustle til’ you crash” model of life. I’ll volunteer, work, study, write, socialize, refuel on caffeine, eat too much dairy and eventually just CRASH. 

Sometimes that crash is manageable, a weekend of solitude or an evening with a book will do it. Other times my body downright fights back and I get so sick I am forced to to do nothing for weeks on end. It’s rather inconvenient. 

It happened this Fall following a busy summer, even crazier fall, a move, a trip and some other drama in my life. I fought through what I though was a cold for months, only to finally cave and go to the doctor discovering I had pneumonia. Three weeks on the couch, and now a few months later I can honestly say I am feeling healthy again.

Why does this happen though? Why can’t my body, my mind and my abilities keep up to the pace I want them too? Why can’t I just burn the midnight oil, wakeup at 6am, drink eight cups of coffee, run on take-out and thrive like I want to?

The answer is simple- I’m human. 

That’s the hardest pill to swallow. The fact that as much as I want to do all those things, and I want to be super-human- I’m not.

I’m trying to focus more on self-care this year, looking after me and my own personal health, both physical and mental. Stay-tuned for some of my favourite self-care tips relating to both general mental health and body-focused repetitive behaviours in the coming weeks.

Always remember-it’s not selfish to take care of yourself, it’s necessary.


Join the conversation! Give this post a share, a like or a comment! Spread the word about mental health, and body-focused repetitive behaviours.<3 -A
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Don’t Diss Sundays

I used to hate Sundays. 

They meant the end of a weekend, the start of a week of busy. Often times loaded with laundry, cleaning and a lack of fun. Sundays were seen as “an end”, not a beginning.

Last year that changed with what I started by calling “days I don’t plan” have now taken on the term #SelfCareSunday.

And now I savour and cherish Sundays. 

On Sundays, when I’m not busy, I focus on me.

Baths, candles, books, coffee or a beer on the back deck- whatever my little heart desires! I’m one to keep busy, focus on planning and tend to not fair well when things are out of control (by my own standards mind you). Sunday has become a reset, a time to breathe, to reflect.

The term self-care I’ve learnt from a fabulous company called Wear Your Label, they’ve got a #SelfCareSunday contest going on right now, check it out!

For now I sit here laughing at young me, hating such a beautiful day- for wasting it. Take care of yourself in whatever way you see best. Do what makes your feel your brightest. Most importantly, call it whatever the frig you want!

Happy Sunday friends, I’ll be over here, not making decisions- just doing what I feel like.

Let’s Connect! My goal in this blog is to create a community, help others and in turn grow myself. This is not just about sharing my story, but those of others- Want to collaborate? Suggest a post? Ask a question? Meet to chat? I’m all ears! Send me an email or connect via @AnaSmallwood on twitter or instagram. 

Planes, Trains, and … Hair- Travelling w Trich

It’s been a busy couple of weeks! The past two weeks it seems I’ve spent equal amounts of time away, that actually at home. For the homebody in me, it’s exhausting,  but traveller me absolutely LOVES it! As I amp up for another adventure next weekend I’ve been thinking of ways I tackle Trichotillomania when travelling. Looking at the pulling I’ve been doing the past few weeks, some of caused by travelling, some by other instances in my life, I can honestly say travelling takes its toll.

As I’ve mentioned before in Day 2 of #7DayTrichster I pull mostly when bored, and the fact is travelling might as well be a prescription for boredom. Long flights, endless car rides, and bus trips equal an urge to pull, but also a tight enclosed space in which giving into said urge is sometimes impossible.

And so with the goal of helping others, and myself for the next bout of journeys, I’ve made a list of helpful tricks for your next road trip, plane ride or cross-country adventure!

  1. Prepare- When I’m stressed, and when I’m unsure or feel “out of control” I pull. Feeling like I’ve forgotten something or being worried about missing a flight makes this feeling much worse. To avoid such a feeling I tend to make lists well in advance, pack strategically and always, always plan to be early. Sure this doesn’t always work- but hey that’s life!
  2. Gum & Candy– This one is my favourite for plane rides. The whole “Chewing gum stops your ears from popping!” concept is a great excuse to chew far more gum and eat more candy than is probably healthy. Keeping my jaw busy for whatever reason helps me avoid pulling and candy seems to provide the same reward.
  3. Find a Friend– The introvert in me is not going to just talk to a stranger on a plane, of that I’m not suggesting. But a friend to text on a long car ride, or a bored friend to type a message to via Facebook in the airport has been helpful in the past.
  4. Fiddle Toys- When it comes to plane rides I’ve yet to find a fiddle toy, aside from the odd hair elastic on my arm that I feel comfortable travelling with. My favourite as of late Bucky Balls is essentially tiny magnetic balls which stick together and can be shaped into many things. Yet I worry travelling with it on a plane, and would rather not have it confiscated so it stays home.
  5. Hats & Headbands– As mentioned in Day 3 of #7DayTrichster I have a whole bunch of ways I style or hide my hair to avoid pulling- when I travel those coping mechanisms certainly come with.
  6. Naps on Naps- Sometimes trips are just best spent napping. I’ve been known to just fall asleep and wakeup when we get there. Makes the trip far much faster too!
  7. Give Into The Urge- Sometimes travelling is stressful, and honestly when the urge gets to me- I give in. Discretely I’ve pulled and felt better-off for it, and then able to get on with the trip.

This is by far a comprehensive list, I’d love your suggestions, fiddle-toy ideas or experiences!

Let’s Connect! My goal in this blog is to create a community, help others and in turn grow myself. This is not just about sharing my story, but those of others- Want to collaborate? Suggest a post? Ask a question? Meet to chat? I’m all ears! Send me an email or connect via @AnaSmallwood