I had very mixed up ideas about this throughout my life…these ideas included calling in sick to stay home bingeing and watching TV all day, buying myself an ice cream cone because I deserved it, missing exercise class because I was “too tired and went last week” and buying new clothes instead of using my money to go to the dentist as clothes made me “look good”. These are all warped ideas and they were the best I could come up with prior to recovery…to me, self-care used to mean doing anything I wanted and that made me “feel good”. All of these things were designed to make me “Feel Good”.
“Feeling good” now comes to me very differently than it used to. The things that truly fill me up and therefore leave me feeling happy, peaceful and content now include:
- Following through when I say I will do something
- Rigorously eating my abstinent food plan every day
- Walking in nature
- Riding my bike, flying down a hill
- Connection to my Higher Power through daily meditation and prayer
- Playing with my 5-year old niece, Georgia ( you knew I had to get that one in there)
- Laughing until my stomach hurts with my Mom
- Making my bed every morning
- Doing the dishes after each meal
- Being compassionate to others in pain due to food addiction
- Telling the truth
And I could go on and on…that actually surprised me. When I started writing this list I couldn’t think of much and then once I started they just kept flowing. Wow! My life is pretty amazing and I “feel good” so much more than I ever used to. Even when I am struggling (which let’s be real…is often, for the simple fact that I am a human being which means I will have challenges every day of my life) I can still feel good and look after myself. It’s actually imperative that I practice good self-care, I believe that recovery is just that…self-care and looking after myself! So these things actually are life-saving for me. What actions are life-saving for you? What makes you “feel good” and what is your personal definition of “self-care”?
Would love to hear your thoughts on this.