I was just reflecting on one of the list of things I’ve learned to do over the years as simple tasks, which may seem like small things, but can make real difference in my mood and sense of accomplishment at the end of the day– as someone who often goes days or even over a week without being able to leave home
(and gets severe, ruminating anxiety as a result of that, about how my life is passing me by and how I’m not trying hard enough to truly live, and whatnot– that’s a long story for another day, however)
I thought I might share a few of my little ‘Pick-Me-Ups for Spoonies’– many of which I’m sure those of you active in the community have heard before– but some could be new to certain readers, and hopefully helpful!
- Change out of your pajamas in the morning if possible (or early afternoon, if it takes you a while to wake up), into some comfy, casual, and cute ‘real’ clothes. This has made a huge difference for me, because I used to spend probably 70% of my life in my pajamas– sometimes the same ones for 1-3 days at a time– and when I started changing into a cute and comfy t-shirt and some elastic shorts/leggings in the morning, it gave me more of a sense of ‘normalcy’ and accomplishment!
- If you live with your family or a Partner/SO– like I do, both actually– who usually fetch the mail and the paper, offer to take on the task of getting the mail/paper more often. It feels wonderful to get outside for fresh air and morning/afternoon sunshine– especially when your driveway + walk to mailbox is only 5 meters long at most, like mine– and is an easy task that is both a great accomplishment for the day, and a way to help out your family!
- Connect with other chronically ill/disabled/spoonies online!! I can’t stress this one enough, and there are really spoonie tags and communties everywhere you look: tumblr, facebook, twitter, specialized forums, you name it.
This has made an unbelievably huge difference in my self confidence and feelings toward my illness– the power I have over it, how my symptoms compare other peoples/what I might be able to expect in certain situations, and how strong I am as a person for living with it every day. It’s so, so empowering, the strength in numbers.
[another tip! I’d recommend not ONLY narrowing your search for new friends down to people with identical diagnoses to yourself, either, as neat as that can be– I’ve met some absolutely wonderful people with different illnesses to whom I still deeply relate and sympathize with, and with whom we mutually support and encourage each other when needed, and just in general~]
- Tiny aspects of self-care can be big self-esteem boosts, and feel very satisfying/accomplishing!! I got one of those callus-shaving pedicure rollers a few months ago, and it does all the work for you– just hold the handle and it shaves the rough, scaly, hard skin off the soles of your feet– and then clean my feet, and rub some body oil and lotion on there… it makes me feel so amazing, and all I essentially did was sit there and barely move my hand around for half an hour!!
But in my opinion, it’s SO important to take care of yourself and make your body lovely and well-maintained, in the aspects in which you actually CAN control your body, because so much of it is out of our hands when you have chronic illness.
Take charge of how you CAN make your body even more wonderful, in easy ways like trimming your nails, or having someone else help you with them; I have my BF do mine– he’s Vietnamese, and his mom owned a nail salon, so he knows a lot about manicures (…yes. yes that does sound racist. but I swear it’s the truth LMAO)
- This isn’t an action so much as a word of wisdom I felt necessary to share, but sometimes, it’s okay to want people to feel sorry for/empathetic toward you. To have someone say ‘oh my god Niko, that really happened? you poor thing!’ and not have the knee-jerk response of ‘just because I’m disabled, doesn’t mean you should feel sorry for me.’
Some days, to me, it actually does feel comforting to me to have people feeling sorry for me. I don’t go out seeking it, but I just wanted others to realize that it’s okay to have days like that. It’s your illness, and your choice how you feel about it.
Well, that’s all that’s coming to mind for now! If I can think of more, I’m probably going to keep this list going, and add it to the top drop-down menu under a spoonie-specific section~
Wishing you all a wonderful day and plentiful spoons!!