Self-care versus selfishness

13th September 2014: London, United Kingdom How do you look after yourself? What about a treat for yourself when times aren’t the best? What sort of comforts do you seek pleasure from? I am inclined to solely focus on the times when self-care is forced from the gruelling effects of the medication, however, it also be helpful for others to think of the times when feeling well and what can assist to prolong these periods? I suggest completing the activity below. It is aimed at exploring both aspects in your life and how and where you seek comfort. In regards to personal comforts, the list varies. Yoga brings a load of comfort into my life. In addition, the ocean for swim/surf, the sun, a bath, quiet peaceful time alone, rest, time with my girlfriend, watching sport/documentaries/movies/tv shows, reading, meditation, the company of my family and close friends and food (if have my appetite). Also, an important and hopefully not overlooked point is laughter, the good old ‘Patch Adams’ approach to life. When looking closely at laughter, how can one argue with a preceding event to release natural chemicals in your body? All means to achieve laughter should never be underestimated, including the joys children can bring into your life. The laughter and happiness experienced from witnessing my nephews/nieces or other children close to me explore their little worlds amazes me. As stated, it will be different for all, and the thought of children, yoga or water activities may not be favoured. Instead, pets, prayers, pizza or a favourite movie may lead to a level of comfort, the point is to know what makes you feel good/better and be able to deploy the strategy when required. On the matter, I will share my approach because I have found the approach has greatly helped me. It is extremely varied, starting with the above activities and a cap on the hours of tv/movie in a day. The question of whether I ever exceed this limit is easy to answer. Of course I do, especially when days with loads of sport on or I find it difficult to get vertical due to levels of nausea felt, however, overall, a capped limit on tv time has helped me to continue stimulating my brain and filling time with aspects of my life deemed health-promoting, i.e. anything that is beneficial for my body and mind. Lastly, rest! Often, the digital world seems to be spinning at such a rapid rate, and there is pressure to suck you into this ever spinning cycle. I have learned to simply listen to my body and rest. Crucial to achieving this is turning off or putting my phone on silence. The decision may not be received well be others around you, however, at times you need to be selfish, and prioritise your health over and above everything. Activity: What makes you feel good? What allocation of time in the day do you really give to yourself? Is there anything that results in you feeling worse, yet, you continue with it? If so, think about the reasons why and start making a plan to reduce this from your life. How can you incorporate some movement, time for the mind, healthy eating and a disconnection from the internet into your life? Who in your life can bring you some joy, relief, pleasure or understanding (doesn’t need to be human).

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