Lately, I’ve been feeling less and less like myself. With everything going on in my life, my self-care routines have been abandoned – which has created this empty “not me” shell. I’ve still been helping support Izzy and her family (posts 1 & 2), recovering from my arm surgery (posts 1, 2, & 3), and then the general life busyness intensified.
Self-care is different for everyone. Some people go all out and spend an entire day in a spa or go on a full vacation to relax. Some people don’t like those things (my mom hates being touched by strangers so massages/manicures/pedicures are torture for her), or can’t afford them, which is fine. Other’s with limited funds or resources may do spa days at home (I created some luxurious bath bombs for use at home, and they were quite a bit cheaper than the ones you can buy), or choose to take a staycation. And then there is the amazing #BoringSelfCare movement, which I absolutely love!
What is #BoringSelfCare? It’s a reaction to everyone posting about luxurious, often expensive, self-care on social media. Boring self-care is anything that someone would find “boring” but that still involves taking care of yourself in some way. The chronic illness community has embraced the boring self-care movement because many “normal” self-care activities take excessive amounts of energy and finances – neither of which are available to the majority of chronic illness people. Boring self-care activities can include things like changing your clothes, cleaning yourself, staying hydrated, or staying nourished (either by eating regularly, or by setting up your tube feeds or TPN on time).
Since I have been feeling drained and empty with all of the stuff going on in my life, I decided I really needed to get back to my self-care routines. I have partnered with Health Storylines to run monthly self-care challenges. Hopefully, completing these challenges will not only make me feel more like myself, but will help you too!
Self-Care Challenge 1: Brush Your Teeth
For the first self-care challenge, I wanted to start with some boring self-care. I’m hoping that by completing some of the “simpler” boring self-care challenges, we can build a sense of accomplishment and be encouraged to continue when the challenges get a little more challenging. (Since many of you are chronically ill, all of my challenges will have adaptations and options so you can participate in your own way!)
Oral hygiene is an important part of overall health. It can also be the easiest thing to let slide when energy levels are at their lowest. However, bad oral hygiene has been tied to many negative health effects, including cardiovascular diseases (Mayo Clinic). While some aspects of oral health are dictated by preexisting conditions, genetics, and medications that cannot be stopped, taking care of your mouth can still have a significant impact on overall health. Most dentists recommend brushing your teeth twice a day, while some advocate brushing after you eat anything. I eat about every 2-3 hours for my health – I’m not going to brush my teeth a minimum of 5 times a day!
For this month, I challenge you to brush your teeth at least one time per day (preferably right before bed). If you already regularly brush once a day, I challenge you to brush your teeth twice per day (I recommend brushing after breakfast so it won’t impact the taste of your food).
To Complete the Challenge
2 – Download the Health Storylines application to your phone to take advantage of their awesome tracking and reminder tools.
3 – Get the “Health Routine Builder” tool added to your tools list in the app. Scroll through the tools at the top of the home page (the circles) to see if it was automatically added based on information you provided at setup. If it was not, then scroll to all the way to the right, click on “add tool,” click on “tracking” tools, click on “Health Routine Builder,” click “add.” See the screenshots below for step-by-step screens to add the tool.
4 – Go into the Health Routine Builder (by clicking on tool from your home screen), and click “add to your routine.” You’ll be prompted to enter the information, and you can setup a reminder. When you complete a task, you can mark it as completed. In the Health Routine Builder history, you will see a visual representation of your progress!
5 – Document your progress once a week on social media using the tag #FLSSselfcare so that we can all cheer each other on! Have fun with the progress posts, as they’re designed to keep you encouraged!
I’ll be doing this challenge with you, so follow be sure to follow me on Instagram to see my own progress!
(While Health Storylines tracks who enrolls via my link, I do not receive monetary compensation for your enrollment. I just like being able to see how many of you have decided to join my challenges!)