What’s your self-care routine?

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    • #15969
      Kathleen Sheffer

      My weekend was great, but I overdid it. Overdoing it post-transplant is very different compared to when I had pulmonary arterial hypertension. I can do so much more now that I am healthy/ And yet, it turns out I’m still capable of pushing myself too far.

      Last week I made exercise a priority. I haven’t been feeling great, and I decided a lot of it was due to lack of exercise (see my posts about gastroparesis and keeping active). And so I exercised. A lot.

      I took yoga classes Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday. Not-so-secretly, I hate doing yoga, especially in group classes where I feel like the least physically fit person in the room. So this was a big leap for me. Literally — in one class the instructor asked us to attempt handstands. I laughed through it. Yoga seems good for my body, but I’m still getting past my competitive side that doesn’t know how to properly modify.

      Wednesday I did two photoshoots, and one involved climbing seemingly endless flights of stairs. That’s not really a problem for me now, but I was sore from doing yoga the day before and skiing the day before that!

      On Saturday I went to a dog park with my friend, went to the climbing gym with my boyfriend, and then went to a housewarming party. The next morning I did yoga, followed by two softball games (my first in years)! Lots of fun was had, and I am thrilled I physically can do it all. But by late Sunday night I was exhausted, in tears, and full of anxiety about the week ahead. I didn’t take good care of my mental health and I let a lot of basic needs slide (read further about my hairy legs).

      Staying active is so important for my body and my transplanted organs, but it takes a lot of time. I realize I don’t have to do a yoga class and play a sport in the same day. Oops. I’m constantly balancing the critical full-time job of health maintenance, and my paying jobs (freelance photography and writing).

      All this is to say that I am taking tomorrow as a self-care day. I honestly can’t remember the last time I shaved my legs. Although my boyfriend says he doesn’t care, I care! I’m going to shave my legs, trim my fingernails, paint my toenails, read, and write for fun (and hopefully future columns).

      What do you do for self-care? Do you ever take a day “off” just for yourself? If so, how do you treat yourself? I’m trying to think of calming activities that will help me have a more productive and healthy week. Laundry? Meal prep? Share your suggestions in the comments, please!

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