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Building a Firm Self-Care Foundation

Self care is about getting the most important parts of our lives going in the right direction instead of fighting each other. Think about things like work-life balance, diet and exercise, screen time vs. FaceTime, and connecting our stated values with how we spend our time and money.

By definition, it's a deep and dynamic process, especially when we aren’t used to investing in this sort of thing. In time, we come to recognize the links between the choices we make around how we take care of ourselves, our time and attention, relationships, and how we feel.

Have you considered your family history?

Our family of origin and the experiences they’ve had have a profound impact on the people we become. I know, that can make us cringe for any number of reasons, but it’s something we must face. Family is the first teacher about life, health, working, relationships, finances, and 1,000 other things.

Action item: Consult your elders about their personal perspectives on health and wellness. If that’s not possible consider pulling death certificates, census info, and doing some genealogy to see what their lives were like.

Are you selective about information?

Self-care is a hot topic these days and everybody and their dog has opinions about diets, exercise, sleeping positions, and the perfect mattress. At this point, it feels like the good information is often  caught up in a tsunami of slick marketing nonsense.

Action item: Select a limited number of sources of quality information and scroll past the rest.

How are your relationships doing?

Arthritis lays a heavy weight on our relationships. Autoimmune and auto-inflammatory arthritis are particularly cruel because they tend to disrupt our lives just as we’re getting going.

Action item: Make a list of several people or places to reconnect with. Consider making a schedule to remain in contact.

Do you have a vision for your life?

When was the last time you asked yourself what you want your life to be and charted out the steps to get there? Most of us don’t need grand plans, but deciding how we want to spend our time, doing more of this and less of that might bring us closer to where we want to be.

Action item: What are 5 small things you could try doing by this time next year? How can you make them happen?

Do you take time to foster happiness?

Gardeners and lawn folks know that healthy soil, the right food, and careful watering can give whatever we’ve planted the best chance to thrive. Wellness and happiness need the similar care, attention, and consideration.

Growing butterflies makes me happy so I make sure that I’ve got everything necessary to raise them and attract them to my yard. On paper, it doesn’t make much sense to spend so much time and money on these little monsters that just fly away, but the heart wants what it wants. And mine wants a dining room full of caterpillars, or something.

Action item: What does your heart want?

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The AxialSpondyloarthritis.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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