A Little Bit of Self-care Can Go a Long Way
It’s a bit hard to believe it’s already summer. Yet, the blistering heat and lack of rain remind me each morning that, yes, it is actually almost July. This past school year has been exceptionally stressful. While my school was fortunate to meet in person nearly the entire time, the rules, cleaning protocols, and schedule changes made this a school year like no other.
On top of that, the owner of the horse farm I live on has had a very busy past few months as well, meaning that more responsibility has fallen on me there. Like many people with EDS, I manage a co-diagnosis of anxiety, and the amount on my plate recently has been a lot to handle.
For months I’ve been thinking, just get through to summer, then things will settle down. Although my responsibilities did lessen in the past week or two as the school year ended, I started to really feel the weight of how stressful this past year has been. While I of course knew it at the time, I was so busy that I suppose I’d shoved that stress to the back of my mind. Now that things have slowed down a bit, I’ve really felt this year catch up with me.
As someone with a rare disorder, I often talk about how important self-care is in staying healthy. Even though I’ve been able to get more sleep — a major plus in battling the chronic fatigue so common for those of us with EDS — I’ve still just felt drained. I’ve been running full throttle and on fumes, and I needed to find a way to recharge. Due to COVID-19, I hadn’t really done anything outside of necessity in nearly 18 months, and I was definitely starting to feel that as well.
Since we’re both fully vaccinated, my mom suggested a “girls’ trip,” so we arranged to go just a few hours away for a night. We ate at a fabulous local restaurant, wandered around some shops, and didn’t put any kind of timetable on ourselves. It was exactly what I needed.
Even after just 36 hours away, I came back feeling more refreshed and ready to tackle the myriad of farm chores and lesson planning for the history class I teach. Those tasks still take up big chunks of my days, but rather than dragging myself through them, I’m more energized and excited. It was such a good reminder that sometimes just a brief change of scenery and a chance to relax can make all the difference. Even though we went a few hours away, I think the same effect can be had locally as well.
Sometimes the best way to take care of myself is to occasionally spend a day putting aside my disorder as much as is reasonably possible to simply focus on having fun. I may have EDS, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to let it control me!
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