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Self care and self love... suggestions needed!

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by rabbit, Feb 3, 2017.

  1. rabbit

    rabbit Peer Supporter

    I am hoping people can provide suggestions for "practical" things one can do for self care and love. This is an area I see I struggle with.

    By practical I mean both long term and in the moment. For example, at work, in pain, unable to get anything done but not many options such as music or massage.

    I am also wondering if people have suggestions and links to some guided relevant meditations or apps. I find also certain relaxing music good- but not waterfalls and birds and stuff that sounds like Kenny G. More like repetitive sounds - like the tambor if anyone has heard of that instrument.

    As for long term, or things outside work, I really have trouble making time for nice things for myself that would distract me from the pain / obsession / sadness / fear.

    I'm pretty lost on this front so any all all advice and suggestions appreciated.

    As for physical treatments - self massage, massage, curling up with the heating pad, taking pain meds when I need them - I do those but with the knowledge not to expect a cure from that. It is very frustrating to sit with a heating pad, relax, have things feel great and then cramp up so badly, so I think if I approach it from a "look, enjoy this moment, but be ok with it emotionally if the pain comes right back after" that is ok. I think allowing relief in the moment and also plowing through are both helpful.

    Fortunately, I like walking and exercising. Sitting, standing, doing things where mind my is not entirely absorbed is hard. Depending on what I am working on at my job, I can distract myself enough to tolerate/reduce/not be miserable about that pain. But the other say 50% is pretty rough. And then I get furious and stressed that I am getting behind on work and things I actually want and enjoy doing. Accomplishing projects (both ones I must do and ones I want) feels good. I am in a "you get out what you put in " place in my mind, and want to be able to actualize it.

    As for walking and exercising, I do it b.c I feel good during and its good for you, I like trying to get stronger, improve cardio, and moving helps generally - but really moving, not just a walk around the block. There isnt a treadmill in my office...

    But as with the heating pad, I've got to be ok with pain coming after the exercise - there is no connection with the exercise - just my brain. I know the exercise does not cause the pain. I had a great time on the elliptical machine the other day and then the usual intense muscle tightness and pain was awful right after. I don't have a fear of exercise - my brain will create the pain and tightness regardless of the activity. Ie: at work, commuting, getting to sleep etc.

    Sorry, this was a bit of a ramble.

  2. Andy Bayliss

    Andy Bayliss TMS Coach & Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi rabbit,

    I like this for a nice meditative sound, since you mentioned tambor. I especially like the first 15 minutes or so. This is great one for slow movement, even your hand or head a little, or more tai chi like...

    Simple touch to my face or hands or head is very available almost anywhere any time. Just to enjoy any sensation with my hands for a few minutes is relaxing.

    I always recommend authentic movement or ecstatic dance, depending on price and availability in your area. You enjoy moving, so this seems like a natural.

    Andy B
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2017
    Tala likes this.
  3. MindBodyPT

    MindBodyPT Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is a good question you ask! I know what you mean that exercise and heating pads can feel good and be pain relief temporarily (I know this very keenly as a PT) but won't long term cure your pain. I think they are excellent short term self-care methods, as exercise (cardio) will release endorphins and make you feel good and is great for your heart and whole body. But it won't be a cure to your suffering.

    In addition to the TMS therapy, I believe that meditation and mindfulness are of major importance for accepting whatever is going on in your life. Have you taken a course on meditation? I've linked this on other threads but this course was instrumental in teaching me how to meditate: https://palousemindfulness.com (Online MBSR/Mindfulness (Free)) I also suggest reading a book on mindfulness, Full Catastrophe Living by Jon Kabat-Zinn or something by Thich Nhat Hanh like Peace is Every Step.

    I think one thing that a lot of people miss is that it takes a lot more than apps and listening to calming music to truly adopt the mindset of mindfulness, it definitely did for me. At the heart of mindfulness is accepting all feelings (physical and emotional) without judgement and allowing them to be...not trying to change them. Jon Kabat-Zinn states the seven key attitudes of mindfulness being non-judging, patience, trust, non-striving, acceptance, letting go and beginners mind (when meditating).

    Once you learn some meditation techniques you can even take a few minutes at work to get into the mindset and do a 5 minute meditation.

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