|This is from the TMS Wiki Structured Education Programme. It struck a chord as I can neglect myself in terms of diet and rest if under stress. http://www.tmswiki.org/ppd/Educational_Program_Day_37
Regular Self Care
The ability to care for oneself is an essential skill that that needs to be learned and practiced to prevent or relieve TMS/PPD symptoms. Most people learn this as children when they are given adequate opportunities to play. A four-year-old with paper and fingerpaints does not care how many pictures per hour they produce, or about the quality of their work or who will see it. They care only that they are having fun. If it stops being fun they move on to another activity they enjoy. This is how children, and adults, learn how to meet their need for enjoyment. Adults may not need as many hours spent in this way as a child, but the need is always there.
For some children, the opportunity for carefree self-indulgence is limited or non-existent. If children are abused or given excessive responsibilities, if among the adults in the home there is violence, drug abuse, a high need for support or erratic behavior the child may focus on the needs of others (adults or siblings) in the home. This may leave insufficient time for acquiring self-care skills. In addition, low self-esteem from a less than nurturing home may leave children feeling unworthy of taking time for themselves.
Adults lacking this ability care for everyone but themselves. If they have spare time, their thoughts turn to using it constructively for the benefit of others. On the list of those whom they support, their own name is missing. For some, the only break they get occurs when TMS/PPD symptoms become too severe for them to function.
Fortunately, self-care skill can be acquired at any age. Here are some steps that have helped others:
Once you acquire this skill you will have it for life. In the future, whenever your stress level begins to reach levels capable of causing symptoms, you will have the ability to leave the rest of your world and focus on you. This is a powerful technique that, by itself, has relieved severe and long-lasting symptoms in many people.
I had a quick scoot around Facebook yesterday, looking at posts by people I don’t normally see in my newsfeed. Came away feeling depressed and envious. That’s just not right even though I know that Facebook pics often show just the ‘Kodak moments’. It’s a lie!
I hope there is a Facebook backlash in a way. I’ve been trying not to spend as much time there – but it is not always easy. I’m spending more time with Jon Kabat-Zinn, on CD, I hasten to add, and in print. He’s a lifeline at the moment. And a much healthier companion than 400 virtual friends.
I am still pacing well as I continue to plough through the longest muscle relapse I’ve never had in my chronic illness. It is quite hard but it is a relief to get off the hamster wheel that I seem to have been on for the last few years. Surprisingly, I have had quite a lot of visitors one way or the other. This has been a huge help.
I went for a massage at a luxurious hotel yesterday and that was amazing. When we are bereaved or divorced it is quite important, I think, to receive caring and supportive touch. I think it is something I’m going to do again.
I am also using a meditation and mindfulness CDs of Jon Kabat-Zinn, developed for the University of Massachusetts. They are wonderful. Each session lasts around 40 minutes and his voice is incredibly soothing and unpretentious.