Incorporating Self-Care When You Have a Chronic Illness and a Business
For any entrepreneur, self-care is a critical piece of keeping our sanity and keeping the quality of our work top notch. But for the woman who also has a chronic illness, it’s even more critical to have a solid practice in place to take care of you so you can handle the demands of both your business and your chronic illness.
Contrary to popular belief, not all self-care is related directly to health. In this article, I’m going to hit on my five favorites for staying in this crazy game called entrepreneurship without wiping yourself out or feeling like throwing in the towel every other day.
1. Schedule in your health related must-dos.
So this one you were probably expecting. I am going to interject a little tough love here though. For a lot of us, we are trying so hard to keep up with the hustlas that we don’t give ourselves permission to slow down and execute those fancy health regiments we have set up for ourselves so we don’t go off the deep end of sickness.
You know what I’m talking about….
“Forgetting” to take our supplements.
Not doing our daily exercise and stretching.
Eating whatever your particular preventive diet is.
Eating the opposite of your preventive diet and ending up in an inflammatory nightmare (ahem…put that wheat, gluten and dairy filled treat down lady….I SEE you).
Not getting our massages, treatments, floats, etc.
I made this #1 for a reason. It’s time to get serious about sticking to these must-dos. Consider them not optional. If there is a contest between your business and your health, you health wins. Do you feel me?
2. Putting an end to comparisonitis is a form of self-care.
Comparisonitis may not be a disease but it has -itis on the end for a reason. Because it’s inflammatory to your very being and soul. It literally depresses you, give you anxiety, messes with your body, amplifies your symptoms, and more.
First of all, most women with chronic illness I know get more done in a short time period than a healthy person ever could. We are phenoms. Stop comparing yourself to the 24/7 people. You don’t need to put that kind of time and exhaustion into your business to succeed.
And it’s also not fair to compare yourself to someone who isn’t you. So guess what…you shouldn’t be comparing yourself to anyone. That’s right. Nobody. Change your focus to what makes you different and you are on your way to not only blasting comparisonitis but upping your marketing game!
3. Put a daily mindset practice in place.
Let’s face it. Chronic illnesses often come with their fair share of depression and anxiety. It’s part of the shenanigans that go on in the brain when a chronic illness takes hold. Sometimes it stems from not feeling “as good” as everyone else. Whatever the underlying reason, medical or not, it is something that we have to tackle on the daily to keep it at bay so we can keep moving forward.
Everyone has different practices they enjoy. Often times, daily journaling is at the top of the list. Visualizing what you want in your life. Simple quiet time or meditation is also a winner. Others do their mindset work in combination with yoga. Do what feels good to you and do it every day.
4. Allow it to be okay to say enough for today.
Oh snap. This one is tough. Women with chronic illness call themselves warriors for a reason. Talk about a bunch of badasses! That very inclination makes it mega tough for us to call it quits for the day or admit that our brain is officially mush. As I sit here typing right now, I know I’m hitting the end of my mental limit for today due to Fibro. I’ve been at it for 12 hours (miraculous for a Fibro girl) and my brain is ready to say night night.
I am going to practice what I’m preaching right now and allow myself the grace to walk away from my to do list, watch Hallmark Channel, and watch the insides of my eyelids if necessary (aka nap).
Give yourself this same grace. I can promise you in my case, I will come back swinging tomorrow and be better for it.
5. Have a crew of badass women to support you when you need it.
This could be my very favorite. It’s another one of those things that you may think is a stretch for self-care but I wildly disagree. Being surrounded by women who get it and support you is one of the most uplifting things you can do in your business and for your chronic illness. It helps with the mindset, the self-doubt, the comparisonitis, the exhaustion, the overwhelm….all of it.
When you don’t feel like you can care for you in the way you need, they step up and carry you. That is most definitely a way to get the care you need.
In the end, it’s up to us to practice the forms of self-care that work for us. There is no magic formula that works for everyone. Trial and error is what is going to get you there and it’s so worth it in the end.