I think that for those of us who are chronically ill, and for those who are caregivers to people who are, it is especially important to have a go-to list of favorite things to pamper ourselves. This list is useful during a flare of any particular illness, or even just on a particularly stressful day when we feel the need to refresh and recharge our batteries.
Some of my own list ideas include:
1. Making a pot of hot tea to enjoy
2. Re-reading a book that I find especially comforting. For me that would include anything in the "Mitford" series by Jan Karon. Her characters are so well developed that they feel like family, and it always brings me comfort and lifts me up to read them.
3. Watch an old movie or tv show on DVD, particularly if it makes me laugh.
4. Pray the Rosary.
5. Surf fun, light hearted sites on the internet such as www.cuteoverload.com or http://icanhascheezburger.com/ to have a laugh or smile.
6. Talk with a friend about something OTHER than illness.
7. Participate in a hobby, such as scrap booking, writing, painting, etc...
8. Listen to music and sing out loud.
9. Make a list of all the things I am grateful for.
10. Pamper myslef in some way i.e. give myself a pedicure, put lotion all over and give myself a mini-massage while doing it, take a hot bath or shower.
I find that when I do any of these things, it takes the focus off my illness or stress and brings me back to a place where I feel more peaceful and able to handle whatever I must.
I'll bet you have some go-to things that make you feel good no matter what you are going through. I'd love to hear from others as to their own ideas of what they do to take care of and pamper themselves. Sometimes we can get terrific ideas from others who have walked in our shoes.
I also want to give a special nod to all the people in my life who help me, especially my mom and close friends, and to say we need to make sure that those people are getting time to take care of themselves. It is hard living with chronic illness, but it is also hard to be the caregiver or loved one of someone who suffers. I got a great response to yesterday's post about friendship from Jeanne at http://endendoat.blogspot.com (sorry I am still a new blogger and haven't figured out how to link yet!) who pointed out the frustration of the people around us who are trying to care for us. She made some terrific points, and I urge you to look at the comment she posted yesterday for more details. Her blog is a great resource not just for endometriosis sufferers, but for all of us with multiple chronic illnesses. Thanks Jeanne for your input and support!
Now, go and do something special just for you--you deserve it!