The bonus prompt I chose to use for day 19 of National Health Blog Post Month is to talk about how we take time for ourselves. This is something that I know is difficult for many people as we live in a society where we are basically connected to the world 24/7. It has only been recently that I have acknowledged that I do need to take some time for myself in order to maintain my mental health. I always enjoyed spending time alone when there was something to entertain me but I have realized the actual necessity for it only as of lately.
I have mentioned in previous posts that I have suffered from major insomnia pretty much since I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at the age of 13. Over the past few months, I have been trying very hard to work on my sleep hygiene. I always used to watch television in bed, text and email from my phone after I brushed my teeth and consequently, my mind was never able to shut down. I liked to use the time I would wait for my sleep medicine to kick in as time to catch up on messages I may not have been able to get through during the day. Now, however, I have been making a conscious effort to shut my computer down a few hours before I go to sleep and I keep my phone charged and off away from my bed while I am trying to sleep. This has helped my mind to get into “sleep mode” a little bit.
As I started doing this in an effort to improve my sleep, I realized that I also needed to take some time for myself during the day as well. I always felt like I was attached to my phone constantly and I have since been trying to put it away for an hour or two here and there throughout the day. I have also started doing a yoga video that is extremely calming and doesn’t require that much strength at all. It is predominately relaxation poses, stretches and meditation techniques. That also gives me a good solid half hour to myself and as a bonus, I feel like I did something good for myself after. I also have recently come to the conclusion that my dogs have consistently been the only stable force of calm and enjoyment in my life. I have always spent a great deal of time with them but now I find myself cuddling with them even more and making sure they are present in the room I am in even if I have other things I need to do. Their presence allows me to feel like I am doing something for myself even if I may not have the time to only focus on me at that particular moment.
Taking time for yourself is something we all need to work on. It is extremely vital to our physical and emotional well being. I expanded on this topic in a post I wrote here http://keepingthingsinsideisbadformyhealth.wordpress.com/2012/10/08/taking-some-time-to-focus-on-you/. In today’s world, we are all so busy and can so easily be reached, that I think it is imperative that we remind ourselves everyday to take care of our mind and body.