We all know how important self-care is for everyone, but it can be crucial when dealing with a chronic illness. During the summer months, I strived for self-care one day a week. But now that my days are longer and filled with activities, I need to practice self-care a little more often and in different ways.
Here are my tips for self-care during the back-to-school season.
- Practice self-care every day. A little bit of self-care goes a long way. Take a shower before bed, read a book, or watch your favorite show. Designate at least an hour a night to take care of yourself.
- Plan ahead. When you’re bombarded with all those syllabi the first week of school, read them and mark down in your planner before things are due to eliminate the stress and guesswork of assignments.
- Work ahead. We all struggle with time management, but work ahead if and when you can. You never know what curveballs life will throw your way.
- Use what works for you. You’ve heard it so many times that it travels in one ear and out the other, but your teachers will try to get you to use the tried-and-true, paper-to-pen method all of the time (and for good reason!). But if technology is a more comfortable way for you to engage in class, don’t be afraid to use your laptop.
- Don’t be afraid to advocate. Seriously, don’t sit in a desk that’s uncomfortable or struggle with the logistics of a classroom. If something isn’t working for you, speak up. You can’t learn with distractions.
- Don’t forget to take breaks. With back-to-back classes and stacks of assignments and deadlines, it can be so easy to forget about taking a break for more than a meal. Try the Pomodoro Technique.
- Keep a clean room. Make your bed in the morning. It’s the smallest thing that you can do to make your room look tidier. Coming home to a clean room after a long day can make all the difference.
- Remember to get enough sleep. It’s hard anytime, but it can be even harder when facing the anxiety and stress of school every night. Don’t forget about taking naps. There are ways to get your sleep — do it. (But if you must, treat yourself to coffee.)
- Don’t forget about your social life. Have lunch with a friend or see a movie with your parents. Don’t become so busy or overwhelmed that you feel like you don’t have time for anything other than work and sleep.
- Don’t be hard on yourself. A bad grade, a hard week, a tough year — it doesn’t mean you have a bad life or that you are a bad person. Take this school year as an opportunity to grow and learn about yourself as a person. You are never too old to keep learning. We are all a work in progress. Forgive yourself.
Note: Cerebral Palsy News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cerebral Palsy News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to cerebral palsy.