The last few months I have been stalling to make change. I found myself in the metaphorical ditch I stumble in from time to time – feeling a bit downtrodden and stagnant, stuck in a rut but totally okay with it. You see, I greet the rut – I shake hands and become well acquainted with it’s depths and dimensions, I look to see what’s changed since the last time, and I understand that as long as I am human it will always exist. To pretend life is always going perfectly would be a facade, and I’d only be half the person I am today if that was the case anyways.
Lately I’ve been lamenting about how I haven’t been able to nail down a continued regimen of self-care for myself, although I preach the value of it often, and it’s not to say I don’t practice any. However, instead of being the self-care warrior I see in my dreams – I’m more of a dabbler. Consistency is my enemy, vices are my comfort blanket, and it’s just plain easier and tastier to pump some red wine out the bladder of its box than hit the gym or draw a dreamy bath. Life moves fast and to be honest – I find it hard to carve out time, break old habits and get into a flow of being a basic bitch who’s just kind to herself on a regular basis. I always put a timestamp on when I will get “there,” i.e. “Well I’m going on that Yoga retreat in February, that’s only two months from now. It will give me five whole days devoted to ME. I’ll focus on personal love and maintenance then.”
Enter the great cold/flu season of 2018. I check-in with getting sick about once a year, so you better believe when it happens I am reduced to a 33-year-old infant, choking on her post-nasal drip and dramatically popping cough drops like candy. However, I am entering week 6 of its stay, so the thought that it’s trying my patience would be 110% accurate. Yesterday, as I took a hearty swip of *not whiskey* but Apple Cider Vinegar, I exclaimed in frustration: “If I didn’t feel like garbage right now, I bet I would feel so fucking good!” Fact: I’ve been incredibly mindful since I’ve been ill, because obviously the goal is to get better. I’ve been cranking on the following:
Essential Oils – Guzzling them like a boss. Oregano oil in particular – as it’s a natural expectorant, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, antiseptic, and antioxidant. By “guzzling” I mean diluting 3-4 drops in water and drinking it – the only downside being that your mouth than tastes like a pizza sans the reward of actually eating a pizza. I also have been using peppermint, eucalyptus, and Thieves (blend of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus & rosemary) in my diffuser or on a warm washcloth placed on my forehead or chest.
Yoga & Shit – Probably the simplest way for me to lose my damn mind is to remove yoga from the tapestry of my routine. Which is exactly what’s happened – being sick is a mind fuck. It’s not just physically draining, and it’s depressing not doing the activities that typically keep you grounded and fulfilled. I decided to do some research which led to me creating a page in my journal called: “Yoga for Sick Bitches.” I learned Downward Dog was good for sinus problems, and a casual Supta Baddha Konasana relaxes your nervous system. In savasana I would pick a mantra like: “I am healthy, I am healing” to repeat, or perhaps “May this motherfucking demon cold leave my body, Namaste.”
Supplemental Healing Practices – In boredom and attempted respite I scheduled a time to check-in and ultimately saw my Therapist, which was great, and booked an Acupuncture appointment.
Drugs – On week five I submitted to Western Medicine. I understand the benefits, but it’s a last resort to me especially when dealing with a beefed up version of the modern cold. Like a responsible adult, I don’t have health insurance – so my resources and budget are limited. I remembered an App called “Doctors on Demand” a coworker of mine once used and looked into it. For $75 out of pocket I Facetimed with a Doctor and effectively avoided actual human interaction (10/10!) He gave me two prescriptions, both of which were reasonably priced after I called Walgreens repeatedly to remind them I needed generic versions because I’m a broke-ass bitch.
Liquid Intake – I drank tea with honey and lemon, like a Hot Toddy without any of the fun. I chewed on cloves of Garlic, danced in the powder of Emergen-C, and drowned in Apple Cider Vinegar. I wasn’t eating shit, because I felt like shit, and gulped gallons of water. Adversely, with the exception of a few days where I thought I felt better, I haven’t had alcohol.
Rest/Sleep – I am an active person but have had to take a generous pause from such. Hell, I just went to the grocery store and took the stairs instead of the escalator and I’m still winded. I’ve spent more time actively resting, and sleeping. Since physical activity is a bit more taxing, I still make it a priority but perhaps just walk Nora down to the park rather than set off on a snowshoe adventure.
Time Off – I am hesitant to take time off of work. I’m still reeling from my vacation in August when I accidentally said I was coming back a day earlier than I was and then heard about it for two weeks afterwards. I was left with four days of PTO that were set to expire before the New Year and was befuddled on how I’d be able to take it, and crestfallen it would most likely become obsolete. Problem sorted. There’s a plethora of things I’d rather do with my time-off than hack up a lung, but I’d also way rather watch murder mysteries on Hulu than work.
Well, glory be. I wouldn’t go as far to say I’ve been a self-care warrior, but at least a rookie with a fairly steady track record. I don’t necessarily think that every little thing comes packed with a lesson in life, but maybe it kind of does. There is something to be said about your body getting worn down enough to catch an illness and it’s a reminder for us to be kind to our bodies, to listen to them, to be gentler, and power down when needed. I kept saying to Bridie, “If I could just have a solid month of doing everything right, I could really get on course.” While I’m sure surfing and savasana in Sayulita, Mexico in two months will work too, I’m happy to have arrived sooner to that goal with the help of a handy viral infection. While I won’t miss being a human snot rag when this leaves me, in a way I’m grateful it didn’t really give me an option beyond a long period of nurture. I can’t wait to test the earlier theory of “If I didn’t feel like garbage right now, I bet I would feel so fucking good.” I’ll let you know if that stands true when I get there.