A woman crouches down and draws a heart around herself with pink chalk.

Real Life Self-Care Tips

I’m not a fan of mainstream self-care culture because it tends to crowd the space for essential health and wellness practices with luxury spa nonsense.

This pampering version of self-care is accomplished by purchasing expensive bedding, burning outrageously priced scented candles, and a bunch of other moneybags nonsense we don’t have time to cover here.

I’m not a grinch. We all deserve nice things, but true self-care is about making the right life for ourselves. That’s a deep process, driven by reflection and careful choices that center our thriving.

These last few years have been hard on everybody. Many of us have lost loved ones, jobs, and important spaces. Many of us can’t say exactly what the future holds.

You can’t listen to everybody

These days, everybody has a platform. There is literally nothing stopping the world’s most foolish person from being crowned a “thought leader” or influencer. Having a bunch of followers or being persuasive isn’t as meaningful as it seems.

Relationships always matter

I spent lots of time during the pandemic rebuilding old relationships neglected during my three years supervising The Dude's dementia care. This current blend of old and new ties feels great! These relationships help me feel less lonely and more engaged with the world around me, even though I’m still home most of the time.

Spend time with the arts and culture

The small artists groups I joined early in the pandemic is still going strong. We meet weekly to critique each other’s work and support each other. Setting this time aside for my own happiness has super charged my productivity and confidence.

Consider journaling

Journaling can sound lofty or fancy, but it’s really just about staying present to how you spend your time. My Minimalist Bullet Journal practice helps me track work, homemaking, and reading.

Journaling is having a cultural moment, and it’s about more than work and productivity. Modern life is a lot. People feel scattered with so much information, nonsense, and stimulation coming at them. The slow analog world of journaling is a welcome respite.

Work toward acceptance

It’s easier said than done, but accepting your diagnosis and the ways that it shapes your life is important. We’re culturally programmed to see this as a failure, but nothing could be further from the truth. Embracing our divergent bodies is the foundation of self-care success. When we face the truth we can plan for the future and do what’s next.

Sleep and rest are king

We’re living in a time that glorifies business, exhaustion, and doing over being. This is bad for everybody, but it’s much worse for arthritis patients dealing with a baseline of fatigue and other limitations. You must make time for sleep and rest, even if the healthy people around you don’t. Do whatever you have to to take care of yourself.

You don’t have time for nonsense

Remove yourself from situations that don't build you up. This means anything from arguing on the internet, one sided relationships, and anything else that wastes my time and energy.

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