Daily Prompt #31

How do you practice self-care?

I am not allowed to journal without help, apparently…

Self-care is actually something that I recently begun to not only take notice of but also something that I have been actively working on for 92 days. I only know that because I have a streak counter 😂 and in those 92 days, I have:

  • Quit my 20 year energy drink addiction
  • Reduced my severe morning-anxiety by about 50%
  • Meditated everyday
  • Journaled nearly everyday (this is actually been going on for almost a year)
  • Exercised even for just a minute every morning
  • Reduced negative self-talk by about 20%
  • Take regular outdoor excursions with the cats or alone
  • Began using more “feeling words”
  • Put more effort into my relationships with others
  • Help others as much as a possible
  • Meet with a therapist 1-2x weekly
  • Chose palliative care
  • Learned to focus on emotional reactions
  • Am working on learning how to be nice to myself
  • Am learning that “I am not my conditions, but I do live with them. They have real symptoms, and real feelings. Ignoring this is of no benefit to anybody lest yourself.”
  • Smile more, play more, hug more, enjoy more

It is impossible to emphasize how drastically important mental health and self-care are in every single one of your lives. Impossible, because even if the stats are there – some will refuse to see them. Some do not want to acknowledge their mental health challenges. Rather, they’d prefer to continue on in their world where they are not mentally ill, no. It’s just their personality. No… you are mentally unwell and probably need to see a cardiologist, but I digress.

I nearly had a heart attack due to the amount of energy drinks that I was consuming on a daily basis. Want to know just how much caffeine was coursing through my veins? Out of the 600mg max that is not recommended, but considered maximum; I roughly drank on average, about 900mg. On the day I almost coded out rolling through campus, about 1200-1500mg. I was binging Bang and Monster after a really rough day before with my gastroparesis and epilepsy, and didn’t really stop to think about how much that I was consuming throughout the day. By the next morning, I was having indigestion, shooting scapular pain, central chest pain, excessive sweating, dizziness, and a pounding, rapid heart rate. My dumbass decided to do CrossFit that morning and I remember being on the ski-erg and feeling like my heart was skipping. I felt like I was going to die, but of course I kept skiing ⛷ idiota

⛷ 🎿 ⛷

It was the very next day that I decided to download the Fabulous app that I spoke about before, and give it a shot. The first challenge is to drink water everyday and then continue that habit throughout the day by carrying a water bottle everywhere that I went. After the first week of crazy caffeine withdrawal symptoms, drinking water became easy. By thirty days, it was not only a habit, but my health and happiness were improving without caffeine there to “boost me”. I love coffee, and yes, I still drink coffee. It isn’t several cups, either, it is actually a single cup or two and not even everyday. I drink primarily drink tea, water and coffee now with the occasional Ginger Ale at the hospital or at home. In tandem with the addition of more water, I also subconsciously began eating healthier as well. (When I can eat, that is 😆) It is interesting how changing a single habit for the better can affect the rest of one’s habits overall.

Vegan Stir-Fry using DARING Chik’n

The most effective and life-changing implementation thus far is most certainly following the philosophical meditations of Epictetus. Literally, do what makes you happy.

I like doing this. It is vertically enlightening

6 responses to “Daily Prompt #31”

  1. I am extremely sensitive to caffeine and have to drink decaf coffee and drink tea and make sure to steer clear most sodas so to hear you used to drink that much is terrifying. 😵‍💫

    Did you need more energy you didn’t have and wanted to do more and caffeine helps or did you just like the flavor?

    I typically can’t replace energy lost so I don’t usually get more energy from caffeine and just feel sick, my chest will hurt, and I’ll get stomach pain. Even napping doesn’t help usually so working on my mental health (I’m not doing as good as you right now) helps.

    1. Oh my! Yes, what I used to drink in a day probably could’ve sent you to the far reaches of space.

      I drank so much not for flavor, but for energy. My gastroparesis inhibits digestion and actually encourages malabsorption or lack of digestion of most solids. So it means that I am not getting as many calories per food item as everyone else. I would sometimes be unable to eat or drink due to nausea for days. If it didn’t end up as an emergency room visit, it would be me frantically trying to stay awake for classes using caffeine and tube feed to try to get any energy possible. It was really bad. I was slowly killing myself. The near-heart attack was enough to convince me to quit.

      Ironically, I feel more awake and healthier.

      Have you looked into other energy sources? There are caffeine alternatives that help increases short term energy without the caffeine. Check into myco-nootropics or just nootropics in general. I offered those to one of my personal training clients and they said it actually helped them. I don’t know if it would help you, but I figured I would mention it 🙂

      1. Oh dang. I don’t have gastroparesis so I don’t understand, but that sounds stressful!

        And I just don’t try as much anymore but I didn’t know there were other energy sources! I’ll consider them. Thank you so much!

  2. Do what makes your heart happy. Embracing the truth about mental health is a doorway to treating yourself tenderly. I’m all kinds of disordered and medicated. Being diagnosedwas an education in and of itself. Embracing truth is always fruitful.

  3. Good for you in all of this! It certainly isn’t easy. I have an energy drink (Bang) every once in a great while, but I really dig Celcius. Back in 8th grade I drank 8 monsters in the span of a few hours. My dad then told me how bad they were, so I stopped. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you! It was not easy at all, but super worth it. I don’t really miss them anymore. 8 monsters!? I bet you were buzzing for a little while after that! Your dad definitely saved you from the cardiologist! I am glad you were able to stop as well. I hope you have a wonderful day.

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