Approach To Self Care

This is one in a series of three blogs about our Osteopaths’ approach to self care.

My Story

Over the last few years I myself have recovered from #fibromyalgia – a condition that includes amongst other things chronic, persistent pain and crushing fatigue. Using a MindBody and SIRPA approach I was able to be 98% better but during the last few weeks my fatigue levels have increased a little. This is not surprising because of the stress induced by the pandemic, the lock down and all the implications that surrounded it. However, I needed to identify what component was the most relevant in order to change it.

Responsibility

Many people have experienced this fatigue recently but today enough was enough and I journaled and asked myself the question why was it affecting me so much? The answer that came up was that I want to make everyone feel better…in the whole world! Now that is tiring and impossible but also enlightening. It led me to this great article by Tiny Buddha about if we start healing ourselves then we can help to heal the world.  It made me ask myself about the part within the whole scenario that I can change… and that part is me.

I can take responsibility for me. I can change how I respond, I can stop blaming others and choose which parts I am able to take responsibility for and which parts I need to let go.  I can do this with compassion and not let anyone down. I do not need to use my energy to save the world, I need to use my energy to care for me and those around me – my family, my friends, my patients and my community. If we each did that we may still not be able to heal and change the world but we could certainly heal and change our world. I know can help myself to achieve this through MindBody practice.

Mindbody Practice

The environment we create with our thoughts and responses can fundamentally change our health. Negative thoughts, especially negative self talk, can be incredibly destructive and is an important factor especially if you are struggling with a chronic pain, anxiety, chronic fatigue or chronic illness. We can fundamentally change our health by addressing our inner thoughts and environment.  Situations that cause pain, whether physical or emotional, are registered in the same part of the brain.

Journaling is an incredibly effective way of identifying what are the elements of life that are bothering us. Then if we can practice becoming aware of when we have been triggered or overwhelmed we can change how we respond. It does take practice and in the current world where we are bombarded by opinion (apologies for adding to it) it can be so hard to know what is the right response. Learning to pause and check in with our thoughts can increase our awareness of what is burdening us and causing our pain and fatigue.  Knowing that a situation is making us feel uncomfortable may help us to make the right response for self.

Practices, such as mindfulness and meditation, that allow us to find stillness within the mind and body can also help. If we are able to know what it feels like to be still and calm then when something is challenging we can be more aware of the effect it is having on our body. Dis-comfort indicates that we need to change the situation, or the parts that we can, and adapt our thoughts and reactions.

Pippa Cossens Registered Osteopath and Stress Illness Practitioner.

 

If you would like any help with practices to engage the MindBody connection please visit our MindBody toolkit