Why Self-Care is So Important
Self-care is so important. I feel like it is often something that a lot of people do not put high on their list. We are so busy all the time. Our lives get chaotic and we rarely stop to check on our mental health and make sure we are prioritizing that. At least for me, I was always like that. I was running around working, and when I was not doing that, I was trying to maintain a social life. It honestly took a while to prioritize my mental health and practice self-care.
Taking action for my mental health
Once I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease and thyroid eye disease (TED), I still did not fully prioritize my mental health right away. I continued to burn myself out, which made me even more tired than I already was from having Graves'. Thankfully, now, I can honestly say I do prioritize my mental health and do practice self-care. A switch happened. It became something I deeply care about.
What does prioritizing my mental health even mean? For me, it meant finding a therapist that I could talk to about anything and everything. Therapy led to seeing a psychologist which led to me going on medication to help with my anxiety and OCD. I definitely feel like my mental health worsened after I was diagnosed with Graves’ disease. So I had to take action.
Prioritizing my self-care is important
What does practicing self-care mean? I think it means something different to everyone. For me, it meant listening to my body. When I am tired, I stay home. I don’t overwork myself or do too much anymore. When my eyes don’t feel well because of some symptoms of TED, I immediately will use eye drops and put cold compresses on them, and take a minute to just relax.
Self-care for me is prioritizing my mental health, as I stated above. Realizing that I needed help was a form of me practicing self-care. Self-care for me is just really listening to what my body is telling me and I think that’s really important when you have a thyroid disease and thyroid eye disease.
Practicing self-care for me also meant getting a nutritionist. I wanted to start paying attention to what was going on in my body and what was really good for me versus what wasn’t. I wouldn't have ever been able to figure any of that out without a nutritionist.
Paying closer attention
Like I said before, I never thought about self-care or prioritizing my mental health. It never crossed my mind, but since my diagnosis and realizing that it is a roller coaster ride, the least I can do for myself is to listen to what my body is telling me and to try to take the best care of it that I can. Before my diagnosis, there was just so much that I didn’t think about, I mean I didn’t really have to, or so I thought. When you get a diagnosis such as Graves’ disease and TED, it’s almost like a switch appears and you are way more hyper-focused on things you never used to be. At least that’s what it has been like for me. I pay way more attention now to what my mind and body need.
Do you have a self-care routine that you follow? What does self-care mean to you? Share your story by clicking the button below.
In addition to TED, I also have been diagnosed with: