As you all might have noticed last week, I decided to go on a social media hiatus and it’s going really well! I miss it, sometimes (mostly the writing friends I have on Twitter) and definitely have noticed myself reaching for my phone to check it when I’m bored or have a lull between things, which is telling. But I’m really glad to be taking the break, for now. It’s been needed.
Not that it’s solved all my problems, of course. But over the weekend, I did get caught up on letter writing. I read more. I took my dog for a walk. I got out of bed sooner, instead of laying there and scrolling through social media. I did some things that I normally wouldn’t have done and it was really nice.
It made me think of some other changes I’d like to pursue, in hopes of helping my own health. It turned out to be quite an impressive list:
Gain core strength and “fix” my back
Last summer, I had a pretty bad moving accident that revealed that I have a badly aligned spine that has caused some problems for my lower back, to the point where it hurts to walk more than 10 minutes at a time because of the sharp pain and muscle spasms. This is something I obviously don’t want to continue dealing with, as I love being able to take my dog for a walk and walking is one of the main ways I relieve stress (and hiking is one of my greatest passions and the idea that I’d have to give that up is…not okay). I’ve already started working on this by:
- Doing daily stretches to help strengthen my lower back
- Going to the chiropractor once a week (wearing a mask and using hand sanitizer, of course) to get adjusted
It’s helping, but it’s a slow process. I’ve been advised that, if I strength my core, I’ll be able to support my back muscles more and hopefully deal with this pain to make it more much manageable–or even better, non-existent. I plan to do this by:
- Continue to take my dog on daily walks to build back stamina
- Lifting at least 4x a week to build core strength
Address my period pain and problems
This is a TMI section, so please feel free to completely skip it if you don’t want to read details of my period. 🙂
I’ve always had severe period pain. Like, very severe pain. Skip-school and call-into-work levels of pain. I always thought this normal? Periods were always supposed to be hell, so obviously this was going to be something I just had to deal with during my period. I’m slowly learning more about my body and realizing that this definitely does NOT need to be the case. My friend let me borrow her copy of the Period Repair Manual and I’m really excited to start reading it, as I’m 95% positive that I have a pretty severe case of endometriosis. I also want to learn how to use natural birth control, like the FAM method, as I’m not a big fan of the hormonal IUD that I use.
So, my plan to address this is:
- Read the Period Repair Manual
- Meet to talk with my doctor about what I discover, share my hopes and concerns about the FAM method and see if it’s right for me
- Get tested for endometriosis
- Potentially have surgery, if that self-diagnosis is confirmed
- Get my IUD removed and start practicing a more natural form of birth control
Start prioritizing my mental health
This is something I’ve worked on arguably my entire life, but it’s definitely something I will always work on. I still have low self-esteem and horrible body image. I’m hoping staying active, like I detailed above, for my back problems will also remind me of how incredible my body is and what it can do, no matter how fat I am. I also have pretty intense depression and anxiety, which I only recently started taken medication for.
All of this is a lot of deal with and balance on a normal day, but through a pandemic? Yeah, it’s a little bit harder. So, not only am I trying to help it by limiting social media (or, removing it entirely, for now) and by prioritizing focusing on my physical and sexual health like I haven’t before (not to mention focusing on writing more and my own creative passions, which I’m not talking about in this post), but I also hope to continue to explore the following:
- Look into therapy for depression, anxiety and body-image
- Actually take the Science of Well-Being course
- Don’t be afraid to take a mental health day when I need it
- Start being more open about this with my family, friends, work and partner
Why am I writing this all in a blog post, you ask? For some accountability. For being able to hit publish and feel like just that simple act of doing so will help me feel like these things are important and should be focused on. To let anyone else who is dealing with something like this to know they aren’t alone in their journey (I believe in you).
So, thanks for reading another really personal post from yours truly! <3 I hope everyone is doing well out there and staying healthy, mentally, physically, emotionally and sexually. Hopefully, I’ll be able to write a follow-up post soon about how this journey is going, sharing the hiccups and what I learn and what I try. But until then, let’s all try and give ourselves some grace, shall we?