Self-Care for Endometriosis (and Other Chronic Conditions)
Last updated: April 2023
One condition. Two conditions. Chronic conditions for me and you.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “six out of ten American adults have at least one chronic disease,” and “four out of ten American adults have at least two or more concurrent chronic diseases.” 1
I personally have a handful of concurrent chronic conditions. At times, they can be a challenge to treat at the same time. On the other hand, there are times when one treatment can be good for more than one of the conditions.
Affordable self-care alternatives to spa days
For the longest time, when people thought of self-care, they thought of spa days. While a spa day may be great for your body, it is not always something all individuals can afford. Regardless of your financial situation, there are many ways to utilize self-care.
Learning to set boundaries
One of the most important self-care tasks is to create boundaries. As a people-pleaser who was raised by another people-pleaser, I thought setting boundaries was never going to be effective for me. I tried and failed to maintain boundaries for years.
This was until one evening when I was curled up on my kitchen floor, overwhelmed by pain and responsibility. This was my ah-ha moment.
I knew I could not continue this way. Something had to change. I learned that others would not automatically understand when I say I do not feel good and that I cannot do anything. I need to set boundaries and say no when necessary for my best interest.
Create a sleep routine
A component of self-care that some may not think about is creating a sleep routine. I attempt to have a sleep schedule. This means that I try to have a set bedtime.
I have room darkening curtains in my room. This helps block out the rising sun while I am trying to get some extra sleep.
My bedside table holds a heating pad and my medications. I take some water with me to bed every night.
I also do not have any lights in my room. This means I do not have any alarm clocks, tv lights, or anything along those lines. This is a tip from some sleep hygiene research I have previously done. I even have this little motion-activated night light in the bathroom by the toilet.
This is in there, so my system is not startled by the full bathroom light coming on if I need to pee in the middle of the night.
Maintaining a positive self-view
It can be a challenge to maintain a positive self-view when there are chronic health conditions. The limitations that health conditions can place on us can be overwhelming to manage. Sometimes we allow this to affect our mental self-worth.
Some ways to create a positive self-view include:
- Setting realistic and obtainable goals
- Make a list of your good qualities
- Ask others to list your positive qualities
- Seek talk therapy
Self-care is not something that is just for the wealthy. There are many aspects of self-care that can improve the quality of life, especially for someone living with chronic health conditions.
To this day, one of the most important things I have ever done is set boundaries and learn to say NO. My sleep routine helps provide me with a schedule that my brain can recognize. These things are helpful with all my health conditions, not just endometriosis.
Do you practice self-care? If so, how do you practice self-care? Did this article provide any new ideas?
Which symptoms are you experiencing the most this week? (Check all that apply):