Time to ourselves doesn’t just feel good and lift our spirits, it is also necessary. In today’s world, we are always on the go, constantly bombarded with information and opinions, texts, messages, news articles, and massive amounts of stress-causing issues. We must have time to relax and decompress.
When we conjure up an image of relaxation, it’s usually along the line of a warm bubble bath complete with wine and candles. But any parent will tell you, an uninterrupted bath is almost unheard of. How can a busy parent or hard-working professional find more time for themselves?
We should re-define the term “self-care”. It doesn’t need to mean time completely alone, it's about taking time to do something you want to do for your own emotional, mental and physical health. Basically, it means being selfish for a change. (And that is okay!)
Here are some simple suggestions for making self-care a part of your daily life:
1) Make simple pleasures more indulgent: Doing this helps you to be more present and live in the moment. Select a new wine that will perfectly compliment your dinner. Spruce up your favorite room with a bouquet of flowers. Allow yourself a few extra minutes to coordinate your outfit and accessories. It doesn’t have to take much thought, but learning to enjoy life’s simple pleasures can enrich every day.
2) Create therapeutic space: Maybe it’s your bedroom, or office. (Believe it or not, you can make places in your home off-limits to your kids) Change it and decorate it to your liking! Hang fresh curtains, buy a new piece of artwork, limit electronics or distractions. Develop a space that caters to your needs, and retreat to it when you need to, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
3) Plan fun activities that are for the whole family, not JUST the kids: Movie nights, Game nights, Outings and Dinners- the whole family can enjoy these. But it’s okay to pick something mom and dad are also sure to enjoy. And if the kids misbehave when things don’t always go their way, it’s time to call the babysitter and have a date night!
4) Say "no": We all have a lot of responsibility to others. Our families, friends, employers, coworkers. Learn to set boundaries. Work energy should be confined to work hours. If a friend asks you to do something you just don’t have the time, energy or desire to do…. It is okay (and healthy) to say “no!”
5) Do more "walking" than "talking": The growing to-do lists, the ‘I should” or “I want to”s that never get accomplished. Not only do they bring us down but they also weight on us and rob us of peaceful moments. How are you supposed to enjoy a relaxing Sunday afternoon if you’re stressing about the workplace task you’ve put off? Make a to-do list and then check it off! Is there a project you want to start or finish up? Tell yourself that you must do it, start it, complete it. Get those tasks out of the way and the moments you have to yourself will be so much more relaxing and enjoyable.
Imagine this scenario:
You are a healthy adult. You take care of yourself, and though you have occasional aches and pains, nothing that stops you from leading a happy, productive life.
One day, you get into a car accident and end up with a whiplash injury. Now you are suffering from excruciating pain!
You are prescribed a pain killer which provides fast, effective pain relief, but when you reach the end of your prescription the pain comes back. You’re prescribed more. Again, such relief!
But there is a dark side to this relief. Addiction. Soon, you need the pain killers to even function at all! Obtaining more pills starts to become an obsession. You build up a tolerance and need more than the prescribed dosage to feel the relief. But you’ve reached your limit on how much the doctors can legally prescribe.
Now you need a new way to get relief. You turn to dealers, who operate in shady areas. You’re taking pills that are not prescribed to you that come from questionable sources. In this world you discover more options to ease your pain and addiction. Illicit and dangerous drugs like heroin become more appealing as time goes on. One time you finally give in and try it. And now you’re a full-blown addict.
This is the reality of opioid addiction. This is why normal, healthy, average people are becoming addicts. It begins innocently and descends to a dangerous place. The medical community is slowly beginning to realize the error of their ways, and is starting to limit opioid prescriptions, but not fast enough. And those who are suffering from real pain still need an effective path to relief.
That’s where massage therapy comes in.
Let me propose this suggestion as an alternative:
You, a healthy adult, get into a car accident and suffer a whiplash injury and are now in severe pain. To help ease your immediate pain, you are prescribed something- a muscle relaxer, or an anti-inflammatory (steroid), with the very last and most extreme option being an opioid or narcotic.
While on the medication for that acute pain relief, you are encouraged to seek some type of physical treatment before the initial prescription is finished. Considering the type of injury whiplash is, and how it affects muscle tissue, massage therapy is an excellent option.
You come in to see a Licensed Massage Therapist, we treat the pain at it’s source- the muscular spasms in the neck, shoulders, upper back, etc. Now when that initial prescription is finished, you are no longer in pain. And if there is still some lingering, it is more easily managed. You now have the tools, the knowledge, and the health care routine established to minimize pain and ensure it does not come back. No need for more pain killers because you have been properly treated.
No addiction, no obsession, no life-altering consequences.
Which one would you rather have?
Are you suffering from chronic pain? Call now to see if massage therapy is the right treatment for you