You’re getting ready for your evening. You have a game plan. You are going to prep your supper, hop in the shower, freshen up and put something nice on to go out and enjoy your evening. And then suddenly…
You’re at the hospital. With a cooking injury. On a Saturday night. During Covid-19.
And you’re thinking, “Okay. It’s one night. I’ll be back to my usual self tomorrow and will resume my normal routine and activities…”
You realize too quickly that you need to reevaluate your day-to-day to make room for this brand new obstacle. You need to change your entire game plan to include extra time to do just about, anything. You cannot do certain activities that would agitate the injury (like yoga or journal writing). You start to coach yourself on your ability to use your non-dominant hand and with a number of food droppages and spills, you kinda get the hang of it.
But you’re sour. You’re agitated. You’re irritable. You’re looking for a reason to get angry. To lash out. To distract yourself from your pain and stupidity, and to just give yourself a true reason to be fully mad at what you’ve done. You’re a freight train coming at full force and there’s no slowing down….
Until you realize that this behavior isn’t good for you or anyone around you, and it’s only going to make everything worse. How about you sit back and just… breathe?
This wasn’t the original topic of this week’s blog but it sort of made itself the headline. Not having full use of your dominant hand comes with its own fun obstacles, but it teaches you the importance of self care. It makes you realize you truly need to prioritize your health and your overall well-being before anything. (And then you start to realize how many daily tasks are affected by one single thumb injury.)
You can’t (truly) practice yoga… maybe hands-free postures, but certainly not your usual routines.
You struggle to use a knife, or scissors, or any utensil that you’d need to grip.
Showering and your typical self-care routines take extra long and require a degree from left-handed university.
And I’m not even going to mention going to the bathroom… (wait, I just did.)
So the past week has been an interesting one, and for this week’s blog I’d love to talk about pressing pause on your behaviors, typical routines, actions and reactions and what I’ve truly learned from this experience, in relation to proper self-care and personal well-being.
I’ve learned that pain brings out the worst in you. And you can simply go too far with your emotional reactions when you’re in pain and irritable. You look for a distraction, but not in a healthy way. I quickly learned I needed to pause my emotional responses to people and disengage in conversations where I knew I wouldn’t say anything nice to anyone.
Emotional self care is extremely important with an injury healing process. Allowing yourself to get overwhelmed with all those negative emotions can certainly set you back. Focus on conjuring up those positive vibes and make sure you’re checking your emotions before you express them outwardly.
Make sure you aren’t projecting or deferring anything onto others (or do what I did… realize afterwards you were being a b*tch and grovel for forgiveness to those you took your pain out on… and again, I’m truly sorry to those who had to deal with me the day after my injury.)
I learned patience. And no, not in one week because I’m still hella stubborn. But, I learned the VALUE of it and how you need to be patient with yourself during a time like this. Yes, you dropped your bagel while holding it in your non-dominant hand… twice. Yes, taking a shower is twice as long and ten times more frustrating than you’d like it to be. Sure, you aren’t practicing yoga or journaling as much.
But so what! This isn’t forever. This is just right now.
So be patient with the healing process and look for other physical activities that you can do (e.g., walking, meditating, seeing friends, etc.) or take up some other, more static activities you’ve been wanting to do for a while (for me, that would be reading). Take care of yourself to the best of your ability!
You are simply pausing your normal routine and making accommodations. You have not failed. Yes, it’s a setback, but a minor one. This doesn’t reflect on you as a person just because you can’t keep your home looking totally “Pinterest”-worthy or go the extra mile on a task you usually could. You’re a human being. And humans get into accidents. We get thrown so many obstacles during the run of a day, an accident is bound to happen. But it’s about how you handle it and grow from it. It’s how you care for yourself during it and nurture yourself through the healing process.
Give yourself an extra bit of self care. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Know that this is a moment in time, and it too shall pass. We can be our own worst critics and if we keep beating ourselves up over things we cannot control, we will learn to be helpless. And we aren’t. So just focus on the now, for your own well-being!
Speaking as a recovering perfectionist, and aspiring good enough-ist; the hardest thing to do was to let go of my own expectations and be okay with what I could do vs. what I wanted to do. I strive for perfection almost every day of my life, but I had to be okay with what I was physically able to do – even if it wasn’t perfect.
Life gives you lessons to learn so that you can grow from them and overcome them! And I think that remembering to use a guard when operating sharp equipment in the kitchen is a life lesson that will stick with me for some time.
If you took the time to read this blog post, my heart is full. Have you experienced a setback that caused you to adjust your daily routine? If so, how did you deal with it and overcome in? Would “pressing pause” lessen your anxiety and guilt, and improve your health and well-being? Let’s continue the discussion (perhaps with a nice cup of coffee, heh.)
And reader, I want to thank you for reading up to this point in the post. Writing is an outlet I am passionate about, but hardly allow myself to do. I hope you enjoyed reading this post, and look forward to reading future blog posts on this site. I will be posting content every Saturday — so mark it on your calendar or even better, subscribe to my blog below so you get alerted when the next post goes live. Also, look out for future blog/vlog videos, exclusive content and just more positive energy to float your way.
Chat again next Saturday!