The self-care practices that help me manage Cushing’s disease
Dealing with pain and symptoms is an important part of my daily routine
Practicing self-care has always been difficult for me, as I’m constantly moving, working, reading, or writing in an effort to better myself. I find it difficult to take time out of my day to care for my body, but with Cushing’s disease, it’s incredibly important to do so. Embracing self-care has made a huge difference for me.
This meant changing my mindset and recognizing that self-care doesn’t just mean facial masks and long baths. It’s a holistic practice that involves taking care of all aspects of your health and well-being, and it may look different for everyone. Discovering what works and is most important for you can be life-changing.
To keep my body healthy, I use several common practices that are easy to incorporate into my day-to-day life.
Because Cushing’s causes dry skin and acne for me, I’ll apply a clay mask to my face to cleanse and moisturize my skin while I’m working. The disease also causes my hair to fall out, so I’ll start my day by applying hair oil to stimulate growth.
Lastly, to keep my body moving, I do yoga three times a week. When a longer practice feels too overwhelming or strenuous, I’ll just do five minutes every hour during my workday. This keeps me moving but doesn’t strain my bones, muscles, or joints.
I love self-care practices that don’t interrupt my day. When I feel like I have to stop what I’m doing in order to care for myself, I’ll skip it more often than not.
In my experience, chronic illnesses often bring chronic pain. When my pain started, I didn’t know how to manage it, so I wouldn’t deal with it until it became excruciating. Through trial and error, I’ve learned that I need to implement pain management practices, even when I’m not hurting.
Twice a week, I’ll wear compression boots for an hour to improve blood flow. I also use a handheld massager on my calves and arms whenever I have a physically strenuous week. Cold compresses on my head help me avoid migraines, and warm compresses on my stomach, thighs, and the back of my neck relieve tension. All of these methods make me more comfortable and get me through each day.
For me, a main form of self-care is making my appearance reflect how I feel on the inside. I have a lot of piercings and am working toward getting tattoos. I even dyed my hair for the first time this year, and that change felt wonderful.
I believe tattoos are one of the purest forms of art. They represent who you are as a person at different stages of your life. For my first tattoo, my husband and I got matching koi fish, in honor of the show “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” My next one will be a goddess that represents change and how darkness doesn’t take away from beauty. I can’t wait!
Changing my appearance is my favorite form of self-care, as it truly helps me love and accept myself.
These are just a few ways that I care for my physical and mental health. Some may prefer different practices, but there’s no right or wrong way to take care of yourself. Do what works best for you!
Note: Cushing’s Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Cushing’s Disease News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Cushing’s.