Five Self-Care Tips: My Shoe Part 1

“Healing is an art. It takes time, it takes practice. It takes love.”

I am certain I’m not alone in my love of shoes. From hiking boots to stiletto heels, connect the most effective pair of shoes to the task they were made for and it’s magic AND so are you. 

Over the years of living with chronic illness, I’ve learned there are certain things that just make me feel better no matter what. When you’re in it for the long haul, it’s important to discover healthy and duplicatable strategies to make enduring your health challenges a little more doable. And when needed, have them ready so you can hit the ‘easy’ button and bring those strategies to life. 

Most of my chronic illness self-care strategies are things I can do at home or things that connect me to my support system, but every once in a while, making a fun purchase (sensible or not!) is a card I play for the love of myself. 

The medical bills will always be there, and they tend to focus on negative or hard things. Quite frankly, after fifteen years, spending money on negative or hard things… is well… HARD! 

Taking a hot second to show myself that other aspects of my being matter too is important. Whether it’s trying a new face wash, replacing a pair of worn out combat boots, or adding a new flavor of kombucha to the grocery cart… making a purchase for the me that’s really me, not the me that doctors see is grounding and sanity saving. PLUS, trying new things and getting packages in the mail is fun! And fun for me is a gateway to the ability to pivot away from a struggle thing and toward a positive thing. 

If something is taking me down the rabbit hole and I know I need to turn around and head in another direction fast, having some pre-made links to a different space in the brain is useful. It can be anything large or small that connects you to happy, healthy, or comfortable places in your mind. Let it bring you into the present and support taking you forward. Big or small, anything that works for you, works! 

For me, it ranges from making a fun purchase to pausing to smell an essential oil. Things that come into our world through our senses are the most effective place to begin when creating a shift towards personal wellbeing in the midst of hard things.      

What color do you think the sky was here in the mitten during January? Grey. It was measured my area had only seen 32 hours of sun the entire month. And we went a whole 10 days with almost no sunshine at all. Two deaths and a miscarriage in my life circle hit me emotionally as I was attempting to formulate my goals and plan for the new year.

I’m not a huge impulse shopper. I attempt to think about how I can combine something fun with a need I might have in my life. (Although honestly, my impulses do win some of the time…) In this case, I had been scoping out a pair of shiny silver wedges that reminded me of Elsa in Frozen 2. I was channeling the whole “do the next right thing” message as I put one foot in front of the other day after day surrounded by clouds inside and out. I couldn’t quite justify those shiny shoes lol! But I did need a new pair of boots for Spring and found an awesome pair on a January clearance sale!! 

I’ll share with you more about those boots in my next post. For now, here are some of the things that have been effective self-care shifting techniques over the years. 

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    Presents! At one point in my journey, I spent two weeks out of state doing outpatient trauma therapy. My Mom went with me and had a “grab bag” of small goodies for me to pick from at the end of each day. The action of unwrapping the paper and finding anything from fun new undies, a discounted DVD, to glittery thinking putty helped me put a positive pin in the end of many hellish days. We have repeated this strategy every time we have had to travel out of state for prolonged medical care or surgery.
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    Gummy Bears!!! While using food for comfort can become unhealthy, used wisely and sparingly it can be an effective tool. I encourage you to select foods that support your health goals. Taste can be a powerful transporter to a place of comfort. Use it wisely, and go for as clean, and low carb options as possible. When you’re having a moment it’s okay to pause and pick up the pieces the next day. Though my brands have changed to much cleaner options, throughout the seasons of life gummy bears and I have stayed good friends, I also enjoy a clean agave sweetened ginger ale. My comfort food days began in an unhealthy place as a teenager, but over the years I’ve discovered some amazing healthy foods that not only make my body happy, but my heart too!
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    Essential oils! Oils can be grounding and calming. I find just breathing in the aroma can help me shift if I’m short on time. I rub a drop or two between my hands and take 3 deep breaths, then go back to business. If I have more time, I’ll rub some on the back of my neck or give myself a foot massage at the end of the day. 
  4. 4
    Epsom or Dead Sea Salt baths! Water is super cleansing and definitely helps me reset. If I don’t have time to soak in a beautiful tub full of salts and essential oils or I’m mid-day, mid-crisis, then I either quick get a drink of water, pause for a moment and excuse myself to go wash my hands or splash some water on my face. Water is one of my biggest supporters in grounding and shifting myself forward.
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    Sit-coms! Laughter really is good medicine. To this day, I watch a re-run from any of my favorite sit-coms at the end of the day to end everything on a positive or funny note.

Those are five things out of many! Music really helps my brother and a good friend finds art really healing.  I continue to find new things to help me shift physically and mentally all the time. 

About the Author Shannon McClurg

I have learned to thrive in the midst of acute & chronic health challenges. My personal experience drives my quest to seek out exceptional resources for living: real health for your body, real tactics for renewing your mind & real access to strong finances. My 4 favorite P's are puppies, pineapples, princesses and pole fitness! My hobby jobs all involve kids. I love bringing joy to children's lives and making sure they know they are important.