SELF CARE TIPS
Taking good care of yourself is super important, especially if you're a young adult dealing with epilepsy. It's like giving yourself a big, supportive hug!
Managing stress is key, so find what relaxes you - whether it's a good book, some music, or just taking a breather.
Don't forget your meds – they're like your sidekick in keeping those seizures in check. And hey, a good night's sleep is not just a dream; it's a powerful tool, so make it a priority.
Healthy choices, like good food and some movement, can do wonders too.
Surround yourself with pals who get it. Keep a plan for those unexpected moments, and don't forget to rock that medical ID – it's like your superhero cape.
By embracing these little acts of self-love, you're not just managing epilepsy; you're owning your awesome life! 🌟💜
Read on for more information and check back regularly - we will continue to add more tips!!
Why is self care so important?
Self-care is taking care of yourself. It is not selfish. It is what allows you to not only stay alive and healthy, but to thrive. It does not mean we do not care about other people or participate in other’s lives. 1. Self-care is actually linked to self-confidence and so often when we are dealing with epilepsy, our self-confidence has taken some hits. 2. It is very important for keeping our seizure thresholds managed. 3. It helps keep the body, mind and spirit from going into fatigue and burnout. 4. It is actually linked to more emotional intelligence. We have the time and energy to understand the emotional aspect of life. 5. It is also linked to more emotional stability. It helps not only our physical health but our mental health too.
Managing Stress with Epilepsy
This is one of the most important parts of living with this condition. It has been called the “unconditional condition” and often it can feel like we don’t have much control. Stress management is one of the places we can put ourselves in the driver’s seat. Plus, these tips actually feel good! Continuing to take care of ourselves reminds us that we matter. YOU DO MATTER! Pick one at first and see how you feel, then you can add to your list as you feel up to it. Different people like different choices. 1. Use an epilepsy journal. This way you are actually accurately tracking yourself. A good idea is to keep this by your bed or carry it with you and pick a time of day to write. It can be short and sweet or longer. Track your symptoms as well as your feelings. 2. Exercise. This can be anywhere from brisk walks to resistance exercise or more intense cardio. Again, knowing your personal limits is so important. 3. Talk with your doctor if you have any questions. Work to be as consistent as is possible for you 4. Do relaxing practices such as yoga, tai chi, massage, reiki, breath work, stretching, energy healing, and acupuncture. These calm your nervous system and over time you feel more calm in general. Try to not nap during the day. This can effect your nighttime sleep and can leave you feeling out of balance. This can effect both your physical and mental health. 5. Stick to a routine as much as possible. Use consistent sleep and wake time and do your best to stay in a rhythm. Your brain and the rest of you will thank you!
Managing Stress with Epilepsy - There's more!
We are back to stress management because this is one of the most important parts of living with epilepsy! It is one of the things we have the ability and control to do, especially when things get rough. We know it can be hard, but we are with you all the way! 1. Learn and practice Mindfulness Meditation. You don’t have to sit for hours, just minutes and it can literally build a healthier brain. An 8-week free Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course can be found at https://palousemindfulness.com/index.html. Other sites like www.mindful.org, www.alison.com, www.msbrtraining.com, www.tarabrach.com are excellent. Some great apps are Calm, Headspace, and Insight Timer. 2. Try to avoid stressful situations if possible. If it isn’t possible, set boundaries, use time management, 3. BREATHE. Use your imagination to see yourself surrounded in safety. Examples of this are white light, a brick wall, and people you love around you. This can really help. 4. Work on your reactions to certain people and events. Practice new responses to situations you know you will have to deal with before you face them. It will be easier when you get there. 5. Focus on your priorities. Know what really matters to you in your life. Making a list of these can keep you on track so that you do not waste your energy on people, things and situations that cause you stress.
Managing Epilepsy During the Holidays
This time of year is especially important for self-care and boundary setting. It can be joyful and also stressful. Very often stress can exacerbate seizure activity. No need for that! Here are some stress busters to keep you healthy and hopefully holiday happy! 1. Time Management. Stay within your limits - know how much is too much for you. This goes for how long you stay at Aunt Suzy’s party to even how much you shop. 2. Make sure you set aside time for yourself. This may seem strange if you spend a lot of time alone, but make sure you are doing things that make you feel nurtured like long baths, movies, solid rest, a good book etc. 3. Exercise - brisk walks, yoga, or whatever helps your stress level is very important. 4. Stay diligent with your medication. This is so important. 5. Get your sleep. You need the healing effects of the rejuvenation.
Self Managing Epilepsy
We know that it can be challenging and even intimidating to be in charge of your care. Remember, this is a team approach and you are not alone. You are now in the driver’s seat of your daily life with passengers helping you along the way. 1. Make sure you have a TEAM of people around you that you trust. A good team can look like you, your doctor or doctors (neurologist, primary care doctor, psychiatrist etc.), family members, close friends, a therapist or counselor, a support group, a peer counselor, an online group such as YAWE or Brain Ablaze. 2. Have a medication schedule in place and follow it. 3. Use stress reduction skills like journaling, breath work, yoga, tai chi, brisk walking, acupuncture, mindfulness meditation, massage, energy practices such as reiki. 4. Actively treat mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety that often go along with epilepsy. These can be treated medically, therapeutically, creatively, physically, nutritionally, and/or all of the above. 5. Keep an Epilepsy Journal and Use it. This is a place to log your symptoms, medications, questions and comments for doctors and treatment team, as well as your emotions. This keeps you knowing yourself better and on top of your game. In the long run, it helps you stay healthier and more confident.
Having a Seizure Action Plan (SAP)
These tips are helpful and an actual Seizure Action Plan Template is located at www.epilepsy.com/preparedness-safety/action-plans. 1. You and your team are central to your seizure management. 2. A SAP helps stay safe, seizure-controlled, able to respond to your needs and confident. 3. All of your information is organized and in one place. 4. By being prepared, anxiety and stress tend to decrease, thus leaving you more relaxed and healthier. 5. In case of an emergency, you and others know exactly what to do.