Hi I am Melanie Kate, 28, living just outside of London with Endometriosis. I sound like I’m introducing myself in an AA meeting but I am not. I want to share with you all how I live with endometriosis. A condition that effects 1 in 10 women! Due to this condition I also suffer from depression and anxiety. 7 weeks ago I had my 5th operation in the space of 3 years. Now to this day though I am improving every day I am suffering with anxiety especially.
Some women with endometriosis follow the spoon theory. They call themselves a spoonie. The spoon theory works on 12 spoons to live your day. Obviously everyone has bad days where bed sounds more appealing than work but women with endometriosis can find even walking to the bathroom impossible on bad days. If I lived off the spoon theory I feel I would run out of spoons half way through most days which would irritate me and make me feel worse in myself for not achieving what I want to do.
For me even though sometimes everything is a struggle I am super appreciative of good days and being able to accomplish what needs to be done even on the bad days. I get that the spoon theory works for some people but I can see it being negative when 2 spoons clearly wasn’t enough for shower! For me I like to think more positively and set goals to make the week a little easier. I use self care on a daily basis to stay positive and keep going. Yes some days are harder but keeping positive and practicing self care really helps. I don’t mean the brushing teeth and daily showering because everyone should and is able to do this. I mean taking care of myself. Putting myself first and trying to stay positive. Doing things I enjoy. I am not saying everything is hunky dory because even if I can create 2 youtube videos, write 2 blogs and post on Instagram twice a week I do still struggle. The saying ‘be kind because you never know someone else’s story’ is so true to me.
I am reading The Self Care Project to help me gain knowledge and extra self care things to improve my health right now. In the next couple weeks I will go in to depth more about each self care I practice with endometriosis. May even go into my experience with endometriosis. But for now, so this isn’t like a long essay I will go into briefly some of the main self care things I practice. I practice self care just to help me continue a normal and happy life I want to have.
So the first thing I practice to help with my endometriosis is Heat. Having a lovely long hot bubble bath by candle light not only helps my endometriosis belly but also relaxes me after a busy day. I find heat really helps me calm my stomach down. I also try to take 2 beach holidays a year. I am lucky enough to have a friend who works for Tui so I can put 2 together lay in the sun to let my tummy absorb the heat and socialise to help me in person.
To help my mind especially I meditate daily. 5 to 10 minutes a day. I don’t meditate like I do in the photo but just sitting down in my calm place, shutting my eyes and breathing for 5 minutes a time really helps me calm down. Do this, put one hand on your stomach and one on your chest and breathe. What moves first? The correct way to breathe is for your stomach to move first otherwise you are shallow breathing.
The next thing I practice is socialising and keeping in contact with my friends. My friends and family are the most important thing to me. I like to keep in contact with my friends, weekly most of the time. A quick text or meet up. I love to have friends over for dinner or to go out for a nice Thai or pizza. I know we all have our own lives but staying in contact and having them there for me really helps me. A chilled night watching a movie is good too.
Something that really helps me on bad days especially is bullet journalling. I bullet journal everyday. Writing or expressing the feelings or moods I am feeling somehow helps. All the negativity written on the page allows it to escape from me. Bullet journalling also helps me to achieve weekly or monthly goals. Have a vision to do something and live a normal life.
Creating an hour of “me” time is a must! Putting yourself first and take time to do what you love. Turn your phone off and escape from the world for an hour a day is amazing. Try it. I tend to do this hour the hour before bed. I enjoy reading a book, magazine or doing something creative. Those who know me or who have been watching my youtube channel for a while know i can make whatever I would like to. I am also getting creative with content for my blog, and I am loving it! Putting you first is really important especially when your not feeling well.
The final key self care I am practicing is Sleep. Sleep is extremely important to help and give you the strength to live another day. Too much sleep is also a bad thing. I have been told by my pain specialist not to nap. I now only nap if I haven’t slept well the night before. Or if I am feeling extremely unwell. I sleep for about 9-10 hours a night and that is a good amount for me.
These are the most everyday things I do but there are a lot more I can go into. If I had gone with my original plan this would be 10 times longer than it is. If you have endometriosis what helps you? Or if you practice self care what is your favourite thing to practice?
Thanks for reading I look forward to sharing with you more in depth my story and ways to help you using self care.