Getting Sick Brings Out My Self-Care Side

Getting Sick Brings Out My Self-Care SideIt’s only February 8th, and I’ve already failed at my NaBloPoMo goal: one blog post, every single day, for the entire month of February.

Why did I set such a goal? Well, because. Because I like to write. Because it’s fun to have goals sometimes. Because I think that the more I write, the less I’ll feel the heavy hand of perfectionism weighing down on each post.

But, on February 7th, I did not write a blog post.

What’s my excuse?

Well, I was too busy sleeping on the bathroom floor with some bastardization of the stomach flu. At 5:30 this morning, I found myself curled up with a bathrobe and a rug. The scene: peppermint oil near the radiator. A pack of ginger gum under my left thigh. Anti-nausea bands on my wrists. A cup of home-made Gatorade (water, OJ, salt, sugar) on the sink.

The past 24 hours have been difficult and long. Nausea is one of my panic triggers, and I’m a self-diagnosed emetophobe — so of course, every minute felt like an hour. I shook not only because of the chills and the fever, but because my nervous system still — even after how much CBT? — likes to overreact to uncomfortable bodily sensations.

I am thrilled that I’m starting to feel better as the day progresses, but know this: this typed blog post comes to you from the fingers of a body without fuel. My culinary adventure today began with saltines for breakfast and ended with one-quarter of a peanut butter sandwich and half an apple for dinner.

I’m running on empty.

When I’m feeling well, it’s difficult for me to devote time to myself. I tend to ignore self-care at the expense of — well, at the expense of my health. There’s too much else to be done — laundry, job applications, cleaning the kitchen, organizing the bedroom, planning my wedding…and on, and on. Sometimes I really do get trapped in the cycle of thought that tells me if I’m not constantly being productive, I’m either wasting time or money.

But when I’m sick?

All of that goes down the drain. Self-care is my thing. I curl up with my blanket and say no to the world’s demands. I drink my hot tea and re-hydrate myself.

I take the time that my body needs to recover. (Perhaps I should learn a lesson from this.)

And, on that note, back to the couch I go.

Without guilt.

Creative Commons License photo credit: anothernamedrose

Getting Sick Brings Out My Self-Care Side

Summer Beretsky

Summer Beretsky enjoys writing about her experiences with anxiety, panic, and Paxil. She had her first panic attack as an undergrad at Lycoming College and plenty more while she worked toward her M.A. in Communication from the University of Delaware. She contributes to the World of Psychology blog here on PsychCentral and has written for the Los Angeles Times. You can follow her on Twitter @summerberetsky.

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APA Reference
Beretsky, S. (2012). Getting Sick Brings Out My Self-Care Side. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 27, 2020, from


Last updated: 8 Feb 2012
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