As lupus warriors we know how important it is to keep up on our self-care. Things like ensuring we receive proper nutrition, getting enough rest, taking our prescriptions and/or supplements regularly…
The list could go on and many days that list can feel verrrrry long. The things mentioned above do a lot of good to support the physical aspect of our being yet how many of you are doing self-care to support the mental/emotional? Living with lupus has turned my body into an instant stress meter. I can be moving along just fine through my day then all of a sudden an unsavory thought pops into my head and BAM! Cue flare, pain, fatigue and tension that courses through my body.
Immediately I think, just kidding! I take that negative thought back! It never ceases to amaze me how quickly our thoughts can affect the entire operating system of our body. Becoming more aware and mindful of how I think about myself and the world around me has shown me the importance of practicing self-care that supports my mental/emotional well being.
Meditation has become a dear friend of mine. It is now a daily practice that I use throughout my day whenever I feel scattered, frustrated or tired. The 10-15 minutes of meditation gives me a chance to check in with myself, decrease my stress leading to decreased pain and start to notice what triggers induce stress. A form of meditation I have been practicing is called Loving Kindness Meditation. It is a practice tied to self-love, empathy, understanding and kindness that uses short, positive mantras (sayings). The intention is to be free from any expectation, practicing simply to experience and enjoy.
Some of the benefits of practicing this particular style of mediation for me are:
more positive emotions
lessen self-destructive thoughts
reduce pain symptoms
To practice, find a comfortable place to sit or lay down. You can either create your mantras or use the ones outlined. Close your eyes and begin to feel your breath as you inhale and exhale. Take a few moments to settle. Then, to yourself say your mantras, taking your time to let each one resonate.
May I be well.
May I be healthy.
May I be at peace.
Do a few rounds of each saying, then allow yourself to sit quietly to notice how you feel or any changes that took place. It’s ok if the sayings don’t feel like they have a huge impact at first. The intention is just to experience and enjoy. Practicing this regularly though will give you an opportunity to start to notice and feel the benefits. Happy meditating!
With Love, Cobi, Lupus Warrior since 2019