ADHD · fitness · planning · self care

Christine’s December Theme

Apparently all of my posts this month have been on the theme of self-care.

I had realized that was (deliberately) the case for my daily posts for the ‘Making Space 2022’ series but it was only when I started this post that I realized that my regular Tuesday posts had been all about self-care, too.

In retrospect, it’s ridiculously obvious but until I started writing this post, I thought that my regular Tuesday posts were all over the place this month. In fact, I started by calling this post ‘Bits and Pieces’ and I was going to write about how I felt like I was too focused on small issues lately and not getting into any big picture stuff. Brains are so weird, aren’t they?

a photo of a bag of sugar tucked into a corduroy bag resting on a white desk.
What does this have to do with self-care? Nothing and everything. What you are looking at is a snuggle sack that I made for my nephew’s guinea pig. When my sister and I talked about the needed size, I used a bag of sugar as reference point. She said ‘If you made a snuggle sack for a bag of sugar, it wouldn’t be the wrong size.’ Obviously that required me to send her this photo of a very snuggly bag of sugar. How is this self-care? I got to do something I enjoyed and I got to laugh with my sister about it at the same time. Image description: the top of a bag of sugar is visible inside a grey corduroy sack (that is lined with blue flannel) and the sack itself is sitting on a white desktop under a lamp.

I started the month by talking about the challenges of resting, then I was thinking about how I wanted to focus on some low-key core work to give myself some structure (literally and metaphorically), and then I was dealing with back pain.

Then today, I woke up with a lot of pain and tension in my hands and I thought I would write about that…after I did some stretches. (This video helped a lot, by the way.)

A Wrist, Hand, & Finger Stretch Routine video from Adarsh Williams. The still image shows the instructor wearing a blue tshirt and standing up in a white-painted room. They have their arms extended in front of them and they are using their left hand to assist a stretch in their right wrist. The title of the video is written in black text overlaying the right side of the image.

So, I was thinking of all of those things as separate – resting, core work, back pain, and wrist/hand stretches – but they are all connected. For starters, they are all happening to me – so that’s one connection. They all have to do with me trying to manage the details of my life in a way that supports me instead of making me work harder. And they are all about underlying, foundational things that would be helpful for me to take a closer look at.

I take plenty of downtime on a regular basis but I could probably put some structures in place to make it easier for me to get more complete rest – mentally and physically. If I established a higher level of basic core fitness, it would support my efforts in other areas. If I strengthened my back and paid closer attention to *how* I move, I could avoid some types of back pain. And if I did more hand and wrist stretches on a regular basis, I would probably have more flexibility and less stiffness overall.

Sidenote re: my wrists and hands – I didn’t injure myself or anything. I am pretty sure my wrist/hand/forearm stiffness today was related to spending the last few days rolling cookies, wrapping gifts, and carrying packages – basically using my hands in unusual ways and employing different muscles.

I think I am pretty good at mental self-care and decent at physical self-care but there is definitely room for improvement in both areas. I would like to move myself toward more proactive and preventative care, especially physically.

Most of the time, I can organize things to take good care of my emotional health and my mental well-being but I have such a hard time assessing my physical capacity that it is hard for me to judge what to do now to make things easier on myself in the future.

In fact, just like I was doing with my December posts – I keep seeing my days and my activities and my actions as separate things when they are all very much connected and they all depend on me taking good care of myself moment to moment and overall.

a photo of moss, dried grass, brown leaves, and tree roots covered in a light dusting of snow.
Last week, when on a walk, I took this photo for my future self. Something about this light dusting of snow on the moss made me feel relaxed and happy so when I look back at it, I will remember how lovely my walk was AND how lovely it felt to look at that moss. Image description: a photo of a light dusting of snow on moss on tree roots. Snow-covered dried leaves and grass covered in snow can also be seen between the tree roots.

Sooooo, what am I going to do about all of these realizations?

Well, I don’t want to let my brain away with sorting everything into separate boxes any more because that is not helping very much.

I guess, I need to ask myself questions like these and figure out my next steps:

What kinds of things help me feel better/help me to take good care of myself?

How do I integrate those physical/emotional/mental self-care practices so I can be proactive about my current and future health?

What habits and systems do I need to develop to make those practices a straightforward part of my daily rhythm?

What help/advice/support do I need to make that happen?

And, most importantly for this ADHD brain – how do I work on this without trying to do it all at once and getting overwhelmed?

I don’t have answers for these questions right now but I will be returning to these themes throughout my regular posts and in my ‘Go Team’ posts in January.

How do you do with your self-care?

Do you tend to see things in ‘bits and pieces’ like I do or do you remember that it is the same you doing all of the things?

PS – As an update on the core work – I followed the video every day until my back started acting up. After that, I still did some core work but I found that that specific video irritated my back so I did other back-friendly exercises daily and tried to ‘engage’ my core when doing other routine tasks as well.