What I learned About Self-Care After Injuring Myself
A few months ago, I was baking and cooking, creating recipes and getting lost in the kitchen that it was midnight before I realized how badly my body was hurting. I was in the kitchen for 10+ hours, barefoot on hard tile and it took a toll on my body- bending over, side twisting, removing items from the fridge, oven, and washing countless dishes. For people who work in a kitchen on a regular basis, your body gets use to it, but I am not someone who typically spends 10 hours in a kitchen, my day job requires a lot of sitting.
After frosting the cake I was working on, I was thinking “my body hurts” it was aching, and my lower back was heavy with shooting pain. I figured I could sleep it off as I had done in the past, but the next day I couldn’t walk upright, and my lower back didn’t allow me to bend over or stand upright. I thought “maybe this will pass,” so I took some Advil and rested a bit. The next day, I woke up and the thought of having to leave my apartment, cook, clean- do anything overwhelmed my aching and painful body. I realized that I had I injured myself two nights before in the kitchen. When I was baking, I was moving a heavy marble slab I use to decorate cakes in and out of the fridge and moved the wrong way, straining my back.
The injury landed me at urgent care and a note to work from home for the rest of the week. I pretty much stayed in bed for a whole week resting while trying to accomplish some of my work tasks, ice and heat my back.
I have to be honest, I struggled. Having to ask people to cook for me, pick up food, and care for me was a challenge as I am not the greatest at asking for help (something I am working on). As a self-care advocate, I still go through times when I struggle to care for myself in the way my body and mind need to be cared for. I have a past of barrelling through pain and anguish to finish a task, only to leave myself in more pain or with extra stress I didn’t need.
Over the past few months during my back recovery, I’ve learned I need to slow down. Rushing through tasks and life’s moments is not enjoyable. I’ve learned it is okay to ask for help and it doesn't mean you are weak. I’ve learned that I need to work more on my mindset around self-care, and not to beat myself up for not being able to get everything done right now. I’ve learned that I need to listen to my body and mind, and give myself rest when my body physically hurts or I am feeling overwhelmed and stressed.
Written by Amanda Shea.