Friday, 23 January 2015

The Importance of Self Care

Self care means different things to different people. I'm pretty good with my own Self Care. I nourish my body with good foods. I get regular massage treatments. I try to go to bed early and I've become really good at saying "No." 

But a recent acute injury has left me questioning the depth of my Self Care, and the strength of my will and stubbornness.

As mothers, we tend to power on and put ourselves at the very end of the line, allowing our offspring and partners to step forward and get nurtured first.

About 10 weeks ago, I noticed a tightness in my left hip, right on my sitting bones. I would feel it as I went out walking with the pram (part of my Self Care). As a Massage Therapist of 15 years, I know about tight muscles, and went about stretching and using my foam roller and spiky ball to massage out the knots. 

Being a Massage Therapist of 15 years, I know too much, and spent too much time self treating the muscles in my hip. Which made it worse. So I got some Chiropractic care, which helped somewhat and continued on pushing through the pain. The pain and weakness in my hip, was steadily getting worse. But my stubborn self said, It was ok. Just keep up with remedial massage, walking and stretching. Go, go, go. In time it will get better. 
Well, in time, it got worse, WAY worse. Especially if I had moderate periods of standing. I couldn't stand upright by the end of the day. My lower back would go into spasm and I began to experience sciatic type pain, shooting down my buttocks, hip, thighs and calves. But alas, I powered on. 

After an intense remedial massage and chiro treatment, I went home and decided everything needed a really good stretch, followed by a brisk walk. WRONG! Oh so wrong. what I need to do was rest. The following day I was in excrutiating pain. A couple of ibuprofen and a goodnights sleep would do the trick I thought. But no, this did not help, and then I drove for 3 hours in the car to the city with the 3 kids in the back, as Junior Hoges had a cricket camp. That week, my pain was intense. I had three natural drug free labours and deliveries and this was a thousand times worse. But I still refused to take myself off to the GP. My stubborn self decided I knew best and could rest it off.

Every time I walked I was in pain. Pick up the baby, pain. drive the car, pain. I now have a new founded appreciation for chronic pain sufferers, for whilst I was experiencing an acute flare up of sciatic pain, my condition was chronic. It had been ongoing for 10 weeks or more and slowly getting worse. I made the decision to meditate, begin very gentle Feldenkrais exercises and get myself to Dr as soon as we got back from the city. 

The meditation and Feldkrais helped. The pain began to ease, and with the help of regularly icing the area in my hip, the inflammation went down. I was able to reflect and see that my stubbornness had prevented me from being truly Self Caring. I went to the Dr, got a scan and some strong pain killers and anti inflammatory medication. The sciatic pain has almost somewhat subsided and I have a physio appointment next week to treat the muscle imbalance in my pelvis and start working on strengthening my pelvic floor and core. Twice a day I lay on my yoga mat and go through my Feldenkrais sequence. I rest when I can and ask for help with lifting the baby where I can. Junior has been a big help. He is old enough to wear Baby P in the Ergo and helps with getting her in and out of the car. I've stopped my self treatments and packed away the foam roller and spiky ball. I might try a gentle walk on the weekend, if my hip feels ok. 

Self care is SO important for your health and wellbeing. Listening to your body is part of self care. I am grateful for the pain and restriction I have recently experienced, as it has given me a timely reminder that I need to look after myself more so that I can look after others. 

Here is the link to the Feldenkrais exercises that I now use everyday as part of my Self Care. 

Nic Nurtures

Friday, 9 January 2015

Summer, crickets and more cricket

Summer around our place means an abundance of cricket. On the telly, the radio, in the street, the backyard, everywhere really. It starts with the Boxing Day test. Last year the boys and Mr Man were lucky enough to attend the first day as we spent Christmas in Melbourne. 

This year we had Christmas at ours and a heap of family to join us. The test was on the telly. iPads were following the sporting journos and the Grandads and Uncles joined the boys in the driveway for street cricket. The odd trip to the nets down the road was had, before it got too hot. This was followed with morning tea. Coffee (#homebarista) and my amazing Christmas Cake. 

This was the first time I have ever made a Christmas Cake, and I chose an old school recipe from the CWA cook book, one that requires daily feeding with sherry. The cake was good.

Most summers the kids and I spend hours at the beach. This is not so easy with a 7 month babe in tow. Where we once used to take a flexitub filled with towels and water bottles to the beach to cool off, we now have to take sun shelters, nappy bags, pram, extra towels etc, etc. So the family beach trips have been few and far between, rather, Mr Man takes the boys for a dip after work. 

Today though, I did take the boys for a swim at the river. There is a Weir where you can swim in the cool deep water. It is calm and there is a grassy patch with a tree or two...perfect for sitting with Baby P. Mind you, I did notice a lot of crickets. Little brown ones and green ones, like this fellow pictured. We sat and listened to the chorus of crickets clicking along as we watched the boys swim. 

It's been a busy summer so far. We have more cricket next week when the kids and I head up to Perth for the week for Junior to attend a cricket camp run by Justin Langer. Junior is WAY excited, to say the least. My blog posts are fairly infrequent at the moment, school holidays the time, but my Instagram account is getting a good run, so make sure you follow Nic Nurtures on Instagram and see what fun times we are having this summer.

Nic Nurtures x