Self Care is Essential & Can Be Life Changing. My Story!

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I have been talking about self care, along with healthy habits quite a bit recently in my blog posts. It has primarily been in general terms, but today I wanted to share more from a personal level.

A simple flight of steps was difficult.

Somewhere around 7 or so years ago, it had gotten to the point where I could not walk up a set of stairs normally. I literally had to take a step up with my right leg and then pull my left leg up to rest of the same step. Repeat this over and over until I had made it up the flight of stairs.

Even just regular walking was getting more and more uncomfortable.

This would be my life going forward. I was bemoaning the situation while getting my hair cut one day when a friend overheard and suggested a massage therapist.

I decided to take action. I also had several friends who visited chiropractors. In for a penny, in for a pound.

I began with the chiropractor who after Xrays informed me that there was a big difference between the length of my legs. We started with 2 – 3 visits a week and even just one adjustment I could feel some improvement.

I also began visiting the recommended massage therapist a couple of times a month. She also recommended several regular exercise movements to make as daily habits. I also tried to get on my foam roller a few minutes every day too. (If you haven’t ever used a foam roller, it hurts, especially when you have a lot of trigger points like me.)

It wasn’t easy or fast, but after about 6 – 9 months I was able to go up a flight of stairs normally and without pain.

The Why and the How

Apparently, I have a pretty significant level of Myofascial Pain Syndrome. Maybe it has been caused by the difference in the length of my legs, which the doctor suspects was caused by injury somewhere along the line. Who knows for sure. But I get knots and more knots in my muscles which cause tender areas and eventually pain in even unrelated areas of my body.

Today I am no longer going to the chiropractor, but am still visiting the massage therapist on a regular basis as well as my foam roller. I have found that if don’t continue these healthier habits then the pain in my lower leg will come back.

I was able to reclaim my mobility by seeking professional help and forming habits that would make a difference in my health. So that’s my personal story about one instance of taking a stand and refusing to accept the direction my body was going.

I watched my Mom gradually go downhill primarily because she wouldn’t make the effort to implement good habits and improve her overall well-being. Her neck started bothering her and it finally got to the point that we would be talking to the top of her head. Instead, of trying to figure out a solution, her response was simply, “Getting old is hell!”

Getting old is no picnic, but I believe by trying to practice self care & maintain a healthier lifestyle you can enjoy your later years more than simply enduring.

I am now watching my husband go through many of the same behaviors. He is not at a healthy weight and doesn’t practice healthy eating. Doctor, after doctor has, has told him he needs to get more physical activity. He does what he wants to do which is often not what leads to better overall health.

My Self Care History

After watching two people who I love do the same things as they aged I am determined to be different. I believe with all my heart that practicing self-love and making even just one good habit stick can be life-changing. The old saying that you are only as old as you feel can become a reality if you back it up with great habits.

2023 UPDATE: Last fall and then on through the winter I had gotten so busy with my business that I was no longer exercising or getting massages. Once again my leg began to bother me and it got to the point that literally every step I took hurt and I was constantly limping.

After I got done with the show in Fort Worth I decided enough! I started back with my yoga classes twice a week and doubled down on getting therapeutic massages. Again it wasn’t overnight but after two or three months I was once again walking pain free.

Lesson Learned: Self care is essential and an ongoing activity that you have to keep up with!

Going back a bit further with my self care journey dives into how and why I started my business. After my son was born I began having issues with eczema on my hands and legs. I used both my Salt Glows and Sugar Scrubs extensively to eliminate it from my hands and help to control it on my legs. In my 30s I also began real issues with adult acne which just seemed to get worse and worse. I eventually decided to create my Susan’s Own Face Serum which cleared up my complexion. I had so many people ask me what I used on my skin that I eventually developed a line of face serums. We currently sell two; the Susan’s Own and the Anti-Aging which is what I switched to back when I turned 50.

My Personal Self Care Activities

Consider a more plant-based diet

So here is my personal list of self-care activities that I make an effort to maintain:

  • Self care starts with skin care! Your skin is your biggest organ and what greets the world. Take care of it!
  • I am putting yoga and exercise as a top priority! Regular therapuetic massage is up there too.
  • Last year I gave up eating meat and have significantly reduced dairy. I feel better but I am still struggling with weight control.
  • My latest self care effort is to start counting calories and be aware of portion control.
  • Yes, running your own business has its plus side but there is also a never ending TO DO list. My Goal: Get outside more!
  • Be kind to myself and admit that overall I am doing the best I can. I’m never going to get all right, but I am trying!! 😊

Those are my primary intentions to move toward better health. Next up is a list of habits for you to consider for your own health.

Suggestions for Good Self Care Habits

What works for everyone is different, but here are some great tips for bringing more self-care and healthy habits into your life. If you are feeling overwhelmed right now maybe just pick one or two great habits to start. The key then is to stay focused and make those habits stick.

  • Self Care starts with Skin Care! I think this should be a goal for everyone. Most people don’t moisturize enough!
  • Develop a healthy eating plan that works for you!
  • Limit the time you spend on social media accounts. Switch that to time spent with a family member.
  • Get out and enjoy nature even if it’s just your local park. Still not sure what to do? Check out this site.
  • Try and replace some bad habits with new habits that will actually result in better health for you.
  • Focus on more sleep and more exercise for more energy.
Today I can look at a flight of steps without dread.

I hope my personal story here has given you some motivation to change your life if needed. You don’t have to be like my Mom and my husband. You don’t have to simply accept health issues that pop up as you age.

I am not going to claim that taking care of yourself can solve everything. Sometimes, unfortunately life just deals us a bad hand. For example self care isn’t going to make my legs somehow magically be the same length. But activities and interventions to improve have definitely improved my quality of life.

By being proactive I have improved my skin, my mobility and my mental awareness. I certainly haven’t met all of my goals but I am convinced that a great many people think there are things you have to accept as you age when that is not necessarily true.

You can do it too! I believe in you.

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2 thoughts on “Self Care is Essential & Can Be Life Changing. My Story!”

  1. books209

    Thanks for this Susan. I feel the same way. My story is different though – I had a great role model. My dad did physical labor most of his life – welding, installing and fixing water wells, a mechanic of anything on wheels. He always said to not ever say you are old. His theory was that once you say it out loud, you start believing it. So I never say it. He passed away at 93, and up until a year before that, he was still climbing windmills to repair them, and working every day. Hang in there – and NEVER say you are getting old!!! LOL Gayle Harris

    1. Susan Svec

      Gayle, Thanks so much for responding and for sharing your story as well. I totally agree!! I am fighting against that “march of time” with everything I’ve got. At the very least, I want to be aging gracefully!! Rock on sister!!! Susan

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