Self-Care: We All Need a “Time Out” Sometimes

nrbR3WAI haven’t posted in a week, which is unusual for me.  It’s because I’ve been fasting and had to take a lot of tests lately including having ten vials of blood drawn on Monday.  This made me woozy and incoherent.  I’ve been told, “You’re not making any sense,” multiple times this week.  For instance, there’s a radio station that plays holiday music all month-long.  On Monday, in my haziness, I proclaimed defiantly, “I love Christmas music but I hate commercials.  We should ban all commercials!”  Then, I realized I we were listening to a traffic report.  I decided to abstain from writing blog posts and posting on Facebook.   (On the other hand, a blog post written in the haziness of fasting and post-testing fatigue could have been funny.)

Showering Blindfolded

As I blogged about before, I’ve been having trouble with my eyes and ears, which has been painful.  I do not want to have surgery, as the ENT recommended.  I saw a clinic, Mensah Medical, recently.  They practice nutrient therapy (nutrient therapy–not nutrition).  After they analyze the results of my blood test, they will prescribe a compound that addresses my chemical imbalances.  I feel very hopeful.  In the meantime, I’ve had to shower blindfolded for the past month.  I can’t get shampoo in my eyes.  I don’t want to make a bad situation worse!  At first, it was a Herculean task and I needed assistance.  Now, I’m a pro at showering blindfolded.  I feel like Jean-Claude Van Damme in Bloodsport when he had to train blindfolded and later, when he was blinded in the final fight  scene by his opponent at the Kumite.  Of course, JCVD’s Frank W. Dux prevails in a very dramatic scene complete with memorable JCVD faces and his famous roundhouse kicks!

Practicing Self-Care

With all my health problems, I’ve had emails, tweets, and messages piling up. My first instinct was to try and respond to every email, tweet, and Facebook message  Then, I realized that there will always be emails to answer.  Unless those emails are directly related to my health, my job, or urgent matters, they can wait.  The past two weeks, I’ve been finding release in my artwork.  I barely paint; I only make one to two paintings a year.  I don’t take vacations because of all my health problems, which is why I “vacationize” my hospital visits.  However, when I paint landscapes, I get to travel vicariously to places I’ve never seen.

There Will Always Be Emails To Answer

Healthy people and sick people are increasingly inundated with messages.   Work follows us home; we can see our work email on our cell phones.  Over the holidays, I want to make gingerbread cookies with my nephews.  They won’t be children forever.  There’s a tradeoff–some emails won’t be answered by the end of this year.  I’ll have to email friends later with responses like, “Sorry for the delayed response. I was having some health problems and I’ve been meaning to get back to you…”  I can’t control their reactions but I can practice self-care.  I need to minimize my stress before it gets the best of me.  Self-care is necessary for survival.

Going To Treat Myself Better

In 2015, one of my goals is to paint more.  Even if it’s just two to three times a week.  Having five diseases can drive me crazy.  But painting keeps me sane.  I plan on doing more with my stationery business too; I make cards out of my watercolor paintings.  Next year, I will establish an Etsy account.  Writing holiday cards to loved ones and working on my stationery business (I had nine customers this month) has made me happy.  Being surrounded by my paintings of sunrises, waterfalls, and flowers makes me happy.

How Can You Practice Self Care?

Is there something you can do to give yourself a “time out”?  Is there an activity that gives you refuge from stress? Is it easy or hard for you to practice self-care?

–Your Stylist, Jessica Gimeno

Related:  Slowing Down Is Surviving; Not Giving Up



Hi there! I am a patient advocate, writer, and public speaker most well known for my TEDx Talk, “How to Get Stuff Done When You Are Depressed.” As someone who is juggling 5 illnesses: bipolar 2, myasthenia gravis, endometriosis, psoriasis, and asthma, I’m passionate about helping people who navigate life with both chronic physical & emotional pain. If you’re interested in hiring me to speak at your event, check out the CONTACT tab.

One thought on “Self-Care: We All Need a “Time Out” Sometimes

  • December 12, 2014 at 1:03 am

    10 vials of blood. Sheesh. I once was having trouble sleeping and got a bit worried, so I went to the hospital. They took 3 vials of blood and I was weirded out. I was convinced they were stealing my blood since there was a shortage at the time 🙂 They didn’t find anything and I think the bloodletting helped because I slept so good that night.

    I’ve been thinking of 2015 goals as well. I fell a bit short on my resolutions this year. I accomplished 2/5. The main one that I want to do in 2015 is travel. I’ve never really been anywhere.


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