The holidays can be the happiest season of the year, but it’s important to take care of ourselves during this time of year. When living with chronic illness, the first thing to remember is to always be honest about our conditions. Sometimes we can feel alone suffering in silence, but acknowledging our needs is an important first step to feeling less alone during the holidays. It’s the only way we can start making connections and getting support from our friends, family and loved ones around us.
At Care Fair held in NYC and hosted by Suffering the Silence and Wellacopia, we spoke with Nitika Chopra about self-care. Nitika is a chronic illness advocate who was diagnosed with psoriasis at the age of ten. She is the host of the talk show “Naturally Beautiful” and the founding Editor in Chief of Bella Life. She is a global Self-Love Expert loved by fans around the world, and it was an honor to speak with her.
Nitika tells us how Self-Love became a necessary survival strategy in a lifelong fight with chronic illness. Being able to love yourself means you can have the courage to tell your story, remembering that it’s not just about you, but about everyone who is also suffering. Nitika relates how this helped her share her story, and how this would help others going through the same thing.
These are the important points for Self-Care that we got from Nitika.
A big part of taking care of yourself is setting boundaries for yourself. It’s important to protect yourself and know when your personal space needs to be kept. There are lots of people in the world who will want to talk to you or take up your time. Nitika reminds us that saying ‘yes’ to these social invitations when you don’t really feel like it just ends up in resentment for people, and you sacrificing your health. Learning to say no is important.
Getting to Know Yourself
This comes back to the point of honesty. You need to have a conversation with yourself to know your limits and what you need to do to take care of your health.
Do you need proper warm clothing due to your illness?
What food works for your condition, and what is the most nutritious food for you?
You can talk to doctors and dieticians about your special needs. It’s important to be well-educated in what you put into your body; it’s extremely empowering.
Find what’s Real and Connect to Happiness
You can really experience and practice Self-Love, which Nitika defines as “being more committed to your happiness than to your suffering in every moment.”
Often it can be hard to feel Self-Love when the reality is you’re hurting, or suffering from sores and rashes that make you feel ugly. It’s important to find something that is real in your life, whether it’s the work you do, the friends you spend time with, the clothes that you wear, or the products you use.
How do these things relate to what makes you happy? Focus on that, and it becomes a lot easier to take care of yourself and feel Self-Love.
In the end, taking care of yourself is all about knowing who you are and what you feel. From that starting point, you can really experience and practice Self-Love, which Nitika defines as “being more committed to your happiness than to your suffering in every moment.”
It may sound confusing at first, but the best way to take care of yourself is to practice the concept of Self-Love.
Be sure to take care of yourselves over the holiday season; it’s the greatest gift you can give to yourself.
Want to connect with our community? Join us in our group, Friends in the Fight and share with us your self-care tips or learn from others.