Self-Care and Epilepsy
If someone is already depleted by physical and/or mental exhaustion they are less able to handle the stresses that come their way, whether or not that person has epilepsy. This is where the regular practice of something like self-care can come in handy.
Self-care is important for all people, including people living with epilepsy. In fact, studies have shown that regular practice of self-care can have a positive effect on seizure management.
If you have epilepsy and you are trying to figure out how to fit the regular practice of self-care into your daily life, please see below for some of our self-care tips:
- Tip One: Carve Out Some “Me Time”: Carving out some “me time” where you can do an activity that you enjoy is important for your own self-care, even if it is just once a week. You can try doing things like gardening, arts and crafts, dancing, etc.
- Tip Two: Utilize Mindfulness: If you feel overwhelmed, it can helpful for you to utilize mindfulness, which is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment. Immersing yourself in your senses and focusing on what you can feel, smell, touch, hear and see around you helps you to remain present.
- Tip Three: Employ Relaxation Techniques: If you are feeling overwhelmed, you can try employing relaxation techniques to help calm your body and mind. Relaxation techniques can aid in positive thinking, concentration, memory and decision making and having a calmer and clearer mind. You can try things like deep breathing, yoga, tai chi, meditation, guided imagery, music/art therapy, etc.
- Tip Four: Get Enough Sleep: Getting enough sleep is important for your body and mind as sleep is a major contributor to both physical and mental health. Sleep also plays a major role in seizure control as it is been found that sleep deprivation is one of the main triggers for seizures. Try sticking to a regular sleep routine and attempting to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night.
- Tip Five: Eat Well: Eating well is important for your body and mind as diet is a major contributor to both physical and mental health. In fact, studies have shown that diet may even play a role in seizure control. Try avoiding junk food and eating a balanced diet with healthy foods.
- Tip Six: Exercise Regularly: Exercise is important for your body and mind as it is not only important for physical health but also for mental well-being. In fact, studies have found that regular exercise may even play a role in seizure control. Try getting regular exercise, even if it just going on a daily walk.
- Tip Seven: Interact with Nature: Interacting with nature is important for your body and mind. If you are able to, try getting outdoors if you can. During the time of COVID-19 it is important to practice physical distancing while outdoors by keeping at least 2 meters/6 feet away from others and wear a mask while out in public. You should also wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you return home from any time spent outdoors.
- Tip Eight: Build a Community of Support: It is important to build a community of support, including friends, families and loved ones, so that you can talk with them about your struggles and get advice from them. An easy way to build a community of support is through BC Epilepsy Society’s weekly online support groups hosted through Zoom. Find out more about our support groups here.
If you are given the right tools, it can really aid you in managing your epilepsy, so we hope that our self-care tips are helpful for you!