I No Longer View Self-care as a Chore

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by Lena Riedl |

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It is vital to take care of your body, especially when you live with a health condition. Otherwise, you might not be able to function or do the things you enjoy due to pain or other symptoms.

Because I live with epidermolysis bullosa, a rare condition that causes my skin to blister and tear with the slightest friction, taking care of my skin is a necessary part of my daily routine.

A photo shoot reminds me to slow down

Tomorrow, I am doing a photo shoot with my favorite photographer, Ricarda Ravena. You can see some of our past work here and here.

As I prepared myself mentally and physically today, I realized that I don’t usually give my body that much attention. Taking care of my skin is so routine for me that I don’t give it much thought and prefer to do it quickly.

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Tending to blisters and wounds and bandaging parts of my body isn’t fun. Of course, I feel better afterward, and it helps me to prevent pain or further injury. But it’s not like the feeling I get after leaving the hair salon, when I can admire my new cut in every window. Unlike putting on nice makeup or wearing my favorite perfume, caring for my skin doesn’t make me feel like I’m glowing.

Wound care is simply a chore that must be done. It can be annoying, especially when I want to go to sleep. But I know that if I don’t take care of the blister now, it will bother me all night and likely be worse in the morning.

Embracing self-care as an act of love

I was saddened to realize that I see this aspect of self-care as an obligation, rather than something good I can do for my body and my well-being. As I got ready for the photo shoot, I took my time and looked at my body closely. I noticed which parts needed special treatment, and which parts had healed faster than I’d expected.

Today, I enjoyed the process. It reminded me of everything my body does for me.

I’m often too hard on myself. I feel angry that I blister and sad that I can’t wear certain clothes or shoes.

But my body and I are a team. I try to listen to it and allow myself to rest when needed. My body deserves to be pampered, and while it feels good to get a haircut and wear nice makeup and clothes, I need to remember that taking care of my skin is also a form of pampering.

After taking special care of my skin today, I loved my body even more. Learning to love and accept yourself can be a long but beautiful journey. I love my body because it allows me to do amazing and fulfilling things, and it heals my skin over and over. These are only a few of the reasons it deserves special care.

So, I’m making a promise to myself that I will spend time caring for my skin. I won’t view it as a chore, but as a way to show love to my body.

Note: Epidermolysis Bullosa News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Epidermolysis Bullosa News or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to epidermolysis bullosa.


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