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Hi, soul! How are you doing?

Having a vestibular disorder fills you with disappointment, grief, and anger. You have a mind that wants to do, and a body that wants to do nothing. You can end up with depression, negative thoughts, and feelings of hopelessness. Your brain tells you, “I can’t” and “I’m useless.” You can lose yourself, your soul, and your sense of purpose.

Taking care of yourself is a critical part of your treatment plan. It is important to maintain yourself despite how you feel. But, let’s face it, it’s hard to take care of yourself when you are in pain, have brain fog, or when you are spinning and wobbling. Self-care often becomes aspirational and is sometimes easier said than done.

No matter how depressed I am or how much pain I am feeling, I am determined to get up out of bed, get washed, shaved, and dressed. I comb my hair and polish my nails. Initially, I did not realize how important these tasks are in my journey of healing and recovery.

Many of us “vesties” are good at self-care in the practical sense of taking vitamins, going to doctor’s appointments, and doing vestibular rehabilitation therapy exercises, but how many of us are taking care of our soul?

Soul-care is much deeper than self-care. It is the care of the inner you, your soul. It’s about valuing yourself and your place in the universe.

Practicing soul care helped me shift my perspective and lifted me out of depression and negative thinking. My overall health and outlook changed from surviving to thriving, from the inside out. It has equipped me to meet the challenges that come with living with my vestibular disorder. It has made it possible to still be happy, healthy, and whole despite my symptoms.

Practicing soul-care has led me to take better care of myself. Having a positive outlook makes a huge difference in how I feel about myself and how I cope with the grief, pain, and loss that comes with my illness. Soul-care is not a cure, but it is a critical part of the healing and restorative journey that makes living with this a lot easier.

If your physical health was in the same condition as your spiritual health, how healthy would you be? Are you taking care of your soul? Soul care is a deliberate practice of paying attention to your physical, mental, and emotional health.

My road to restoration and healing began when I started to tend to my soul. My soul health increased when I was intentional and determined to begin every day with meditation and prayer (I also pray throughout the day). I read my Bible and write one thing I am grateful for in my gratitude journal. I meditate on the promises of God.

Are you taking care of your soul?

By Lynn Johnson, VeDA Ambassador (Diagnoses: BVH & AIED)