Self-Care Tips for Living with a Disability

Bunny Elizabeth Randleman Headshot

Pronouns: non binary and genderqueer, uses they/she/he pronouns (used interchangeably)

Digital Tip Jar: Venmo - @bunnybabyyyyy

Social: Instagram 

Does self care ever feel like a chore? When I’m in the middle of a chronic pain flare-up, I tend to view self care rituals as an annoying part of my to-do list. But when I’m feeling good I usually get excited about taking good care of myself. It’s become something I really look forward to, especially on those low symptom days. It’s just like walking- I absolutely love walking around the neighborhood when I have control over my mobility. But on most days the ability to walk is an achievement. It doesn’t mean I don’t like walks out in nature and other self care rituals, but that my mental and physical capacity is limited based on my health. This is a reflection not of failure but of humanity. Burnout (“a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress” can happen to anyone and we require consistent care to be as healthy as we can. Survival is the bare minimum- and thriving is a birth rite. Self care is important and I have found it to be worth it even when I don’t feel like I am worthy of it. 

a woman from the show pars and rec saying "treat yo self"


Have any methods of self care improved your quality of life or your self-esteem? 

Daily affirmations have been a huge help for my confidence- my self esteem has improved so much in the last few months because I’ve implemented affirmations into my life. They work best for me when I do them consistently, but I don’t push myself to my limits. For instance, during pain flare-ups it can be hard to eat, let alone affirm myself- so I give myself grace to do it when I have the capacity. Rest is self care too.

Affirmations can be done aloud or in your head, whatever suits your body best! If it’s difficult to repeat them on a schedule, you can always affirm yourself as soon as it comes to mind or when you have a few moments to spare. 



Here are the affirmations that work for me!

I am powerful 

I am confident 

My worth is not dependent upon my health

I like what I see in the mirror 

I am not at war with my body

I am worthy of love and friendship 

I deserve to thrive and not merely to survive 

I am worthy of care 

Other people do not decide my worth

I am proud of myself

I am excited to see what is in store for me next 

There are lots of good things coming my way

I learned a self esteem improvement technique I refer to as Mirror Affirmations which includes looking at yourself in the mirror while doing affirmations, especially those that pertain to the body and the mind.


Mirror Affirmations/Body Neutrality:

I accept my body

I am proud of my body for keeping me alive

My body has done its best to keep me safe 

My body is doing its best to take care of me

I am beautiful, but I do not owe the world beauty

I am worth protecting 

I deserve safety 

My mental health is incredibly important 

I am not a burden

I am very important 

I am a treasure 

My words and thoughts have value 

I am an amazing person (you can use also add any descriptor that makes you feel like your best self: genderqueer person, non binary person, trans person, woman, man, etc)

I am whole

Songs I recommend for Affirmation Time:

Masterpiece (80s Remix) by Summer Luk

Body by Jordan Suaste

Change Your Mind by Steven Universe, Zach Callison

Affirmations by Grey Ziegler 

The King’s Affirmation by Iniko

Mystic Journey - Freestyle by Jhené Aiko

Here Comes a Thought by Steven Universe, Estelle, & AJ Michalka 

It’s fun to use songs that make you feel happy, confident, and at peace. Songs that give you gender euphoria are perfect as well. If you struggle with body confidence like I do, it can help to do most if not all of your affirmations while looking in the mirror. It works even if you don’t look at yourself in your eyes the whole time or at all- that can be a struggle for me sometimes. Eye contact can be difficult for those of us with autism as well, so please modify all self care to suit your body and your needs. If I can’t get out of bed I often look down at my body while I say these affirmations that help me maintain body neutrality. I need affirmations the most on days when I’m upset because of my symptoms. It’s good that I affirm myself while I'm learning to listen to and take care of my body. It helps me maintain confidence as my body changes with my disabilities. “I am patient with my body when it changes” is a new affirmation of mine.