Hospitals, while necessary, are sad, disgusting, depressing facilities (for the most part). You know you have to be there, but the longer you are, the more you feel like you’re not yourself, not a person.
That’s why I have developed a “Happy to be Home” Routine, AKA “Back to Being A Person.” It basically resets my system, making me feel as back to normal as I can, as quickly as possible.
Today, I’d like to share that system with you.
For example, this last stent of illness required two hospitalizations very close together. The first was 9 days, then only two sweet, wonderful days home, then back in the hospital 11 days. It was rough! I was SUPER HAPPY when I was finally able to go home. But, I was in a really yucky post-hospital state.
The very next day after my discharge, I started my routine. I had a nice long, hot bubble bath. I shaved my legs (they had seriously gone Gorilla!). I washed my hair and left on a conditioning mask. Afterward, put on some really moisturizing lotion. My parched skin thanked me! And girls, those eyebrows needed attention!
Of course, just being discharged, that was all I could do the first day. Fortunately, this routine is of my invention, so I can do it however I want!
The following day, even though I knew I wasn’t going anywhere, I took the time to carefully style my hair. I painted my fingernails with a new nail polish I hadn’t had a chance to use yet. All the while, I listened to a new album of music that I had been waiting to hear. Loudly. There’s no one else around, anyway, right?!
Now there’s also the practical side. I opened all our mail that had been coming in while we were gone. I made a list of all the follow-ups I need to schedule and made all my phone calls too. I hate having those things looming over my head, don’t you?
Later that night, I helped my Mom cook dinner, and we all ate together as a family and watched a Movie together.
All in all, it’s been a good start to The “Happy to be Home” Routine, AKA “Back to Being A Person.” I’m almost 100% back to feeling like Mia again.
So here’s My List of things to do and accomplish when you get home from the hospital to help you recover, and feel like you again in no time!
1. Wash the Hospital Off
Whether it’s a shower, bath, or whatever your favorite bubble time routine is – do it! Use your favorite shampoo and conditioner, yummy body wash, and don’t feel bad to linger.
2. Look Like Yourself Again
Coming out of the hospital, especially after a long stay, can change a lot of things, especially if you had to neglect them due to severe illness or surgery. Doing things to be myself again has always helped me feel more cheerful. Try fixing up your hair, putting on makeup, or even dressing up! You don’t necessarily have to be going somewhere – this is just for you, to feel like you!
Hospital food, although it’s come a long way, is still overcooked, undersalted, and sad. Now, if you’re anything like me, I get stuck in a hospital-food-rut and I end up eating the same thing every single day. So, one of the first things that I do when I get home is to eat something that I really like. It gets the appetite back, and it makes you feel wonderful to know you’ve had a homemade treat. So, eat up!
4. Do Something Practical
While not the most fun thing in the world, taking care of one or two of the more domestic things that you need to get done will help you to feel like you’re getting something accomplished after being in the hospital for so long. Make a master to-do list, do a “brain dump”, or simply open the mail. Why not go ahead and schedule your follow-up appointments? You could also have someone help you to wash the clothes and blankets you had with you in the hospital. If you’re anything like me though, just don’t go overboard, because you don’t want to overwhelm yourself when you’ve just gotten home!
5. Do Something Creative
Doing something creative can have a stimulating and soothing effect on a person, all at the same time. I feel like this is an extremely important step in my routine. When I’m in the hospital, I often bring things to do with me, but I don’t end up actually doing any of them due to feeling bad. (Besides, hospitals aren’t exactly stimulating places for artistic creations.) However, right after getting home from the hospital, I feel like doing something creative really gets the inside out and gets me ready for normal life. This particular time, I chose to paint my nails because I had gotten a brand new color of nail polish that I had not used. I listened to music. I also made my world famous roasted brussel sprouts for our family dinner. But really it can be anything that you personally enjoy – painting a new picture, coloring in a coloring book, starting a new crochet project, or even cooking a new recipe. If you’re stumped, try looking at your interests on Pinterest! They have thousands of ideas, and it should really get your mind going.
6. Phone a Friend
Being in the hospital is an unusual experience. You feel like life is moving very slowly, but in actuality, it’s moving quickly all around you. People’s lives are very busy. There is a tendency to lose touch with friends and also family members while there. So when getting out of the hospital, it’s very important to re-establish those connections. YOU NEED SUPPORT! Call or text a friend or two that you haven’t heard from in awhile and that would be encouraging to you. Why not be proactive and invite some friends to your house to see you? Being with those that really care will make you feel like you’re at home again. In addition, encouraging words from those who really know you at heart can do a world of good for your recovery as well.
Now you know the 6 major steps of my “Happy to be Home” Routine. I hope the next time you’re discharged, they will help you in your recovery, as they have helped me!