I’ve been having a hard time writing for this blog. Last night I realized why: It’s because I feel good. Who am I to write on behalf of those struggling with this crap disease?
I confided in my husband. Always the voice of reason, he reminded me of everything that I have learned over the years, and everything that I must do to feel this good.
I didn’t see it before because it’s my routine. My new normal. I’d forgotten all that it entailed. So today I share with you, with the hope you might find a tip or two, the daily choices I make to help me feel good.
1) I rest. A lot. I took daily naps for a few years. On weekends, I still do. But most work days I can do without. That doesn’t mean I don’t rest. I take as many time-outs as an ornery toddler. On no-nap days, I go to bed. Early. 8:30. I’m asleep by 9:15 or so.
2) I take my meds. About 15 pills a day. Not all prescription–some are supplements such as iron or vitamin D. But it’s still a mouthful.
3) I stay home. There are a few days a week that I don’t leave at all. I’m fortunate to work from home. I’ve learned to take most meetings by phone.
4) I depend on others. My babysitter’s husband picks my daughter up for school. My husband runs most of our errands. My friends come over and they cook dinner. My family stocks my freezer and vacuums under the couch.
5) I plan ahead. If I have a fun event or people coming from out of town, I start preparing way ahead of time. I make sure the days leading up to said event and the days after are cleared for downtime.
6) I manage my stress. Every single day, I move my body. Most days I go for a morning walk and practice yoga. I meditate once or twice a day. I remind myself throughout the day to be mindful–as I’m chopping veggies or washing my hair. I read. I see a therapist. I stopped watching the news and exceedingly violent programs (esp. if children or animals are involved). I stretch and meditate and pray before bed.
7) I say no and I cancel plans. Five years ago, I would say yes to anything. Even if the thought of doing the request made my tummy hurt. I also used to slog through anything I had committed myself to. The fact is I need to listen to my body. And feeling bad still sneaks up on me. I stopped faking it and can now admit when my body defeats me.
8) I find meaning in everything. I choose to face each event–even silly things like getting a good table in a packed restaurant–knowing that I’ll receive the best possible outcome in every situation. I believe the obstacles I face are for my own good. A rejected client estimate means there must be a better project out there for me. In the face of something tragic, I work hard to accept it and learn.
These eight things help me feel pretty darn good. I still have bad days. I screw these eight things up. But my illness reminds me very quickly when I deviate from this routine. So I come back to it.
I could be doing more. Since I’m feeling better, it’s time for me to start adding things back into my life. I’d like to see friends and family more. I’d like to do more meaningful activities. I still need to make better eating choices. And I definitely need to have more fun.
For now, I’ll be content with where I’m at. I’ve come a long way on this journey to better health. And it feels good.
What changes have you made that help you feel good? Leave a comment. You never know who might need your good advice.