Tag Archives: rest

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Chronic illness has a way of striking the busiest people.  You have so many commitments: busy job, volunteer projects, children and their activities, teaching Sunday School, team mom/dad, best friend's wedding, hobbies, etc.  Probably most of these commitments are things you enjoy, but some you may do purely out of obligation.

Now you are struggling to to keep up.  Those 100 things you used to do in a week have suddenly become impossible.  You can barely get out of bed in the morning, let alone everything else you have on your plate.

But you don't want to let anybody down.  You don't want to be the weak link, the "flake".  You liked that everyone could depend you to get a job done, that you were everyone's go-to-girl (or guy).  But now in order for you to get all those things done you must sacrifice the precious moments of rest that allow you to survive, adding more stress to your body and soul.

Let me give it to you straight: you can't do it all anymore.  You just can't.  And for some of us that fact is more painful than the physical pain from our medical condition.

It's painful because we have to let go of projects or hobbies we used to enjoy.  We have to say no to fun activities because our physical body can't tolerate it.  We have to pass on volunteering for a great cause or helping our friends with a special project because to do it would mean spending the next 4 days in bed recovering from it.

You might try pretending that you can still do it all, push through the pain or sickness and just do it anyway.  You may think you're getting away with it but I'm pleading with you to hear me: it will only get worse.  You will start making mistakes.  You will forget things you said "yes" to.  You will have to call and cancel last minute because you are sick or flat on your back.  Instead of being the most reliable, joyful person for the job, you will gradually become the cranky, unreliable person that everyone has to clean up after.

Don't bother trying to shirk it off, acting like it's no big deal.  Saying goodbye to all those things you used to love to do is upsetting, even depressing.  Stop and grieve for it if you need to.

Then take an honest look at what you now can and cannot do.  First decide what you absolutely must do.  Like getting the kids to school. Vacuuming your house. Getting to/from doctor's appointments.  Only the most important, vital stuff goes to the top of the list.

If you have any energy or time left in your reserves you can add some lesser activities or one-time events.  But don't overdo it.  Learn to say "no" graciously yet firmly.  People who were used to counting on you are going to ask you to help them but remember that it is impossible for you to help someone else if you are operating on "empty."

If your illness comes and goes, you can do more on the "good days" then limit yourself during the "bad days."  If your illness is here to stay, narrow down to the activities that bring you the most joy while not sacrificing your wellness.

Getting used to this new life, the less busy life, can be a big adjustment. But in the end, it will be the best, most life-giving thing for your body and your soul.

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rest

 

Day 15, we have made it halfway already.  This week we have been talking about the body, how to give it what it needs.  Today is about "rest".  But instead of talking about it, today we're just going to do it.  Because my body is screaming for a rest and I bet yours is too.  So just take a deep breath, exhale long and slow, and just rest.

If you need to catch up on the first 15 days of the series you can do so here:

Day 1- 31 Days of Surviving Chronic Illness

Day 2- An Introduction

Day 3- A Diagnosis

Day 4- Doctors; The Good, The Bad, The Indifferent

Day 5- Think Outside of the Box, Pt. 1

Day 6- Think Outside of the Box, Pt. 2

Day 7- Advocacy, Guest Post

Day 8- Snags To Watch For

Day 9- Feed Your Body

Day 10- Listen Up!

Day 11- Stop Eating Chemicals

Day 12- Eat Your Colors

Day 13- Easy Veggies

Day 14- A Little Is Better Than None

 

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1) The 31 Days challenge was by far the hardest thing I've participated in, blog-wise that is.  I had the best of intentions- I was going to write at least the first half of the posts ahead of time so I didn't have to worry about writing every single day.  I did not manage to pull that off, in fact, I don't think in the whole 31 Days I prepared a single post ahead of time.  And there were many days I was writing at 11:30 pm, just barely getting it under the wire.  It didn't kill me, but next year I will be better prepared.

2) As much as I enjoyed my personal writing process and hearing from all of you (site comments, Facebook comments, comments from people I ran into, phone calls, texts) I really, really, REALLY enjoyed reading the 31 Days threads from other writers.  Many of the "regulars" I read participated, of course, but through this process I found some other sites that I have so enjoyed and I learned some great stuff from their 31 Days journeys:

Ashley at One Ordinary Day- I was very interested in Ashley's topic right from the start because "rest" is not something that comes naturally to me.  My brain does not like to shut down and at times I struggle with feeling guilty for needing to take a break.  Every day of Ashley's 31 Days were filled with honest encouragement on the topic of rest.  She shared quotes, songs and her own thoughts but nothing impacted me more than this video on "testimony"
[vimeo http://www.vimeo.com/2287111 w=400&h=299]

Cardboard Testimonies from College Park Church on Vimeo.

She reads Jane Austen & L.M. Montgomery which makes her a kindred spirit and I am so happy our little worlds collided.

Rebecca at Older and Wisor- You better believe I'm going to read a thread that is called "31 Ways to Wrap Your Crap."  For 31 days she presented some of the most clever and fun gift wrap ideas I have ever seen.  This one was my favorite:

You can catch up on all her ideas here.  Thanks, Rebecca, for all the great ideas!

And lastly,

Hayley from The Tiny Twig- Talk about good timing!  Hayley did a 31 day series called 31 Days to a No Brainer Wardrobe.  I have been staring at my closet for months knowing I needed to clean out all the clothes that no longer fit, have no "matches", etc. and put some order to the whole mess.  Her advise was straight forward and very doable.  She even provided lists like this one:

Which prompted me to finally buy these:

Source: zappos.com via Carey on Pinterest

.

I am partly through my Great Closet Clean Out and I have Hayley to thank!

All in all, October was a terrific learning experience around here and I am already plotting the course for next year's 31 Days.