For me a key principle in managing this illness is that we actively need to invest some of our precious energy in health promoting activities. It’s not enough to just live what little life we can and then rest when we’ve had enough. Rest alone will not get us better or even prevent us from getting worse. Managing this illness is a job in itself.
Last week because of covering a colleague’s holiday, work took all of my energy. (My boss is one of those individuals who refuses to understand my condition regardless of the number of times I try to explain it). I found myself too exhausted to do my afternoon yoga and meditation. As a result I had to take pain killers just to be able to sleep and I woke up every morning with a hangover (no alcohol consumed). I just about managed to cook most days with a few meals out of the freezer and one takeaway. Although I devoted myself to restfulness for the 18 to 20 hours a day that I wasn’t at work I was definitely getting worse. However I knew that there was an end in sight and I hoped that with my first day off I’d find the energy to invest in the things that keep me relatively well, and climb out of the vicious negative cycle.
And I have. But this experience has brought home to me how important it is to have enough energy to invest in self-help. We need to prioritise that investment because without it this illness soon becomes vicious circle of worsening symptoms.
When I invest energy in my T’ai chi and self-healing meditation in the morning I usually get rid of my headache, minimise my sore throat and set myself up with much better energy levels than when I first got up.
Investing energy in my afternoon yoga and meditation, eases my muscles, improves my low blood pressure, and relaxes my autonomic nervous system so that I am more likely to get a good night’s sleep.
Investing my energy in a short walk or at least a little outside time every day improves my vitamin D levels, and helps regulate my circadian rhythms. Again helping regulate my sleep pattern and hopefully giving my immunity a better chance to sort itself out.
I also invest my energy in preparing meals with fresh organic vegetables in the hope that good nutrition with also help my immune system.
I also need to invest some time and energy in pleasurable activities and rewarding contact with others.
A week of reserving all my energy for work has reminded me of the importance of putting self help first! What do you invest your energy in that improves or maintains your health?