Every now and again we find we need to let go of our rigorous self-care even when we know that there are going to be consequences.
Sometimes it’s just because of an opportunity that we know will push us beyond our energy limits, but that we just really want to do. Other times it can be a little more heavy than that and can result from just being totally fed up with having to deal with everything. In both cases my advice is the same:
- Listen to all of your needs!
- Compassionately accept yourself in this present moment, allow yourself to be authentic
- Choose your actions, understanding that you are also choosing the consequences
- Remember that all things are temporary and trust that you will return to good self-care afterwards, when you are ready.
This week I went to a party and I drank a little alcohol. Even though it was sit around a table, small gathering of close friends which would minimise the social stress, I knew that the walk both ways and the late night would push me beyond my energy limits. I also knew that drinking even a small amount of alcohol would result in at least one day being wiped out from the exaggerated hangover of a ME/CFS warrior. But I needed to do it! I needed to take part in a normal social situation and I chose to deal with the consequences. I accepted my hangover day without getting grumpy about it because I knew it was something that I had chosen when I chose my actions! I even accepted the reduced productivity of the second hangover day although I have to admit I was rather more reluctant and it took a little more encouraging self-talk!
Sometimes though, the slow gains from all our self-help efforts, especially combined with unexpected challenges, such as a stressful event or an infection can bring us face to face again with all the losses involved in chronic illness. And in such a situation it is totally normal and understandable to feel fed-up, frustrated, angry and unmotivated. It’s totally acceptable to take a little time out. Whatever you do don’t give yourself a hard time for feeling that way or for not keeping up with your efforts. Accept that your need in this moment is to allow yourself to process your feelings and take a break. Remember that feelings flow and change when you allow them freedom to be. Trust that once you have flowed through the process, your motivation will return. Compassionately accept any dip in well-being taking time out might bring, and devote yourself to making yourself as comfortable as possible until you come out the other side! Because you will!
A small favour: I’d be really grateful if you could you rate this article using the stars below the related posts. Many thanks!