When You’re Totally Fed Up of Self-Help

When you have a chronic illness all the things you have to do to be as happy and healthy as possible can add up to being a full-time job. Because there is no cure, we work hard at finding ways to offer some relief, improve our health and adapt to our new normal. There are many things to try and many things that can bring some improvement, none of them enough though, to not want to keep trying the next thing. There are so many things in fact, that I was able to write a blog post about 101 ways that I tackle energy limiting chronic illness.

My experience is, that if I’m well enough to be really good with my self-help, everything put together can make a real difference, but it takes work to get that much back. And you have to have enough energy to invest in the first place. When energy isn’t great, or rewards are slow to come, it can get to be a real bind. Sometime we just get so tired of having to take care of ourselves.

Because self-help can take so much time and energy, success involves working hard at staying focused on the benefits and choosing to try and find ways to enjoy it. Most of it though, aren’t things that you would choose to do, if you didn’t have the illness. So, it is the most natural thing in the world that from time to time, you get sick to death of having to do it all. That’s what I call Self-Help Fatigue. You’ve heard of (and probably experienced) compassion fatigue, where someone can get fed up of dealing with someone else’s pain, self-help fatigue is a bit like that but you’re getting fed up of dealing with your own.

Imagine you have a full-time job that you really only do for the benefits, it’s reasonably well paid, you get a pension and holidays, but it’s something that you wouldn’t even think of spending time doing if it wasn’t for your desire to pay the mortgage, go on holidays and buy the things you like to buy. Would you expect to be ‘on’ every day? No. You’d have days when you just didn’t want to be there, you might even call in sick, or at the very least you’d go to work and just do the minimum you could get by with, until the weekend comes around. Often after taking some time off you can approach work with a little fresh enthusiasm again.

So please, please, please, don’t beat yourself up if you have a day like that with your self-help. I have them quite regularly. Especially when my energy is lower, I have lest to invest and so see less rewards. When I’m really not feeling it, I take a day off. I guess you could call it a mental health day. The only self-help that I make a priority on these days is self-compassion. I treat myself with kindness, and keep telling myself it’s OK to let go, it’s OK to feel fed up, it’s hard. I trust that when I’ve and a break and my energy improves I’ll find the motivation to get back to it again

If I think of one of my better days this year, my day would have included the following self-help:

  • Rehydrating with lots of hot water and lemon when I get up
  • 20 minutes of Tai chi
  • 1x 15-20-minute meditation session and 1 x 5-10-minute meditation session
  • Diffusing essential oils
  • Dry brushing before my shower
  • Supplements twice a day
  • Preparing healthy meals
  • 10-minute walk
  • Drinking at least 1litre of water in the afternoon
  • 20 minutes of yoga
  • 4 minutes of energy exercises
  • Lots of rest
  • 20 minutes of peaceful creativity (paint by numbers)
  • Putting glucosamine gel on my joints

pin for when you're totally fed up with self-helpWhen I had a self-help fatigue day this week it looked like this:

  • Rehydrating with lots of hot water and lemon when I got up
  • Supplements twice a day
  • Preparing healthy meals
  • 4 minutes of energy exercises
  • Lots of rest

Don’t feel bad if you have self-help fatigue, give yourself the day off. Allow yourself to let go of anything you want to let go of. The only thing you need to keep hold of is being kind to yourself!

Image courtesy of pzRomashka at Yay Images.com

1 thought on “When You’re Totally Fed Up of Self-Help”

  1. This definately hit home, most of the things i’ve been doing in the last 3 years are just to get better, not necessarily for enjoyment. Though they have lead to more enjoyment because i’ve recovered alot and can go out and do more. So i’ve learnt that I partly have to do these things to get better and can’t neglect them.

    But also have had to learn when how I feel is legitimately ‘i’ve overdone it’ or ‘something in my mind is resisting this because it’s bringing me closer to health’ (as limiting beliefs can do at times).

    It is definately more difficult with chronic fatigue to learn how to do this. I can identify with doing so many things at once, I still am though not as much.

    At first I was doing Qigong for 2 hours a day, an hour in the morning and an hour at night, timing all kinds of different supplements, working on emotional aspects with different healing methods, and reading hours and hours to find other things to try to help me heal. I can say that it’s also a challenge at times to step out of this and to go out and enjoy life.. as it’s possible part of this comes from trauma and wanting to have something to engage us like this instead of facing the world. But I now have got to a point I enjoy socializing and have different classes and groups to goto which is good. But i’m still spending a few hours on different things to heal more daily.

    But really, it’s been worth it. I’ve gone through a massive period of self growth through my recovery from lyme. I’m still working on it but have learnt so many things I wouldn’t have otherwise, and it’s put me on my path, where before I was more lost.

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