Rediscovering Healthy Habits & Cherishing The Simple Things
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This week’s post is part of A Chronic Voice’s November Linkup Party which is a monthly get together for people with chronic illness to share and learn from each other’s experiences.
November’s Writing Prompts were:
I usually write about my past experiences and how my MS journey has progressed so far. However, I feel this month’s writing prompts are relevant to my present situation. So this month, I will be writing about what I’ve been up to recently
Rediscovering Healthy Habits
I’ve been feeling a bit worn down and tired lately. I have mismanaged my spoons, and I’ve been trying to do more than my body will allow.
Last week I did a bit of a self-analysis and concluded that there were two reasons why I ended up running out of spoons. These were:
Guilt – Feeling guilty that I was not doing enough.
Habit – I’m just used to over-committing.
This week’s writing prompts alerted me to another reason I ended up biting off more than I could chew.
I’m just impatient, plain and simple.
I’ve always struggled with pacing myself. I get over excited about something or an idea, and I just can’t wait. I’m like Veruca Salt, I want it now!
The anticipation of a promising outcome or idea has always caused me to drop some of my ‘needs’, and I would forget to pace myself. This would leave me with not enough time to practice my healthy habits. Before I had MS, this wasn’t a big deal. Sure I was tired, but I was able just to keep going and get everything done regardless. I had excellent time management skills, and multitasking was a breeze.
These days there are consequences if I neglect my healthy habits. I’ve paid the price for my impatience, and now I’m taking steps towards restoring the balance.
So what have I been doing?
I’ve been de-cluttering my life from constant distractions.
I have so many alerts on my phone and tablet that are so distracting, and the thing is I can’t multitask the way I used to. So every time there’s an alert it can take me away from whatever I’m doing, and I often forget to go back and finish what I started. This can steer me away from vital rest and recovery time.
So this week I went through my devices and did a notification audit.
I turned off all notifications except for the ones that I really needed. I also utilised the ‘do not disturb function’ to automatically turn on in the evenings which was going to be ‘me time’.
As I do use apps for some of my self-care activities such as listening to audio or for yoga and mindfulness I limited social media connectivity to just one of my devices. This way I could avoid the temptation to scroll through my social feeds when I was supposed to be resting.
I had to rediscover some of my healthy habits that for one reason or another I had stopped doing. The biggest problem had been that I had started to watch TV in bed, then bit by bit my sleep patterns were beginning to suffer, sorting out my sleep hygiene was the top priority.
This meant no more watching tv in bed!
Changing habits is hard, so I like to use a ‘don’t stop it, swap it’ approach.
So I swapped my bad habits with healthy ones, such as:
- Watching TV in bed with listening to music, Podcasts or audiobooks** in my armchair.
- And not getting into bed until I was sleepy.
If I need to rest or lie down because I’m not well I try to lie on the couch or stretch out in my armchair instead. If I must get into bed, I stay on top of the blankets or change my orientation to maintain a clear distinction between sleep and rest.
I get a lot of my self-care inspiration from the incredible spoonie community.
I use apps to curate news feeds so I can still follow my favourite blogs in one place and eliminate clutter. There are numerous ways in which to do this, I tried out a few different apps before settling on the one that worked best for me such as:
Lastly, I’ve been cherishing the peaceful moments and the little things that bring me joy.
The best way I have discovered of enjoying the simple things in life is to go to the park with my dog and letting her lead the way. I’ve been really enjoying seeing the world from her point of view. She has taught me to stop and smell flowers, saying hello to other dogs and their humans and the sheer joy of freshly cut grass.
The Simple Things
If you feel like joining me in restoring balance this week have a go at:
- De-cluttering your life from unnecessary distractions by doing an alert audit.
- Swapping just one bad habit with a healthy one.
- Create a good news feed or inspiration board.
- Spend some time viewing the world from a different perspective like your pet or local wildlife.
And rediscover your health/life balance.