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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.

A chronic voice November Linkup Party

Image courtesy of A Chronic Voice

November’s Writing Prompts were:

Discovering

Rediscovering

Anticipating

Decluttering

Cherishing

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:

Rediscovering Healthy Habits

Guilt – Feeling guilty that I was not doing enough.

And

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.

Anticipating

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?

De-cluttering

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.

Healthy Habits

Rediscovering

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.

Discovering

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:

restoring healthy habits

Bloglovin

Feedly**

Pinterest

Flipboard**

Cherishing

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.

Cherishing The Simple Things

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.

Chiara 🙂

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4 Comments »

  1. So glad that I’m not the only one who has notifications switched off. It’s just so constant and demanding of your attention. Now I got into an app to see what’s going on when I want to, not when the phone demands it. Also totally with you also on feeling constant guilt for ‘not doing enough’ and at the same time overpromising to people!

    Thanks for sharing.

  2. My de-cluttering response was very similar to yours. All those notifications are extremely distracting, especially right before bed. I was finding it difficult for my brain to shut off and my sleep quality suffered a lot. So I’ve started turning off all electronics an hour before bed and have found it much easier to fall asleep.

    P.S. – your dog is a cutey and it is so wonderful that she can help give you a fresh outlook.

  3. Thanks for participating in the “Nov Linkup Party for People with Chronic Illnesses”! I’m glad that this month’s prompts were helpful to you! I definitely need to declutter my phone distractions too…it’s so easy to get sucked into technology these days 😉 Best of luck with pacing…I am the same way especially when I was younger (I’d squeeze my class modules into 4 days and then ‘rest’ 3 days lol). I got really frustrated when I got ill and had to spread my time out more. I hope you find a rhythm soon, and hope to see you again next month! x

  4. I love this! I so need to turn of notifications on my social media to help me “switch off” more easily. Especially Twitter! In fact I’ll do it today when I have a rest! I like the idea of following blogs through the apps you suggested. I use Pinterest but I’ll have to check the others out that you mention. Wonderful idea to view the world through the eyes of your dog. I try and do it through the eyes of my 2 year old sometimes, and it definitely brings a fresh perspective. As well as reminding me to appreciate the simple things.

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