Taking a Step Backwards

I’ve been struggling for the last week.  I don’t know why;  perhaps it’s the change in the weather, perhaps I’m fighting off an illness.  All I know for sure is I have less energy than usual, and the everyday tasks that I’ve been gradually getting more successful at managing are once again too much for me.

So I’m writing this post as much for myself as for anyone else who’s also struggling.  Here’s what I know I should be doing to get back on track.

  1. Listening to my body, not pushing to do more activity than I feel I can manage.
  2. Getting enough sleep.
  3. Having regular rests in the day
  4. Not catastrophising.  It’s easy to let the negative thoughts take over – “I’m back to square one”, ” I’m never going to get better” “nothing I’m doing is working”
  5. Doing very gentle stretching exercises.  I’ve got some very simple yoga exercises that I do.  WIth the decrease in my daily activity and more lying on the sofa my muscles get more achy.  Gentle stretching helps my circulation.
  6. Using distraction to stop focussing on how bad I’m feeling
  7. Reducing neurological activity
  8. Continuing with my healthy eating
  9. Focusing on things I’m grateful for

So how am I doing at the above list?

  1. Sometimes with three children I am forced to do more than I feel able.  However, as much as possible I am easing off on the activity front.  My husband is being really supportive and the kids are quite good at fending for themselves (sadly they’ve had plenty of practise in the last two years).
  2. My sleep is not as good as usual.  I have been having some daytime naps because I am so tired, but this isn’t helping my night time sleep.  Moving forwards I will be trying to do more guided meditations throughout the day to stop me reaching the point where I feel I need the daytime sleep.  I will also make sure I have valerian tea before bed to aid my night time sleep.
  3. For some reason I have been reluctant to go back to my rest schedule from a few months a go – 4 rests of 30-60 minutes each.  I think this is because I don’t want to admit that I’m not maintaining my progress.  However, I know that the way to get out of this is to nourish my body with plenty of rest.  Tomorrow I’m going to be strict with myself.  This will hopefully stop my need for daytime naps and help me improve my nighttime sleep.
  4. I have had some negative thoughts creeping in, but I’m aware that they’re not reality. By using guided meditations that focus on positive visualisations I will be counteracting these thought patterns and building  positive neural connections.
  5. I’ve been doing little bits of gentle yoga and stretching exercises.
  6. I’ve watched plenty of Rom Coms and other “happy” TV over the last few days.  That’s worked well at distracting me, but I think it’s been too much neurological activity.  I’ve also been doing a bit of reading, but despite trying several books I can’t get into any of them.  I’m not sure if this is because the books are not very good, or because my brain doesn’t want to do reading at the moment.   I’ve just downloaded a new audiobook.  I’m hoping that will be a less demanding distraction.
  7. I think I’ve been having too much neurolgical activity.  When I’m physically fatigued and looking for distractions TV, computers and books are the obvious choices.  However, by increasing my rests I will decrease my neurological activity.
  8. My diet is generally good.  I haven’t managed to do my juicing the last few days; it has felt like too much effort, but my meals are still good.  I also had a piece of gluten free cake, so I have slipped on my sugar-free eating, but overall I think I’m still a 9/10 for my diet.
  9. I have found focusing on things I’m grateful for helpful in the past, and I have been using this technique to counteract the negative thoughts.

Sometimes it’s necessary to take a step back on the road to recovery.  However, I know I’m not back at square one.  I have a really good understanding of my illness and what to do to feel better.  I just need to be extra diligent at doing all these little actions over the next few days.

To anyone else struggling at the moment.  Remember, it won’t last forever, things will improve.  A book that really helped me last year was Things Get Better by Katy Piper.  If you’re struggling to cope with everything I highly recommend it.



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