Have you ever had one of those months where you pick up every bug and virus known to man?
Have you ever felt like you’re on some kind of viral rollercoaster where you get ill, get a bit better, get ill again, and so on?
I can total empathise if this has been you of late, it has certainly been me!
Extra tissues, paracetamol and copious amounts of lemon and honey have all been essential this past month.
I can now write about it, as I am back to my usual bouncy self again. But for a while there I really struggled to keep it all going. I was temporarily out of action and devoid of any creative drive, it was the pits! I just didn’t have any desire to put pen to paper and journal or get on the laptop.
Looking back my energy was obviously needed elsewhere. In fact what I truly needed was to protect my energy, conserve it, and use it to help me restore myself.
I completely lost my voice at one point, and with my son home on half term, this made life pretty interesting for a while. Entertaining him, looking after myself, and keeping the house ticking along too, I remember saying to my husband, if I only achieve two things its happiness and clean pants!
So how did I achieve those two things?
I planned some playdates and a sleepover for my son at his grandparents, taking care of his need to play and have fun during his downtime from school. I took the opportunity to stay at home one weekend instead of visiting family, which created some much needed space for me to rest (& not talk to anyone most importantly.)
Having the house all to me at the weekend was however quite odd. I remember walking around surveying each room, making a mental list of all the jobs that needed doing, mainly chores, tidying, laundry; the boring stuff. Then it dawned on me, what was I doing? This was time for me to get better not satisfy my incessant need for everything to be spick and span!
And so after a few words (with myself) I decided I needed to be kinder and more forgiving of myself and I set out to do the following;
5 practical ways to help you to rest & restore
- Make a list of 5 things to do for YOU! (this was my list)
(Doing things where you can immerse yourself fully and be truly you can be so satisfying and fulfilling. I find it really helps to create that uncluttered space to rest and relax.)
Read a magazine – I chose to read the latest edition of my Breathe Magazine. With articles about well-being, mindfulness and creativity it was real treat to simply sit and read it from cover to cover.
Bake – I love to bake and although my baking doesn’t always turn out how I planned when I am sick (weird but cakes just don’t rise as well!) it’s a hobby I really enjoy and feel totally relaxed when I’m focused on the recipe and the task in hand. The added benefit is that I get to eat something wholesome and yummy as a result.
Meditate – I use guided meditation, as I am not yet very good or disciplined enough to do it by myself. I just need that bit of help and guidance. Whichever way, meditation is better than no meditation for me.
Go for a walk – We have some beautiful lakes and a canal to wonder along nearby, so a short stroll in the autumn sunshine was just the ticket.
Get crafty & creative – I picked up a sewing project I hadn’t looked at in months. When I’m sewing I get so immersed in what I am doing I don’t stop to think, worry or do anything else (like look at my phone & social media) it’s like a mini digital detox, it’s bliss!
- Say NO
I am terrible, I really struggle to say no, and I do suffer that pang of guilt, that I may have upset someone if I have declined their invite, or need to change some plans I have made. But for me, having space and some “alone” time was just what I needed to fully recuperate.
Sometimes we need to be told (well I do) to stop.
Once I do, I’m good at listening to my body and my intuition, but I do have a tendency to forget that is acceptable to stop, reflect, and take a breather now and again.
- Make YOU the priority
Step away from the dust, the crumbs, the vacuum cleaner and the ironing board (this is what I had to say to myself!) I demoted all the “jobs” to the bottom of the list and I gave myself a promotion, and put me at the top!
- Reach out for help
Whether its medical help or advice you need from someone, just ask. Sometimes when you’re in that state of overwhelm feeling ill, or low ebb, it can be the hardest thing to do. I knew I needed to check on a few things and reach out for answers to satisfy my own curiosity and to also help my recovery.
We all have our own ways of coping with that overwhelm when we’re not well, especially when we still need to function and even care for and support others.
These are just a few of the ways I discovered helped me, and I must say it feels good to feel well again.
I am also both relieved and pleased to report that I did manage to achieve what I set out to do. My son had a restful and fun and happy half term, and I kept the laundry under reasonable control so everyone had clean pants to wear – result!
It feels great to be writing again, and now I’m back in the flow, there will be more from Being Truly Me very soon.
Look after yourself.
Be true to you.