I don’t know about you, but I never felt there was a day- a single day – during being ill in bed where I relaxed completely, where I felt myself say, “Stuff it, I’m going to enjoy this”. How are you supposed to enjoy it? It’s never-ending, you’re in pain and nothing really seems to be getting any better.
Remember those days off you had when you’d have a bad cold or the flu, even when you were younger? The day was completely devoted to YOU and what you and your body needed to get its strength up again. You felt snotty and disgusting, but you were curled up, watching your favourite DVD, drinking hot tea or soup and even in your sucky state, a bit of you relaxes, because you know that that’s the only thing you can do right now.
Why can’t we be as kind to ourselves with CFS? I couldn’t- I was terrible at it. I used to try and do jobs around the house or try and tidy things up, so I felt as if I was ‘doing’ something. I’d read only to feel like I was having ‘too much fun’, then would feel guilty about it. Ultimately, what happened? You guessed it- I woke up the next morning feeling worse than the previous morning. My muscles ached and my throat was sore, but more importantly, I was mentally exhausted. I felt emotionally drained and not fit for action at all.
My emotions were affecting everything and slowing down my recovery. Why do we burden ourselves with guilt, shame, fear, disappointment and hopelessness when our body is in recovery mode and needs our emotional help? Who are we helping by doing this? Certainly not ourselves.
You owe it to yourself during your illness to relax and enjoy your recovery time. It’s not selfish to take time out and focus on yourself. You can only fully help others when you help yourself. Don’t fight it- work with it, and your healing will be much quicker. You’ll even come to expect healing.
- Run yourself a bath and stay in there until your fingers look like prunes.
- Watch that movie that your partner can’t stand, but you think it’s the best thing you’ve ever seen.
- Put some lipstick on, even though your hair’s a mess and you’re still in your PJs.
- Drink your green juices and smoothies in a wine glass.
- Meditate for 5 minutes.
- Flick through your favourite trashy magazine.
- Write a letter to yourself or a friend.
- Play Beyonce as loud as it can go and work it.
It’s your day- even if you’re ill in bed, don’t waste it for second. Even if you only have half an hour to yourself before the kids come home, use it and love it. Be messy, be greedy, be joyful, be fabulous, be selfish. It’s your time- have fun with it. If you have a whole day, declare a Healing Day and pamper yourself guilt-free. If you have a week or a month, even better- you deserve it.
I’m heading away for the long Easter weekend with my fiancé and some friends to Byron Bay, an amazing place by the beach just south of Brisbane, Australia. I’ve already got massages and lovely things planned for when we get there, beautiful vegan food courtesy of the Conscious Cafe and music and laughter courtesy of the legendary Byron Bay Blues Festival. I’ve declared this to be 4 days of healing, laughter, sun and treating myself, which we all need from time to time…and I’m going to go for it!
Can you dedicate some time to your healing today or this weekend without feeling guilt or shame? Can you declare this a month of healing? I’d love to know what you did and how you felt afterwards. I’ll share some pictures and an account of my 4 days away next week!
Have a beautiful long weekend everyone!
Love and me-time,