It’s not always easy to find strength in the bad days. You already feel overwhelmed and are struggling to just get through. This idea of staying strong is a bit over-rated sometimes, and sometimes the best thing we can do is allow ourselves to just rest. Let someone else be strong.
I didn’t sleep well last night. I woke up around 2am and couldn’t get back to sleep. Instead I lay in bed reading The Silver Linings Playbook (worth reading) until my tablet went dead. I finally fell back asleep around the time my hubby left for work. I awoke a few hours later and did some time on the treadmill while watching a couple of TED Talks. I started out feeling OK, but when I sat down to work I realized my brain had not quite clicked on so I’m not getting much done.
This got me thinking about how I find the strength to get through bad days. I’ve had more of them lately as there’s just a lot more going on in my life and I’m not taking enough time to pace and slow down. So, since I’m not pacing myself, my body is doing it for me. It would be really easy to focus on the increased bad days, but I’d rather not. I’d rather think about the Silver Linings and know that tomorrow will be better (even if I overdo it yet again).
1. Focus on what I can do today – I’m not going to get through everything on my ToDo list today. The idea of reading a medical study just makes my brain fog over. So, those aren’t getting read which means that the posts I’d planned to write aren’t going to get written. I have a few other things that wont’ get done because they require more focus than I have. But, there are things I can do today. I can write this post that is basically just me sharing what’s on my mind (as little as it might be). I can do some other things that are the basically monkey work – things I can’t really screw up.
2. Focus on the Battles I CAN Win – Early on in the days of Fibro I would fight through the bad days. I would overdo it and push myself to do what I really couldn’t. I’d usually end up crashing out and having full flares that lasted a week instead of minor flares that lasted a day. I’ve learned that it’s not worth fighting the flares. If I just give in at whatever level I need to, I will feel better the next day and be able to accomplish all the things (even the things I wasn’t able to do today).
3. Focus on the Silver Linings – I’ve been using an app called Happify lately, in an effort to increase my positivity and happiness. I know you are reading this thinking that I’m super positive but I’m not. It’s a constant battle for me to stay positive lately. As I watch my mom fight cancer and I deal with reduced energy and more things to do. It’s hard to stay positive. But, it’s what I need to do. I need to stay positive or I will sink into a place that I simply can’t return to. So, I make the choice. I choose to focus on positive things, on what I CAN do instead of what I can’t do. I choose to focus on the silver lining instead of the storm cloud, because there’s always a silver lining.
A note on The Silver Linings Playbook – if you’ve seen the movie, read the book. The book speaks so much about depression and hope, so much more than the movie possibly good. The movie is amazing, but the book is so much more.
4. Focus on Healthy Habits – Even when I’m not feeling well I know it’s important for me to still stick to my healthy habits. Some days I feel so bad there’s no getting on the treadmill, but when I can get on the treadmill I do – even if it’s just for 5 minutes. It’s something. I also make sure I juice even on the bad days. Those are the two things I shoot for no matter how bad I feel. Beyond that I try to make sure that I eat healthily and avoid falling into stress eating a bag of cookies (don’t get me wrong, it happens, but I try to avoid it). Sticking to healthy habits makes it easier for me to remember that tomorrow will be better that I’m still doing the right things.
We move in the direction of our focus. If I let my focus stray away from what’s important then that is where I will go. I don’t want to happen so it’s important that I keep my focus where it should be.
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