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Hi I'm Kate
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The Unwellness Rut
Honesty time dear reader. As I always say I have no idea how anyone else feels but this is something that I know about me. I suppose I have always known, but have only recently come to properly know. Maybe I’m alone, but does anyone else feel like their un-wellness breeds more un-wellness?
I’m not talking about the fact that you are ill, leading to further illness, because you’re run down or your immune system is weak (although that definitely is a problem). I’m talking more about (and this is quite painful to write because it’s not something I associate with myself) something that better resembles laziness(!?*#!!!).
the body and mind start to get used to what they come to expect
OK now I’ve got that shame off my chest let me explain further. It’s starting to become more apparent to me that the body and mind start to get used to what they come to expect. For example, when I was off work sick for eight months, I got used to doing nothing (or very little). If you had told me even weeks before that I was capable of doing that little for 8 months I would have told you you had lost your mind and laughed at the thought. But, I did it. Now that time wasn’t lazy. I was physically bound by my neurological fail and pushed myself regularly with physio and rehabilitation, often trying too much and sending myself backwards. But ultimately even pushing myself too much was relatively not a lot, and my body and mind got used to what they had come to expect, a minimal routine.
It is more recently the the ‘L’ word struck me (don’t make me say it again it was upsetting enough the first time!). It’s very possible that there is a fine line between ‘pacing’ and ‘not overdoing it’ and just getting stuck in a rut. You push yourself a little more sometimes and it feels hard and it’s scary, because you don’t want to upset the balance. So you retreat and return back to an easier pace, all for the fear of something which hasn’t actually happened yet.
The realisation came to me after we moved house recently.
The move was obviously a big strain and a lot of effort, and I had to work hard to balance work and rest. However, I did more than I thought I was capable of, and although I felt tired and sore, ultimately I was OK. The move was such an effort and the house looked so nice when we moved in that I was determined I wanted to stay on top of things. Keep it tidy and clean, a little bit each day spread between us, to keep it looking great all (most) of the time.
At the same time I was reading a book called ‘The Idea in You’ by Martin Amor and Alex Pellew. In the book was a chapter called ‘Do It Now’ which explored the human nature that leads us to put things off, procrastinate and ultimately take the easy route. The book suggested that you apply the ‘Do It Now’ approach to your life immediately, and to everything you do (it was that that got me started on my blog!). It sounds stupid now, but I felt liberated! Maybe I’ll just do that pile of washing up on the side, now. I’m going to cook a healthy tea, now. Bam, it was happening and I was doing it.
Rather than sitting on the couch, worrying about feeling tired and putting off what I needed to get done, for fear of overdoing it (that was ultimately breeding laziness). I just started doing stuff. And the weirdest part of all was that I was enjoying it(!). Trust me when I tell you dear reader that I am no martyr and no clean and tidy freak, those tasks usually bore me and so are put off until another time. But by ‘doing it now’ I was getting instant rewards, the house was looking great still 10 days post move in, I was more organised and bizarrely felt like I had more time(!), presumably because I didn’t have household stuff hanging over me.
This is how cool I look when doing the washing. :’D I’m joking of course, I don’t do the washing!
Even better news was that the ‘do it now’ bug became catching. The rest of the family started to follow my lead and get with the flow of energy.
So how do I feel, well I can honestly say no worse. I still make sure to pace around my doing of things now and get plenty of short breaks, or variation between sitting and standing but ultimately I feel great. I have also started to explore new ways to keep the motivation going. My latest fad to add to the ‘do it now’ strategy is the audio book. I love reading, particularly non-fiction and absorbing the wisdom of others, however it so regularly sends me to sleep, I have such little time to read. Why I had never thought of this before I’ll never know. Now I hit play on audible on my phone and I am suddenly multitasking my boring ‘do it now’ chores like cooking and cleaning, with learning the 7 habits of highly effective people! Podcasts are also great for the same purpose. Audio! who knew?! (don’t answer that).
So the conclusion, well as much as it pains me to say it again (if I write it quickly maybe it will hurt less?), I am fairly sure I had got into a spiral of lazy (eek!). My un-wellness was breading further un-wellness (or wellness blocks) and not just in the form of physical illness, but also in acting as a barrier to me making myself well.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this, I am worried that I may be alone, but hoping that someone understands (if they’re ready to admit it to themselves – and FairPlay if you’re not – I hear that!). Please share your experiences below, I’d love to hear from you…
If you were interested in pacing there’s a blog post about my pacing printables and how I use them, here.