Tag Archive | resilience

Just keep going….

Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to get out of the house. Most people take this for granted, but if you have low mood, fatigue and apathy, just getting out of bed in the morning is a trial. This is how I feel at the moment. I know that it is  temporary and that one day  I will get my enthusiasm and energy back, but for now I just need to keep going until the tide turns.

In practice this means accepting all invitations to socialise and not make excuses to avoid being with others when just getting up, showering, putting make-up on and dressing smart are a monumental effort. It’s hard. My perfect day would be to get up when I feel like it, dress in tracksuit, put hair up in a scarf and sit all day behind my sewing machine until hubby comes in from work. But I know that this is not healthy day after day after day.

Today I had arranged to have my hair cut. I was tempted to put it off again but already being 2 weeks overdue, I felt that I really needed to get up and get trimmed. Once I was in the salon I really appreciated the 45 minutes of “me- time.” Two shampoos and the slow massage conditioner treatment were really relaxing and with my hair cut, I felt so much better.

Then came the walk with the “girls” at 2pm. Four ladies plus Jasper met at the local park for a walk and 1 1/2 hours later, we returned to the park, tired but pleased that we had not succumbed to the rain and wind earlier in the day, to be rewarded with sunshine for our get-together. This is the embryonic walking group which Julie has tried to set up on our local internet page and so far we are doing well. Jasper and I enjoyed our walk and are now looking forward to organising next week’s stroll. I wasn’t looking forward to it earlier but knowing that fresh air and gentle exercise would be beneficial to my mood and general well-being, Jasper insisted that we join in.

Jasper and I arrived back home after 2 hours of walking, exhausted from the fresh air and wondering how on earth I was going to survive an evening out with the “other” girls. I ran a bath, and nearly fell asleep, but somehow managed to galvanise myself to get changed and get ready by 6.30pm when we left for the meal.

The meal was great. The company was friendly and interesting and being back home by 9.30pm means that a late night is avoided. I really enjoyed myself although if I had had the chance earlier I would have declined the invite.

I have learned over the years that even if you feel low, you need to keep on going. Keep accepting invitations from friends. Do not become isolated. Go through the motions if you have to but keep going. It’s the only way. Yes, it’s hard work and can be exhausting but don’t even think about not going. Put yourself on auto-pilot. Explain to your friends if necessary; they will understand and I guarantee that you will be pleasantly surprised.

Make the effort. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

 

 

 

114 Days of freedom-day 7

Already one week down on my 16-week break from work! How quickly time flies when you are enjoying yourself so the saying goes.

I certainly enjoy having the time to indulge my favourite activities; walking Jasper, making quilts and, at the moment, sleeping.

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Jasper heping with mummy’s quilt!

One thing I have learned about chronic fatigue and how it affects me is that my body is not very good at dealing with adrenalin. It doesn’t matter whether the adrenalin -rush is the result of stress or excitement, (a) I seem to produce a lot of it and (b) it hangs around and upsets my equilibrium for some weeks afterwards.

I finished the high-intensity cycle of my seasonal work at the end of January, and am still winding down 3 weeks later. In previous years when I was much less self-aware, I would have fed off this adrenalin and continued the high-energy activities it promotes. This in turn would lead to a crash weeks if not months down the line. These days, being aware of this potential reaction I make a concerted effort to relax and not do  more than necessary so conserving my energy and protecting my equilibrium.

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The beginnings of a disappearing 16 square quilt

Since finishing work, I have been able to control what I do during the day, but my sleep pattern has been disturbed. Short periods of deep sleep for 2-3 hours are followed by hours of agitated waking, my mind racing with ideas and plans for the next day.

Going forward if my sleep doesn’t settle down soon, I will take my prescription medication to help me stay asleep for a good 6-7 hours instead of waking every few. In the meantime, I just keep trying to rest and relax in the hope that sleep returns to normal. My GP tells me that sleep patterns are the last thing to sette down after a relapse so hopefully it won’t take long.

Still mind

I have the power

At my latest session with Doc Fraser on Thursday we somehow got on to the subject of habits. Actually, I know very well how we reached this topic. It is a perennial favourite of ours which is unsurprising considering how many bad habits I have developed over the years.

I treat myself badly. I am slavishly self-critical in all aspects and I don’t expect anyone else to treat me any differently. I actively wait for the criticism to come and am completely caught off-guard if it doesn’t. So, my homework over the coming few weeks is to focus on developing good habits which replace the bad ones.

By using the “Red Flag” technique, every time I recognise a trigger for these bad habits to kick-in I have to wave a virtual “Red Flag” and change those negative, unhelpful thoughts into more positive and realistic ones. Effectively I am back to changing ANTs into ARTs…..which translate as Automatic Negative Thoughts into Automatic Realistic Thoughts. That’s not to say that everything in the garden becomes rosy overnight because that’s not realistic. Positive thinking isn’t about fairy tales or rainbows or pretending that everything is ok. It’s about being realistic, resilient and managing whatever life brings you more effectively.

Bad habits use a lot of energy which I can ill-afford to waste so I will try to concentrate on forming lots of new ones.

Helpful

      Alternative

    Behaviour

      Influencing

   Thoughts.

The good news is that I have the power to do so. If I have the power to form bad habits, I have the power to exchange them for good habits 🙂

I_Have_The_Power

One swallow…

doesn’t make a summer.

After a positive day yesterday, today my mood is much subdued in comparison but instead of being negative I am treating it as a gentle reminder that recovery is going to take some time and is not going to happen overnight. Everyone has good days and bad days and this is perfectly normal. Today is one of those days, nothing more.

Having said that, I was really cheered up when I received a Get Well card from my colleagues closely followed by a lovely vase of flowers. They were perfectly timed and gave me a welcome boost this afternoon.

Get Well card and flowers from work

Get Well card and flowers from work

Tomorrow I must make the effort to get out even if it’s only for a couple of hours in the morning and I am looking forward to a long weekend when I can get out into the garden and perhaps hit a few balls at the golf range.

I’m digging my heels in and taking small steps but am definitely moving in the right direction.

Slow and steady wins the race!

online-depression-test

Resilience-a reminder

Resilience comes from your inner strength and is something that you need in truck-loads when fighting depression or negative thinking. Everyone has bad days, but it is how you react to adverse conditions that matters and resilience is the key to success. Take today for example;

Today I am working in London. I travel into London frequently and I know that public transport can be unreliable. My train into London was on time and everything on schedule until I encountered problems with the Underground. I was diverted off the Northern Line onto the Jubilee Line in order to get to Canary Wharf and when I arrived at the office at just after 10.00am my desk reservation had expired.  Grrrrrr…..So not only was I late but I had no desk.

 I could have given up there and then turned round and  gone home quite happily but after a deep breath and with help of one of my colleagues  I found a desk and set up camp.

Things were looking up until I decided that what I really needed was my pineapple yoghurt. Instead of eating it however I ended up wearing it.  I spilt pineapple yoghurt down my (black) skirt and over the desk and floor. By this time (10.30am) I was ready to give up on the day, concede defeat and could not imagine that the day could get any better. And there were times when I have to admit, that is exactly what I would have done. I was fine if things were going smoothly, but easily upset when things went wrong.

Now, I think resilience. Don’t give up.These are only minor blips in the day. Things could be a whole lot worse so put it behind you and move on.

That’s what I did. I had a very enjoyable and successful meeting later in the morning, a nice chat with a friend at lunchtime and I will be heading off home soon.

That’s not so bad is it?