Thursday, March 8, 2012

Fighting your way back from illness and adversity.

I have been "in the process of sick" for several weeks now and it's getting old.  Hubby was sick for a while which started this whole thing.  First it was the nasty cold sore (which I get on my NOSE every time I am fighting a big cold/flu) and then it turned into hives.  I fought those off and in the process, the illness won.  I held on till last Saturday when I came home from work, took a nap and woke up feeling like what comes out of Harley's hind end.  That began round two of the fight back to "normal".

There is a saying that I tend to cling to when I am sick, feeling blue, not myself or just plain struggling:  

"Fake it till you make it."  

  Much of the idea behind the saying is that no matter now you really feel, you need to exude confidence while you reach inside and find that inner kernel REAL self confidence and let it grow.  It ties in with the whole "the more positive you are, the more positivity you bring to your life." While it's easy enough to "fake it" when you are in some situations, I find it a much harder prospect as I cough, sneeze, power through a box of tissues and just want nothing more than to crawl in my bed. This led me to look high and low for ways to make it so that when I was at work or out in public doing whatever I would not seem as ill as I was.  The majority of that came to what I was doing when I was NOT at work. What I came up with was a very simple list:

  • Let your body dictate your tasks.  I know, it sounds so common sense, but how many times do you overdo just in the name of getting whatever it is done?  Personally, I tend to take on too much on a regular basis and by actually listening to my body and choosing my tasks accordingly, I have shortened the duration of this latest illness exponentially.  This applies to work as well as at home.

  • Nap Damn-it!  We all have a lot going on and I know some folks who would no more take the time to take a nap than they would walk up to a random stranger and punch them in the face.  Your body needing the rest so you can recouperate is not a sin.  It should not induce guilt or make you feel like you are lazy or are not living up to your own expectations.  If you are not a napper, think of it as a tool to let your body recharge since your battery is low to begin with. Me?  I love a good nap but rarely take one after 2-3 pm because I have enough trouble sleeping.  When I am ill and my body tells me that it needs sleep, a nap after work becomes my reward for having made it through the day and having accomplished what I set out to do.  When I am feeling at my worst, I have been known to go to my car on my break, set the alarm on my phone and give myself a 10 minute power nap to restore my ability to function at top level for a few more hours.  

  • Find things (or people) that make you laugh.  There is truth to the whole "Laughter is the Best Medicine" saying.  You cannot feel poorly if you are geniunely laughing.  That is not to say that the illness or pain of whatever ails you will go away completely, but in that moment you are not thinking about what ails you.  

  • Indulge a little.   When I am sick, comfort foods are my friend.  Chicken soup, mashed potatoes, jello, pudding and ice cream all make me feel like a kid again.  I don't go hog wild but I do let myself have a little of whatever it is that will make me feel warm inside.  

  • Give yourself a good soak.  When I am sick the accompanying muscle aches can set off a Fibro flare like nobody's business.  There's nothing better, when you are cold and achy than a nice, long soak in the tub.  I add epsom salts for the muscle aches and a blackberry/vanilla bubble bath and then soak until the water goes cold.  
I know that it seems to be fairly common sense, but unless you are taking care of yourself behind the scenes, those few hours a day that you need to be at the top of your game become that much harder.  When you do allow yourself a break at home, it is much easier to put on your "happy face" during the day.  

I also have a short list of things for when you are at work to keep you going until you can get home: 

  • Bring your favorite comfort beverage.  I drink coffee like it's my job, but when I am sick I drink a lot of herbal tea.  It's not a big deal to bring tea bags, a mug and bottled water that I can nuke in the microwave to sip on in the afternoon.  
  • Pack a lunch.  If you normally skip lunch or go to your cafeteria or get take out, it can be hard to find those foods that will  hit that comfort level and keep you feeling okay during the day.  Taking a few minutes to pack a lunch ensures that you have foods that will make you feel better and  keep your energy up.  
  • Dress for comfort.  I live in pajamas when I am home and when I am not feeling well it takes tremendous effort to change into work clothes and get out of the house.  I am not by and stretch of the imagination a shopper but for this purpose (whether I am sick, sick or having a flare) I always have at least one set of clothing that is made of super soft fabric, has no buttons, snaps or zippers and that make me feel cozy even though I am working.  Incidentally, I also bring these on business trips because they wear me straight out and that comfort level makes things bearable.

I find that if I make a concerted effort to follow each of these tips, it gives me the strength to fight my illness full force.  Because I am taking care to make sure I am comfortable and nourished (both physically and mentally) it becomes so much easier to stay positive during the day when I need it most.  The last tip I would give is to really try to convey the positive side of things.  I am fully convinced that when, for example, someone asks how you are feeling if you say "I am feeling better, thanks!" even if it's just a *little* better, you will indeed start to feel better.  Each of these things, whether you do them all together or pick and choose what works for you, will give you the strength to fight off whatever ails you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Perhaps this recipe will work out.
1) Young ginger scrap off the skin and sort them in a big bottle with vinegar and sugar
2) the bottle must be big enough for a spoon to scoop the contents out later.

(make sure the bottle is well cleaned and dried before putting in the contents and always leave the unfinished in the fridge)

in one part of this I described such as my late mum used to make those for us to eat as prickles and also beneficial to our frail bodies.

Also try to take or eat some pepper during winter season. For countries, like yours, you can take more often than us to keep you warm. Or chillies.

I likened to write nature in too.

Keep in touch. Take care.