If you have suffered from a serious illness you will probably struggle at first just to be able to manage normal tasks such as bathing and preparing meals. You will find it very difficult to pace yourself if you run a business, or have a hobby you are very involved with, or look after active children.
As you get stronger though, you will gradually manage to do more and more. Depending on your disabilities (are they physical or mental), they will dictate just how much you will be able to do.
Are you a workaholic (like I am)? Well, guess what, you had better slow down or suffer some really bad consequences. Unfortunately one serious illness can often lead to another. Just when you think you are coping, you could be struck yet again. Stroke victims often have more than one stroke. A sister-in law of mine had over 200 mini strokes. If you have cancer or a tumour you know that you have to be checked for a number of years (sometimes for life), to make sure it is not coming back. So how do you pace yourself?
First of all do not ignore your checkups or medication because you’re feeling fine. My uncle died because he stopped taking his blood pressure tablets because he felt OK after taking them for a couple of months. A friend has diabetes and does not take her pinprick tests “because I feel guilty when it is too high”; nor does she watch what she eats she is “too busy to think of it at all”!
Another friend had not been to see a doctor for nearly 20 years. He said “I don’t want to know if something is wrong with me”. Then he had a stroke with paralysis and the doctors discovered a cyst in his kidney. Surely prevention (or at least early treatment) is better than having to undergo unpleasant medical procedures that may (or may not) cure you. If you don’t take time to ‘smell the roses’ then it is about time that you did. Stop and have a sit down breakfast. Talk to your partner/spouse and make this a relaxing time to start the day.
Have a break for morning and afternoon tea and lunch. Don’t just make a ‘cuppa’ and return to your work desk/computer. If you don’t have room for a garden, grow some pot plants. Flowers and herbs can make you feel relaxed.
But the most relaxing thing you can do is to pat and groom a dog or a cat. This is not only relaxing for you, it is also relaxing for the pet as well
Set yourself sensible goals. Don’t try to accomplish too much in one day. Whereas I used to paint on my silk for 8 hours a day, now I stop after one or two hours. I also do stretching exercises every 15 minutes. Then I do some computer work, or writing; much of my tome is spent in marketing my product.
Stop working during the evening. Watch T.V, knit, write a book ir talk with your family. If you can take some of the stress out of your life, your family are likely to follow your example and enjoy the process. You never know, if you set a ‘stress free’ example, they may follow your lead.
And what if you don’t pace yourself? I guess you can look forward to recurring medical problems; next time may lead to you being an invalid or can even result in you losing your life.
You can read how I coped with my serious illness and learnt how to pace myself.
Tips and Hints
* Obey doctor’s orders.
* Take time to smell the roses – literally
* Have proper meal breaks
* Don’t work night and day
* Pat a pet
* Above all – RELAX!