Monday, December 2, 2013
I finally went out for a 50 minute stroll with the dog. The weather was dreary. I could not make my best time. However, it felt good to be steadily moving in the outdoors. There's something about being outside that so often soothes and energizes me.
When I came back, I was struck by how true this saying on Pinterest is, especially for those of us who have chronic illness. True, we have days when we wake up with "normal" energy. The weather is pleasant and beckons us outside to walk or run or to the gym. Our brains are clear, and we move efficiently from task to task. Let's face it though. We have many days when our physical strength and energy are low. Weather fronts are moving through, and our bones ache. Our minds are distracted by the pain of our bodies, and we can't manage our tasks as well.
Even on those days, there is usually a little something we can do to accomplish our work and to move toward our life's goals. It may not be much, but it is something, and, if we do it, we will feel better about our day. Setting little goals and doing them can do much to lift our spirits and add to our physical well being. The goals might be as small as stretching for ten minutes, making one healthy, homemade dish to go with a takeout meal, or finishing one step in a larger project.
Here are five random thoughts I have for dealing with low energy days through movement:
1) Test your energy level for the day by walking or moving for a ten minute period. If your activity tires you more than it energizes you, it might be time to rest. If it energizes you, you might be able to move on to another task that requires physical or mental energy, and another, and so forth.
2) The reality of a chronic illness is that you will have more energy on some days than you do on others. In addition, some people with chronic illness fight depression, either because of effects of the illness on the brain or because they are simply frustrated with their condition. Depression begets inactivity and inactivity begets more depression. Fatigue begets inactivity and, over time, inactivity begets more fatigue. The fastest ways to break these cycles is to include at least a little healthy movement in each day. Don't overdo, but don't underdo, either.
3) Celebrate even small victories.
4) Weather permitting, spend at least ten to fifteen minutes a day outside. do this year round, not just in spring and summer.
5) As the caption on the image says, remember that if we wait for perfect conditions, we'll never get anything done.