I haven’t posted a Pain Warrior Pep Talk in a while! I am hoping you have recently had some better days (emotionally mentally) & some pain-free days also!
I haven’t posted much lately as I had the summer holidays away from work. Unfortunately, the new school year has commenced. Alas, I am classroom-bound again for this academic year *cue sad violin music*.
Before the holidays started, I had originally planned to get a lot of work done. Truth be told, I didn’t get much done at all! I was regretful once the end of the holidays approached. I felt like I had failed myself. However, my perspective changed once I reflected on what I did get to do over the summer; I spent quality time with my family and close friends. I don’t usually get to spend much time with my people during the academic year. This is usually because I am pressed for time, or don’t always feel well enough whenever it’s the weekend or a holiday from work. When I realised this, it had hit me that maybe I was being too hard on myself: as a person who deals with a chronic illness, I juggle two jobs (most of us spoonies struggle to deal with one!). Before the holidays, my body was already acting up and I felt run down. I needed the summer holidays to rest, recuperate and regenerate my energy. It was ludicrous to plan to use my time on holiday FROM work, to DO work! I’m not a newbie warrior – I know better than that.
So why am I sharing this with you? To remind you that it is OKAY to rest. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. There needs to be time for everything; including a time for working AND a time to rest. But make sure you don’t neglect the latter. Resting enables you to regenerate the energy you will need to get your next task or goal completed.
Now one can easily think “I already know this…”, but don’t consider this pep talk to be a new lesson – consider it to be a revision session.
We already know spoonie life entails our bodies constantly being under attack. You can’t control every aspect of what your illness does to you. However, you can control how much rest you allow yourself to have.
Let’s look at the spoon theory
If we take the Spoon Theory into account, it is essential for us to recuperate and regain our spoons. We stifle our chances of having four/five spoons if we are always pushing ourselves on one spoon. This will result in us crashing in a way that is so disastrous, it will take longer to recuperate. Longer than it would have if we had just rested prior to our bodies feeling run down.
For those of you aren’t sure what the Spoon Theory is, the best way I can explain it follows;
The Spoon Theory is usually used by those who suffer from chronic illnesses or have disabilities. This theory was originally penned by Christine Miserandino: it uses metaphorical spoons in a way that can be likened to a meter. This meter measures how much energy an individual has to engage in tasks for that day. The quantity of spoons the individual has (0-5) indicates how much energy they possess. 0 spoons mean the individual has absolutely no strength to function: it’s a dreadful day. 5 spoons mean the individual is feeling quite powered & able to function to the best of their ability. Keep in mind that a person having 5 spoons doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t experiencing any pain at all. I have had many 5 spoons days where I am able to go to work and function to the best of my abilities – with the pain still present.
Which brings me back to the point: You are entitled to have a rest. Don’t deprive yourself of something that is detrimental to your wellbeing. Also, stop making yourself feel guilty or stressed whenever you do take time out to rest. If you spend the whole time doing this, you won’t even feel rested when it is over. Thus you will only be returning, feeling just as rubbish – if not worse than you already felt before you had your break.
Take time out and make every effort to enjoy it. Do whatever makes you feel peaceful & tranquil. Whether that is sleeping, reading, watching television, rolling on the floor (providing that it doesn’t use up your spoons) whatever works for you! When you do, own it. Be good to yourself. Your body is already fighting you on everything else as it is. Your work, job or family aren’t going anywhere and they’ll be there when you have finished your break!
When was the last time you took time out for a break? Leave a comment and talk to me!
Wishing you well warriors! Until next time,