I always learn all my lessons the hard way. It's how I roll. My biggest and most recent lesson I've been hiding for awhile. You've probably noticed that lately my business seems to be changing ... err adapting ??
These days, I'm an expert in self care.
Why an expert?
Because I know exactly how you feel when you can't get out of bed due to debilitating pain or fatigue. I know what it's like to feel like you should be doing more but you don't have it in you. I know the guilt ( and anxiety ) that comes from not eating healthy because you are too tired (some days on the verge of a toddler style temper tantrum ). The frustration of knowing I'm not at my best and feeling like everyone can see it.
My passion for self care is fueled by my need to take better care of myself.
I want to do it. But somedays it feels so impossible.
And by doing a shit job I end up dysfunctionally unwell.
Unable to live my life.
Unable to grow my business.
Unable to help anyone but myself.
The feelings of a war between my ego and the part of me that knows that I need to cut the shit and just do it. By taking action, I will get better. Holding myself to the vision of health and striving to be a perfect example to is no longer my mission.
This is where I struggle with avoidance, withdrawal and responsibilities. My biggest challenge is fatigue.
On the outside I'm told that I look fine. Really healthy.
On the inside I waver between all the thoughts my critter brain is processing and the urge to lock myself away.
My big confession ... I have post concussion syndrome.
What the hell is that you ask ?
Before my concussions (Feb 2015 and July 15) I was organized, extremely physically active. I felt intelligent and on track to make a real difference.
Now, most days I'm scattered, impatient and frustrated. Constant ringing in my ears. Waves of fatigue that make me feel like I can't leave my house.
Self care is my only focus lately. I have to.
How I tackle self care:
:: I have to plan my hours, weeks, days, and months ahead. Around all of my treatment appointments and part time job schedule.
:: I have to forecast any obstacles or challenges that could come up.
:: I have to ask for help (which is fucking hard ) and delegate the things I don't need to do.
:: I need to block time out to clean my house one room at a time. I plan ahead to walk our dogs based on the weather, sidewalk conditions, time of day based on my fatigue level.
:: I have to last minute cancel plans if I am seeing my symptoms show up. ( I hate doing this )
:: I have to focus on one thing / conversation / task at a time
:: I have successfully executed a stop doing list and stopped doing anything that takes too much mental energy or isn't my responsibility.
:: I have found other ways to exercise that don't involve hitting my head or stopping a soccer ball with my face.
... I'm sure I'm forgetting something (that's normal too).
So I know.
Each day I make a conscious choice to take care of needs first. Always focused on managing my energy and fatigue.
It doesn't mean that my husband, dogs or family go without. They get more from me when I am well and happy. They get nothing when I don't.
Living with post-concussion syndrome is a challenge. I believe it has shown me that people need help getting out from under the overwhelm of starting the process. You need to start to get better.
It's not about eating perfect. Just trying to eat better for my brain.
Not about a strict exercise schedule. Just doing something for a little bit to reconnect with my body ( which sometimes feels alien to me ).
Not about changing it all at once. Just doing small shifts, one at a time and knowing why I'm doing them.
Managing my energy and emotional health ( because they are both all over the place ).
Having a goal and motivation that matters to you.
Asking for help.
The past year has been a massive challenge and full of wonderful experiences. It has taught me that I can do anything as long as I have support.