Photo Credit: Esme Wang
“The options when one is unwell and it seems like all of the options have dried up.” – Esmé Wang
You know those days when you just feel awful? Maybe you are in a pain flare, perhaps your joints are swollen and painful because of the rain (me, today), or you have a migraine or anxiety is tearing you up right now. Bad day – it hurts.
I believe in our power to affect change by our actions.
But some days you just aren’t feeling good. The type of not-good that rest/yoga/meditation/medication/your healing modality of choice isn’t making any better.
You work really hard on your health, you know that when you do the right things for your body, you feel better – mostly.
But it’s the ‘mostly’ that’s the issue. And on days when your cherished methods aren’t shifting the struggle then it’s time to re-group.
As far as I can see at times like this you have 2 options:
Option 1. You can keep pushing to try and ‘fix your day’. As you try harder and harder – “relax body, come on!” – you watch your work piling up.
Option 2. You can do it now, get on with things as best you can today- accepting that the work won’t be as good as you’d like.
I choose Option 2. It’s no more fun, but at least it’s distracting and satisfying.
Are you waiting until you feel ‘well enough’ to do what you need to do?
Yeah, me too. But if you have a long-term illness, you can’t guarantee you’ll know when you’ll feel ‘well enough’ again.
So on days like this my option is to be grumpy about it and then rush to catch up with work later, or just to do the best I can, as I am now. Choosing Option 2.
— Aware that I’m working at a reduced capacity.
— Knowing that everything is about eleventytrillion times harder like this.
— Painfully in touch with the fact that if I felt ‘better’, I could do this ‘properly’.
Don’t let perfection become procrastination. Every masterpiece that’s ever been done – it could’ve been better. Just launch and learn. Everything is progress.
On days like this, I just keep saying to myself, ‘you don’t have to want to do it (eat/yoga/get dressed/wash/work) you just have to do it’. I realise that if I will be feeling yucky whether I’m slumped in bed or on the computer/showering/gardening, then I may as well be somewhere other than bed, while I can be.
To clarify: I’m not talking about pushing through the pain. I’m not talking about productivity, pressure and ignoring your body. I’m not talking about an acute illness, or even a minor flare up, where rest and care will ameliorate the systems, when stopping is allowing our body to repair and heal.
For some of us, the ‘bad days’ seem to last forever, and no matter how much we rest, juice, stretch, it’s not getting better, or at least not fixing us. Adjusting to life after a health change, trauma or accident is a huge challenge. We can’t do things the way we used to. But we still want to do things – months in bed is boring – and we can.
We can, in fact, work well. It’s a matter of learning to to work with our body where we are at the moment.
Maybe you need more breaks, to work lying down, help to marshal your scattered thoughts into an actionable plan, support to work even with the anxiety.
By doing the work in front of us, as best we can, in this moment. By listening to our bodies, we can discover what we need.
Through talking to others who are doing good work in difficult circumstances we find how sign posts to navigate our path.
In Choosing Option 2 and starting close in, with the first step, we move from feeling stuck to reclaiming our power.
Join me and choose Option 2, it might mean that your victory today is getting out of your pyjamas or making a phone call you’ve been avoiding.
Whatever it is, share in the comments & we can choose Option 2 and celebrate our achievements together