3 Self-Care Resolutions for Chronic Illness
There’s nothing like taking some time off to help you get a bit of perspective on your life and the crazy it has become. I’m not done thinking yet, but I have come up with a somewhat quirky list of resolutions for the new year inspired by Chronic Christmas. I’m sure they could benefit me and maybe you, as well.
Singing opens you up in so many ways. Physically, it benefits your breathing. Emotionally, it’s a connection to joy. Mentally, it gets your brain working remembering the words and the melody.
Also, it’s a lot of fun. Even for those of us who can’t sing on key if our lives depended on it. When you live with chronic illness, finding fun can be a bit of a challenge (to put it mildly). Singing is an easy way to incorporate having a good time every day. It doesn’t cost anything and you don’t need to go anywhere to do it. Crank your favourite tune on YouTube or iTunes and belt one out.
For me, singing might have an additional benefit. I’m still working on increasing my breath capacity after the medical adventure and several people have suggested singing as a remedy. It might help me use my voice better, as well. So at some point this year, I’m going to look into singing lessons. I’ll keep you posted.
Stop and think
So much of our everyday stress is related to moving too fast. Something has to be done, so we do it without thinking about the how and why of the task. Well, not until afterwards when we’re whimpering on the couch in a massive flare, that is.
One of the underlying themes of Chronic Christmas was helping (hopefully) those who read it to approach the tasks that cause them stress in a more mindful way. More specifically, to stop and think about whether there is another way to do it, or if it is necessary at all.
Who has time for mindfulness? Well, it could be argued that approaching our lives with a higher degree of mindfulness could help us build better lives.
And boy, is this ever something I need to do. Moving fast is fun for me, but I’m beginning to realize that I’m really not enjoying the consequences of moving fast. And strangely enough, I’m not really talking about the resulting crashes — although, they aren’t that amusing at all. No, I’m talking about all the things I don’t get done because I move too fast to think strategically about where I put my energy and time. This coming year, I’ll continue to chip away at this one. Having spent the last six months immersed in the Chronic Christmas universe where it’s all about approaching tasks with a bit of a critical eye may have taught me something. We’ll see.
Downsizing was another prevalent theme in the book. For instance, instead of making 17 different kinds of cookies, bake one kind and make it is the one that’s quintessentially the holidays for you.
As I was writing this, it occurred to me that it was a really good way of approaching life in general.
Downsizing is a natural consequence of stopping and thinking, but goes a little further. It’s a deliberate effort to reduce your stress by reducing tasks, commitments, possessions, and so on. It can be as simple as washing the towels every three days instead of every day. Of instituting a firm potluck (or pizza) rule for all entertaining and get-togethers. Or mayve rebuilding your garden with a view towards a low maintenance design and throwing money at the neighbour’s teenager to mow the lawn. And so on.
I’ve already started on downsizing through my Get Organized project in which I hope to reduce the amount of stuff I have to create more space and calm in my home. I’ll post updates as I make progress.
Do you have any suggestions for downsizing and incorporating mindfulness? And what’s your favourite sing-along song?