So I began the first in a series a few days ago. Today I fulfill my promise to bring you another part of the series. Last time I talked about avoiding feeling overwhelmed by living life as it comes, one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time….. Take your vision and break it into smaller, easy to accomplish tasks so that you do not become frustrated by the enormity of what still has to be done. However I ended by acknowledging how distant your final goal could appear and how difficult it may seem to reach there with so many smaller goals to complete first.
When my life was spun out of control, before anything else, I had to take the time to grieve; I had to come to terms with the situation but only after I had taken the time to go through the process of heartache and tears and of anger, fear and regret before I could begin the healing.
As I began living by the second, it was sometimes inevitable to wonder how it could be possible to rebuild a “normal” life when so much energy and time was needed to complete as simple a task as oral hygiene on a morning. I struggled to prevent that type of thinking from persisting. Instead I began to diligently , slowly and steadily chip away at the mundane but necessary little victories. These minor victories boosted confidence. There were times when I fell back on my efforts but I always regrouped to do my routine tasks until I regained proficiency at them, freeing up more time for new projects to be mastered.
The ideas is to use smaller accomplishments to snowball into larger triumphs; to persevere so as to move forward with every step so that more time becomes available for more goals to be attained. It always take longer to begin a new process than it takes to follow a routine. For example when I was recovering I recognised the need to begin exercising again to build stamina, to use weakened muscles and to have some alone time. Initially I took half an hour to walk a small block. I did this consistently for about one week. The next week I was walking for the same time but I covered a greater distance and by the third week I was walking and running for the same time period but the distance increased incrementally again.
To emphasise the point, accomplishing a series of minor objectives appears to be taking you infinitesimally closer to your ultimate goal, as time passes,more minor victories are achieved bringing your major ones into your line of vision and into your reach.
Yes, life is challenging. Each of us has a different dragon to slay, one that is custom-made for our unique combination of personality, strengths and weaknesses. In trying to move out of the sandpit of inaction due to depression it is normal to begin to feel exhausted, physically, mentally and emotionally. At times of stress, cortisol levels increase and endorphin levels decrease. You may either not eat enough or eat too much. What is not normal is for you to not try to alleviate that fatigue by taking appropriate action.
You have some choices. You may ignore your exhaustion hoping it goes away by sleeping more and more or you may take corrective or preventative action. I strongly suggest the second choice.
Regardless of your particular situation you have a personal responsibility for your health. In the face of illness you may adopt some strategies to help you cope , recuperate or maintain some level of health and independence.
Even at the hospital, when I was weak and unable to eat, I ensured that I walked a little everyday. I spent time reading, praying and reflecting. I lifted water bottles as weights and did physiotherapy. I wrote down the names of all medications in an attempt to keep tabs on what was going into my system. I listened to music, sometimes all night long as sleep eluded me many nights.
To combat fatigue from unusual and daily stress, I recommend a proper diet. Take the time to learn what you ought to eat, when you should eat based on your specific health requirements, learn about portion sizes and practice discipline in your diet. Remember diet does not refer to some fad to help you lose weight.
To be certain you are obtaining sufficient nutrients it is necessary to take supplements. A good multivitamin is highly recommended. Your age, gender and health situation may require that you take other supplements such as calcium,magnesium and vitamin D for women or those who may be suffering with degenerative bone loss.
So, diet and supplements are instructive in the healing and restorative process but they ought to be constructively put to use along with exercise and the art of reflection.
Let me know your thoughts please. If there is anything that is causing distress to you please message me, so that I may try to bring some ease to you if possible.