There is nothing worse in my opinion that being ill or not feeling good. Suddenly everything becomes very simple. It’s whether you can keep going or whether you just need to stop.
“A healthy person has many wishes. A sick person has only one”- Indian proverb.
In recent weeks, I have had my own health challenge and it can be the most frustrating and anxious of times.
As a self-employed single mother and key bread earner so to speak, it can make it even more of a stressful situation, which of course only exacerbates the healing process.
So, what do you do?
Overcoming the initial panic
Well for me the first step was to try and not just go into blind panic. I don’t know about you but my mind tends to run away with me. I go straight to, “how am I going to drive Josh to school?” How will I be able to go to this meeting? How will I be able to stand up in front of 20 people and talk?”. So what did I do? I reminded myself that now, in this moment. I am OK. I am still functioning, not in pain and the important first step is to fine the answer to be able to keep this going in the long run. However, I must stop and be still. Take time to simply be and rest.
Easier said that done? You bet.
I’m the worst person to just do nothing. I have to remind myself that resting, healing and recovering is not nothing! It’s something that is perhaps the most important time-consuming thing to do. Not doing the washing, cleaning the house, tidying my desk, working on my new products, writing articles….without my health, through recovery I will not be able to do these long term.
So I rest.
What is resting?
You know, I had to Google this! A blog I subscribe to called Zen habits had this to say,“Ask any physician and they will tell you that rest is essential for physical health. When the body is deprived of sleep, it is unable to rebuild and recharge itself adequately. Your body requires rest.
Ask any athlete and they will tell you that rest is essential for healthy physical training. Rest is needed for physical muscles to repair themselves and prevent injury. This is true whether you run marathons, pitch baseballs, or climb rocks. Your muscles require rest.”
Benjamin Franklin says,
“He that can take rest is greater than he that can take cities.”
Resting to me is simply getting more sleep, earlier nights, changing my routine, laying or sitting still and reading, watching a movie or meditating. If the weather is nice, a short stroll outside without my phone! Sitting in the garden with a book, taking Josh to the park and enjoying a tea or ice cream. Any activity where I am not exerting myself and I can switch off my over active brain.
Coupled with rest, we need good nutritional support
This is about avoiding the comfort food. Sometimes when we don’t feel good we turn to things like food or alcohol to feel better but with these choices are you really caring for ourselves? I mean, I know treats, comfort food or a glass of wine feels good in the moment but will it actually help us to feel good and be healthy long term when we are trying to recover, probably not. Now, I’m not saying you have to avoid it all or forever, but just ask yourself, is this the best choice for me to make to get healthy?
So, do what your mother and grandmother always did? Eat soup! My mother had the cure for everything ailment I ever had as a child- soup. Vegetable soup, lentil soup and chicken soup. Soup is nutritious and easy to make and well good for you.
Seek out advice and help
I do not like to go to the doctor unless I believe I have something that will not go away with rest or good nutrition. I prefer to wait things out to let my body heal itself and manage it if I need to with pain killers or ibruprofen. If I think it is something beyond this and lingers longer than 5-7 days, I tend to know I have to seek out some answers. When I go to the doctor I want to help them to diagnose me so I have probably Googled my symptoms and have some idea of what is wrong and so I can be specific with my answers.
There are other sources of help, I spoke to my naturopath healing colleague, my chiropractor and a kinesiologist. All of them asked me questions which further helped me to diagnose my situation and reassured me there were ways to deal with it.
Looking at the whole person
One thing I found out whilst reading the book I am currently reading called ‘Quantum Healing’ by Deepak Chopra, is that healing is about the whole person; Mind and Body and that sometimes we can underestimate the importance our attitude, mindset or emotional state plays in creating or holding in place the illness. This is why resting the mind, finding a sense of balance and looking at the areas in your life that cause you to generate stress are so important.
What I tell myself everyday: “Don’t panic, keep drinking water and eating well and rest yourself!” It’s my new daily motto, maybe it can work for you too.