Pushing my limits

There are days that I say SCREW IT.

Long story short,  I pay for it.

For those that suffer with chronic pain, there are things that we have to still do in order to keep our sanity.  And sometimes that means leaving the house and going on a long walk, at the state fair.  That’s exactly what I did this last weekend.  I was asking for punishment, I know!  I know my bodies limits. But, I went to the state fair anyways. We, my family and I, walked and walked a lot!  I didn’t do anything stupid like rides, or any crazy games (I left that to my son), I just walked.  I took all the precautions, muscle relaxers, pain meds and frequent breaks. But, I knew while doing it, that the outcome would be a rough few days after.

Here I am, 2 days after, and I am still recovering and will be for at least a few more days.  Yesterday, consisted of more meds, heating pads, a lot of sleeping, and limited shuffling around the house.  Today, I for see the same.  Laying low and taking care of my aching, painful body.

 But it was worth it. It was SO worth it. 

The mental break of being out of the house, among other people, laughing, smiling, and enjoying myself, makes the pain of the recovery worth it.

So, my motto while recovering will be…

Wokeup

 

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The daily battle…

In the daily battle with chronic pain, the idea of being able to do the things I used to are always in the for front of my head.  There are triggers for me that make me wish I could go back before my back and body pains.

  • Seeing or driving around downtown
  • Driving by new housing developments.

The feeling if only I could try to go back to my past life. If only I could fix my body.

I had worked in real estate for 13 years, then was redirected into IT work before my final blow that lead me to be medically retired. There were many possibilities.  There was hope for a “better” future for me and my family. The idea of what my life could have been, what I should have been.

How do I even allow myself to think about being able to go back to work?  *REALITY CHECK*  Just typing this, I was sitting up and had to go and finish typing this laying down, because of my back. It’s just that I feel I have been sitting dormant for too long.  I get this feeling of being capable of doing so much more. But, what? There is only so many computer games, word finds, sudoku books, and adult coloring books one can do before I am bored out of my mind.

How do you challenge yourself when you are always tired and in pain?

Challenge

7 ways to love yourself

“You can never deplete your love by giving it away. Why not give yourself to love?” – Debasish Mridha Did you mention your wits, your ingenuity, your “stick-to-it-ness” attitude, your awesomeness or did you fall under the trickster’s spell category and say “oh no! Nothing about me is special? It’s just an illusion! It’s high…

Check out the rest of the article at  7 Ways to Love Yourself — The Seeds 4 Life It’s well worth the read!

It’s a new day

It’s been a crazy and rough couple weeks. This up and down weather that we have been having here in Minnesota is about killing me, literally. It’s cold, then it warms up, then it’s cold again…. Mother nature needs some hormone therapy!

Bring on the SPRING weather!

I have been recovering lately from what the lovely weather has been doing to my body, and doing some self-care.  Laying low, watching some TV, reading one of my 3 books, resting, and enjoying  the little things in life, like my heating pad.

It has been hard to leave my computer unattended like I have, so as I lay here today, I thought,

Today’s a new day, let’s right a post.

It’s been way too long.

Flower
Think Spring

 

TuesdaysAtTen Today’s post was a part of the, “Tuesdays @ 10 ” writing challenge that is hosted by Finding The Grace Within .  Today’s topic was “New”. If your interested in what the other participants are writing, please check out her blog, as that is where we are all linking up.  Please feel free to Like, Comment and Share 

                               

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Three Books On My Shelf

I am usually a James Patterson person, and don’t get me wrong, I have my stack of those to read too. But, in making my 2016 goal to focus on myself and my mental well-being, those books are being put on the back burner and will have to wait for a latter date.

The 3 books that I have on my shelf to read are…

Three books on my shelf to read are Rising Strong, The Gifts of Imperfection and Furiously Happy.

  1. Rising Strong by Brene’ Brown
  2. Gifts of Imperfection by Brene’ Brown
  3. Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

As I have stated in a earlier post I am in the middle of an online class that is taught by Brene’ Brown, the author of the first two books on my list. *Side note: She has a free class on her site (www.courageworks.com) called “The Anatomy of Trust”.  It’s nice because it is self-paced so it’s perfect…(I am actually a week behind, based on what is “recommended” for the Living Brave Semester… this weather lately has thrown a kink into my deep thinking ability).  Everything is done through videos and online lessons so you can view them at any time.  If you have extra time and appreciate her work, I would recommend her classes.

What are you doing to work on your goals in 2016?

Honestly, I have never been one to read self-help or motivational or inspirational books.  I would certainly buy them, but I would never sit down and actually read them.  They scared me. There was too much to uncover and work through if I did that.

But, I am trying to be more open, for the sake of working toward my goal, and I am learning a lot. However, I have found that when I get close to a situation that “hits close to home”,  I avoid. We all have our coping mechanisms that come into play, our shields, so to say, that come up when we face a situation that we don’t like.  But what I have taken away from Daring Greatly is, what would happen if you faced that situation as your true and authentic self with no shields. It’s a hard thing to do.

The vast amount of information that I have taken away from the 1st ever book like this that I have ever read from cover to cover, I have a new-found appreciation for books that help to make me a better person.

What books are on your “to read” shelf?

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Self-Care Follow-up

Be Good To YourselfEarlier this week I posted the 10 self-care steps when dealing with pain and it got me thinking that I should post more about the topic of self-care.  It seems that in the American culture we are always so busy taking care of everyone else, that we don’t stop and take care of ourselves. As pain patients, it seems as if we need to just push through the pain, and just keep smiling. As parents, our children come first. As a wife or husband, our spouses needs sometimes come before our own. It feels selfish to walk away from someone when they “need” us when we need to take a few moments to ourselves.

Is it  selfish to make yourself a priority?

No.  Taking care of ourselves is in the best interest of our families.  As the saying goes, You can’t give away what you don’t have.

Then why is it so hard.

I struggle with this myself.  I have the guilt, the shame, the feeling of obligation to my family, even when I’m in
pain.  Pain that is so bad that I would rather just be in bed all day. However, here is the tricky part.

BALANCE.

Finding some middle ground between what I want to do and what my body is physically capable of doing.  Finding time so I can rest (self-care) and yet still be there for my family, without causing added stress on my body.  It is a tough thing to figure out. Something I haven’t perfected yet and honestly, don’t know if I ever will.  There are just too many aspects wrong with my body and too many variables to predict the outcome of how to balance them.

In the meantime I have implemented some self-care routines into my life to help me stay better on track mentally so that I can better prepare myself for the higher pain moments and days. The following is what I have started:

  1. Drink LOTS of coffee. (Okay, so that really doesn’t help, it maybe even hinders my anxiety a bit, but I enjoy it, so at LEAST a pot of coffee a day is a must have.)
  2. 4 days a week. I try
    for 7 but I am not perfect. I would love to do it every day, but there are just some days, where it just isn’t going to happen.
  3. This is a daily routine.  During the week, when I have more time, I meditate for 20-30 minutes a day.  The weekends, its 2 minutes when I have a quiet, alone moment.

Doing meditation has helped me to pick up on the changes in my body quicker than I would have before doing this routine.  To know when my body is starting to go downhill, so to say, and not realizing it, once I am in a full-blown pain storm. Also,  I can use the same techniques that I use daily on the high pain moments/days.  It helps to distract me from the pain and relax me as well.  I am sure there are some other technical reasons, but for me it helps. 🙂

Journaling has also helped in tracking my moods.  I suffer from anxiety and depression as well. So, as an example, I can come across to others as doing “okay” but really not being okay in my head. So, by writing down honest feelings in my journal, I can track and better get a grip on things and rework through thoughts before they happen to become a jumbled up mess in my head. But here is the thing, if you’re going to do something like this to help yourself, like the journaling, you have to really be honest with yourself. I know that struggling with a mental illness, we can try to fool ourselves into thinking we are okay, just like we try to come across to others that we are okay.

Be honest with yourself, if no one else.

 

You can carry out a self-care routine too.  It’s not hard to do and it doesn’t have to be a big time commitment.

  1. Start with five minutes here or there.
  2. Start simply, then you won’t feel so overwhelmed.
  3. Calendar yourself in – Make sure you have time for yourself, even if it is 5 minutes in the car waiting to pick up your kids. Those little moments can be just as valuable to refocus yourself.
  4. Meditation – Take a few minutes a day and just sit and relax and focus on your breath.
  5. Write – journal or just take some time and write your thoughts
  6. Music – Put in a CD or stream a relaxing yet fun set of music. My go to is the older crooner music like Harry Conic Jr., Sinatra, and Nat King Cole. It always puts me in a good mood.
  7. Exercise – I know those of use with chronic pain find this so very difficult, myself included. Even stretch, or if you have resistance bands, can help.  Just something to keep your muscles from becoming atrophied.  Any bit is better than nothing.

*If you would like more suggestions, the Tiny Buddha has some “simple self-care practices for a healthy mind, body, and soul.” ( http://tinybuddha.com/blog/45-simple-self-care-practices-for-a-healthy-mind-body-and-soul/ )

All of us that struggle daily with pain, it wears on us greatly, our minds and our bodies. Please remember you aren’t the only one out there struggling.  There are a lot of us out there with you and we are all just doing the best that we can to cope and deal with the hand that we have been dealt. Gentle hugs to you all and I hope you find some time to take care of yourself today.

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10 self-care steps when dealing with pain

  1. Get enough sleep.
  2. Don’t get stuck in a routine. Switch things up a bit.
  3. Do some light exercise.
  4. Find something fun to do.
  5. Focus on the positives (Stay away from the A.N.T.’s. ~ the automatic negative thoughts).
  6. Laugh.
  7. Ask for help if you need it.
  8. Calendar yourself in (even if it is only 5 minutes).
  9. Meditate/Relax.
  10. Write/Journal (get your feelings and thoughts down).

 

TuesdaysAtTen Today’s post was a part of the, “Tuesdays @ 10 ” writing challenge that is hosted by Finding The Grace Within .  Today’s topic was “Care”. If your interested in what the other participants are writing, please check out her blog, as that is where we are all linking up.  Please feel free to Like, Comment and Share 

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