An interesting turn of events happened recently that made me think about my relationship with my body and reminded me about how important it is to listen to your body.
I recently had the idea that I could try skiing again. Training commenced and I was doing well, increasing my exercises by a few each day. My son, who is very strong and fit, kept an eye on my squats and plank, explaining how to do them properly.
I was going to say don’t be too impressed because I’m only doing things for seconds or a few repeats, but actually do be impressed. 5 years ago at this time I was lying in bed or on the sofa house-bound most of the time.
All was going well until last week when I started feeling very tired most afternoons and evenings. Despite going to bed early and sleeping 8-9 hours I was feeling exhausted and had to have a wee sleep several afternoons in a row.
As someone recovering from ME/CFS this rings alarm bells. I was concerned. Maybe I was over doing it, or worse still going in to a relapse. These are legitimate fears when you have been ill for a long time. Being ill long term is no joke.
Another thought going round in my head was that I might just be whimping out because it’s boring and hard. I don’t really like doing repetitive exercise for the sake of it and could never be a gym type of person. I much prefer to either get outside and walk or incorporate exercise into my day. Things like mindful swimming or yoga please me.
The other possibility was that I was a bit under the weather, perhaps fighting something off. In the past when this has happened it was just a drop down in my degree of un-wellness, but now I wasn’t sure.
Whatever the reason the point is that I listened to my body. I went to bed and slept more, I rested and sometimes slept in the daytime, I ate well, made sure I was hydrated. I also used EFT on feeling like I was whimping out of exercising and my fears about relapse. I did not make myself do any exercise at all, meaning I did nothing for about 5 days.
The upshot is that I feel better. I went for one of my Walking Loch Creran walks on Monday, did yoga on Tuesday and yesterday I started the skiing exercises again. It was hell, sweat was involved, but I did them.
I have learned
Whatever was going on with my body is anybody’s guess. It doesn’t matter what the reason is, what matters is that I needed to listen to my body.
Although I wobbled, felt worried and questioned myself I have learned something valuable from having ME/CFS, something very important. It is absolutely vital to listen to your body and what it is telling you. Then honour that by giving it what it needs, regardless of what our mind might be telling us to do.
Our minds are the problem
Our minds are the problem, they will come up with a million reasons why lying down, going to bed early, making a juice, drinking more water, choosing the healthier option, is not necessary. They will tell us to push through, to buck up, to stop being so pathetic, but we must not listen to them.
As a wise therapist told me;
“The mind is full of smoke and mirrors, the body tells the truth.”