Healthier Stay


My Routine For Spontaneity

Posted in Newer Posts by Healthier Stay on April 13, 2013

 

Keeping stress down helps us maintain our other duties in life...like living it.

Keeping stress down helps us maintain our other duties in life…like living it.

This Post is my submission for the April Patients For a Moment (PFAM) Blog Carnival. The subject this month is,The Stresses of Chronic Illness, so here we go…

Stress is a necessary evil to most people. It can help you meet deadlines, avoid danger and highten your senses to keep you safer. That is what normal life stress can do, but there are so many other types of stress to deal with every day that are particular only to our world and they can truly make us sicker. I struggle to keep my everyday stressors to a minimum because I also have to deal with the stress of being Chronically Ill. Life with a chronic illness is super stressful, simply because we don’t know what we are going to have to deal with from one second to the next. I don’t know if I am going to be able to finish my laundry or am I going to be doubled over in pain within the next five minutes. Crohn’s Disease definitely puts a damper on my ability to be spontaneous and that in itself brings on the S-word.  I have learned a few tricks that may be helpful to other people in my situation. I like to at least have the illusion of spontaneity in my life and my best advice for that is to plan, plan, plan! That sounds rather counter-intuitive doesn’t it? Trust me it works.

  • I always carry a pill box with me and I try to have at least 24 hours worth of medicine on me at all times. I know that is tough, but it is part of my morning routine, wake up, take my pills, fill pill box though the next morning and then place it in my purse. If I know that I have my pills ready for the day, then I that makes it easier for me to do something unexpected later. One other thing I do, is if I’m leaving later in the day, I refill and doses that I may have already taken. If I run into any delays or if I get sick at a friends house and have to crash there, I have the medicine I need and I may be able to stave off worse pain because I am not varying from my medicine routine.
  • Try to keep a normal but flexible routine as much as possible. I try to set up my week so that I can make sure to get the rest I need and still take care of my necessary duties. I go to the doctor every Thursday, that is doctor day and I don’t schedule anything else on those days. You never know when the doc will require new lab tests or paperwork or if they are going to be backed up and keep you in the lobby for 2 hours. So I keep the rest of the day clear to keep my stress level down. On the other days of the week, I try to keep my days structured. I wake up at a certain time each day and I have my house work split up into workable chunks throughout the week. Mondays I vaccum the living room and clean up any dog hair on the furniture. Tuesdays I swiffer the floors, Wednesdays I do my laundry, Fridays I dust and clean my room. Each day has a short workable job and if I have to miss it for something fun (oh darn), or perhaps for a flare induced nap, it is not going to be the end of the world, the absolute worst case scenario is that I will do it next week. Not a problem. I also allow myself time to rest, and split up my errands to do on certain afternoons if I am up to it.
  • I find it very important to go outside any day that you physically can! Running an errand may seem boring but it gives you a change of scenery and a sense of accomplishment, once you have come home. The longer you stayed cooped up in your house the harder it is to work up the gumption to go our again. Plus, sunlight gives us valuable vitamin D and supes up our endorphins so that we feel better.
  • My last one is so simple but SUPER important, get dressed every day when you get up. It is so easy to let the days get away from us when we are in our PJs all day and all night. If you are up and dressed you will be far more likely to want to do something new if you get the chance.

I have been working this plan for a few years now and I can tell you that I don’t get freaked out if something comes up and I have to change my day. I know that I am presentable and that I have my medicine, I can keep my house clean and enjoy the sun. Sometimes I am too sick to get out of bed for a couple days, but I know that I don’t have to freak out because my main stuff is always manageable. I hope that this helps my other friends out there that are dealing with undue stress caused by pain, exhaustion and constant illness. I hope that you can also embrace the chance to enjoy the sudden opportunities that sometimes come up and that so many of us miss.

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8 Responses to 'My Routine For Spontaneity'

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  1. Ashley said,

    Hello!

    What I take from your post is that the stability of routine empowers you and others with chronic illness because it somewhat mitigates the lack of control you experience because of your illness. You can use this control to gain room for positive, spontaneous experiences. Is this right?

    I have chronic health issues and I also listen to my body and identify patterns of living that allow me to live fully. Your blog is an excellent resource to those trying to figure it out.

    I gotta say, though, I’m ALL about wearing pajamas during the day. Haha.

    -Ashley


    • Thank you Ashley! You are right, actually you are right on the money. Learning our bodies’ patterns help us to be more flexible and make our lives more spontaneous. Building a routine can help us keep use those patterns for the forces of good, aka fun, rather than evil. 🙂 Thank you for your insightful comment. Daytime pjs was a hard habit to break, they are just so darn comfy!

  2. Cary Gossett said,

    Excellent Donna. Great attitude. We have lots in common here, and you’re right, planning, regardless if it doesn’t always work, WORKS, especially in reducing stress and making life somewhat normal.

    Namaste, C


    • Thanks Cary, I really appreciate the support. It’s great to see that this works for other people as well. I hope it is a universal idea and will help a lot of people.

      • Cary Gossett said,

        I think it will. Helps me, no doubt. How’s the bike treating you? Looking good via avatar. Namaste, C


      • Thanks so much, my gym routine has ben erratic with the beautiful weather but I am up to 5 miles and I am looking for an actual bike for the paths. We have over 100 miles of path here in Columbus!

      • Cary Gossett said,

        Well done! If you need any bike advice, don’t even think of not asking! I have a basic “what to know” blog post (http://rollinwithouttacolon.com/2012/05/10/set-to-get-rollin/) that might help before $ outlay or talking to a bike shop. Comfort is first priority. Keeps you riding 😎 Rubber Side Down, C


      • Thanks Cary!!!


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