B: Balance



Balance is something I struggle with…as a mom, as a nurse, as a wife.  I guess most people struggle with this, but it is harder when your body doesn’t listen very well.  I have had chronic illness for nearly 9 years, and I still struggle.

But I have learned some valuable lessons:

Take care of your body.  Learn what your limits are.  Right now, my tolerance for shopping is about an hour in the grocery store at ultimate health (think 100% life on video games), probably 30 minutes when I’m flaring or stressed.  I’m at about two to three stores (for about 20-30 minutes) if clothes or Christmas shopping.  I have to adhere to these rules or I run the risk of outpacing my energy sources and crashing.

Rest means REST!!!  I don’t have to sleep, although sometimes that is helpful, but keeping my body quiet, in a peaceful and quiet location for at least an hour is optimal.  That means no interruptions, no getting up constantly to serve a certain seven year old, no putting out petty fires that other adults can’t seem to solve on their own.

Understand that your body is different.  Your body doesn’t function the way it once did before.  It no longer has the endurance, the ability, the properties to hike all day, to go on a 12 hour shopping spree, to do the things it once did.  You may be physically able to withstand these activities, but the payment in terms of recovery is often more than the enjoyable activity in the first place.

Learn your body, learn your limits.  Strive for balance so you don’t spend your new life miserable, in pain and in bed.


3 thoughts on “B: Balance

  1. Oh, this is so true. Finding balance has always been difficult, but became 10x worse after I developed a chronic illness. If I want to do something social that day (like go out to dinner), I have to limit all other activities for the day – no exercise, no other social activities and no cleaning. Balancing the things I have to do with the energy it takes to do them is definitely a challenge!

    • The chronic illness just magnifies the need for balance. Sunshine had three children’s birthday parties back to back to back on Saturday. I’m still recovering. Ugh.

  2. What a fantastic post with great reminders. I thankfully do not have a chronic illness, but I am highly sensitive (which obviously does *not* compare to illness), but this just means I get overwhelmed so easily with stimuli– sound, crowds, etc. After an outing, I feel depleted and even my husband giving me a gentle hug can be too much. I need rest, real rest just like you describe, to recover. Thanks for this.

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