Sometimes the world gets rough. Sickness takes over and you feel down in the dumps. We’ve all been sick at some stage and usually it passes with a cold or a bug. But if you do have a long term illness or disease it’s a different challenge. I’ve had Crohn’s Disease for 26 years and I’ve been dealing with chronic illness more than half of my life. If you’re new here, you can read about the permanent colostomy surgery and proctectomy too.
It’s hard to stay on top of things and get through the days/weeks when you’re not well.
This is my favourite little poem (I wrote about it here)
… when we feel well
feeling ill –
but when we are ill
it is almost impossible
This has stayed with me for years. When I am ill I really do try to feel well – to lift my spirits.
Here is a list of some of the things I might do (and if you’re not feeling well maybe you can too?)…
1. Tell your family you aren’t well
I do tell my boys when I am not well. I let them know I am struggling a bit and I need a hand. I tell them I need to lay down and I ask them to help me. They are usually pretty good when they can see I am sick. And so they should be. Your loved ones should know when to pick up the slack when needed. It makes a huge difference when you don’t have to do everything when you’re sick.
2. Clean-up and freshen your surroundings
I can’t rest when things are messy and dirty. It doesn’t mean I need to go overboard scrubbing and cleaning. Just take the rubbish out and clean out the fridge… a quick tidy and a wipe over of things makes me feel a little more centered and relaxed.
3. Your body may be sick, but your mind doesn’t have to be
Feeling sick in our bodies can of course alter the way we think. I try not to let illness define my mental well being. Your mind can make you sicker. There is definitely a link there.
Take a few breaths to center and focus yourself. Now, be completely present to how you are feeling. If you ache, be aware of it with your full attention. If you are exhausted, feel the fullness of your exhaustion. – source.
Remember this, if there are moments in the day where you can feel positive about something, and concentrate on that, then we can absolutely transform our feelings.
4. Eat better/drink better
It’s commonsense isn’t it? More fresh food, more water and less alcohol. I don’t drink much anymore. I still like it, but I just can’t handle it.
5. Look at pretty things. Take a walk.
On the weekend I went walking with my boys up in the hills. The view, the smells and the cool fresh air made me feel instantly better. We didn’t walk to ‘exercise’ but rather just to feel fresh and get the blood moving. I can have a habit of sitting too much when I am sick, but a walk to look around makes me feel a little better.
A tracksuit and pj’s are usually on high rotation here. But I always feel energised after a shower. It’s easy to get up and think oh I’m not going anywhere today so I don’t need to worry, but indeed the body needs you to look after it. A scrub of the hair, a leg shave, some moisturiser and a hit of essential oils help. The make-up can take a hike though ha!
Headphones are never far from my reach. Music evokes all sorts of feelings – you don’t need to me tell you that. Soothing music or dancing music, whatever takes your fancy – just give it a try at some point in your day. If nothing else it’ll waste a little bit of time and keep your mind busy and away from the illness.
Text your friends, clean out your emails – make a point of getting back in to your normal life. Let everyone know “you’re back” and feeling fresher and ready to get on with things.
Hope I’ve helped you a little bit today. If you’re not well, hopefully you can take something from this list to make your day brighter.