Each time we start the new year with many unrealistic resolutions. It's a better idea to start new habits instead.
Habits are crucial to help rest the mind. Creating a new habit can improve your health, appearance, productivity, relationships and work life. Once brushing your teeth was established, it supports you for life.
A year ago I started a new habit of eating fruit every morning. I don't have to force myself anymore to eat fruit because I'm used to it now. Fruit is packed with different and wonderful vitamins, minerals and nutrients. Eating fruit has become one of my daily habits.
I thought I'd share my habits I want to plan into my life in 2018 that are manageable when you have M.E. and or fibromyalgia.
1) I want to take time away from my phone or other interruptions for 24 hours at least once a month. As much as I love the online spoonie community and my job, it can be stressful and overwhelming sometimes. On special occasions like birthdays or holidays I put my phone away and use all my energy to interact with the people that I'm together with. And even though the first few hours of the day it is tempting to check my social media, after a while it feels so peaceful. I found myself enjoying the festivities much more. Not worrying about taking the perfect photo for Instagram gives you freedom. If you still want to capture memories, take a digital or polaroid camera with you. I'm planning on focussing less on my Phone and pay more attention to my surroundings. And when you do log in to your social media accounts after a day, it will be so much more fun and interesting because there is lots of new feed to check out.
2) No matter how small or how big it is, try to exercise every day for 10-15 minutes. Whether it is lifting weights, going for a walk or just doing gentle stretch exercises, make sure to move every day. I try to make daily walks with my dog and do my PT exercises. When I'm having a high pain day, I make my routine a bit shorter and change up some exercises. However, everyone has a different body so it's important we are conscious of our limits. What works for me might not work for you and vice versa. Do something what's best for your body.
3) Self-care is super important but we tend too easily to forget it. I try to pamper myself at least once a week. I apply body lotion or body butter for a softer skin, paint my nails and maybe put on a face mask. Moisturizing will give you a refreshed feeling afterwards. I know it takes a lot of energy for someone with a chronic illness but it's worth the effort. Recently I've been trying to put on make-up every time I go out. Because I don't want to lose too many spoons on just getting ready I limit my routine to only foundation and mascara. It might sound superficial but when you feel beautiful, your self-confidence gets a boost. And mental health is just as important as physical health.
4) Do absolutely nothing for 60 minutes every day. When I'm busy with work I often forget to allow my body to rest. And when I do rest, a lot of the time I am I'm still doing things like checking social media, replying to e-mails or reading the news. When you suffer from brain fog like me, it's so important to have a moment in your day where both your mind and body find peace. After my moment of silence I feel so much more productive. You can set a timer on your phone in case you fall asleep.
Photo credit: WE HEART IT