Sunday, 29 August 2010

treats are good, no matter how small.

treats are nice. for me they are a rare thing these days, but that somehow makes them more special. long gone are the days when i would treat myself to a new pair of shoes or the latest cd's. nowadays whilst on a very tight budget that only allows for essentials, i savour the occasional bar of chocolate that once upon a time i had simply taken for granted.

this week i treated myself to a box of rose tea. it delighted my senses. the tea smells wonderful, tastes lovely, the colour of the tea is beautiful and the words inside the box are quite fitting for this time of year.

what little treats make you happy?

celebrate good times come on!

i was given some good advice this week by someone who is instrumental in helping me regain my health as she is helping me with my pacing. i have at last figured out my baseline and have less severe symptoms when i have only short bursts of activity (10-20 min) followed by lots of rest.

i was bemoaning about the fact this seems to work well until i use more energy than this by doing things i have to do including going to the post office to pay bills, food shopping, and getting to medical appointments. i have nobody to help me with these, and that can often get me down. even things i want to do like going to my allotment or meeting a friend for a coffee can end up being a major challenge and also leave me completely gubbed (shattered) and fit for nothing. however as i have often said i feel very lucky that i am not one of the 25% cfs/me sufferers who are housebound, i have no idea how i would manage at all then....

stephanie suggested that when i manage to do any of the above it should be a cause for celebration. i guess she is correct. if i cant avoid doing things that exhaust me i may as well celebrate the fact that my body worked well enough to get me out of bed and outside no matter how much of a challenge it was or even the repercussions.

it reminded me of a meditation on the MBCT course i was on called the gratitude bodyscan. it was very powerful as it made me remember all the amazing places where my tired, aching legs had taken me in the past and all the wonderful things i had done with my now weary arms! yup my body had been good to me so i should be kind to it in return.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

we are what we eat?

when you are affected by chronic fatigue and live on your own life can be a constant struggle in many, many ways, and one of them is eating properly. sometimes i have found it difficult just to get out of bed, let alone shop for food, prepare healthy meals and living off a very tight budget makes the situation even worse.

i have often found myself missing meals, even if there is food in the fridge as i am too exhausted (or in too much pain) to cook a proper meal. And when you have a chronic illness it is crucial to get as many nutrients in our diets as possible to help ourselves heal, including enough vit c, calcium, magnesium and omega 3's.

and there is very little practical help or advice available. so through time i have learned to manage my symptoms and life as best i can and this includes finding ways to simplify my eating and prepare ahead for 'bad days'. here's a few things that i find help me eat better and more regularly.

*on my 'better days' i cook a big batches of things like lentil and tomato soup or veggie curry and rice to freeze- so that on 'bad days' i can just pop a container in the microwave to heat.

*i am very lucky as i live very close to an inexpensive supermarket where i can get most things i need however many people who are not as fortunate as myself and are housebound for example at least may have the option nowadays of ordering groceries online. even when i manage to get to the store however i still have lots of challanges to face - bright lights, noise, only buying as much i can carry home, having to bend or reach to get some groceries which can cause me pain, forgeting what i came in for etc so here are some great shopping tips from adrienne. i always remember a list, only get a very few things at a time, have a proper rest once home, remember to take deep breaths when i feel overwhelmed and pace myself the rest of the day.

*i make the most of frozen food, it can be just as good for you as fresh and saves a lot of preparation. i make easy veggie curries using bags of (ready chopped) mixed veg and peas.

*i find breakfast the easiest meal to prepare when exhausted, either boiled eggs and toast, or yummy porridge using ready mixed oats and seeds, soya milk and frozen berries.

*i try and always have a bag of mixed nuts, seeds and dried fruit to munch on in between meals or scoff rather than miss a meal.

*i have a big glass of protein shake that's easy to make and delicious for when i am off my food or concerned about not getting protein in my diet. (i add bananas or berries for extra goodness)

*getting enough omega 3's is very important, thank goodness then for little tins of mackerel or sardines that make cheap and super healthy little meals. just add toast.

*bananas are full of goodness, i always try and have some in my fruit bowl if possible, as well as apples to munch on and my local supermarket normally has many seasonal fruits on offer.

here are some cooking and grocery shopping tips others affected with cfs/fibro, along with other useful tips on how to manage housework.

i will keep adding to this list - and any tips, advice or recipes you can share would be fab. :-)

Saturday, 21 August 2010

oops ive done it again.

once again i have been neglecting this little blog. it's just it would be so easy to just use it to moan, moan, moan about the unfairness of living with cfs/me/fibro and although that is the reality, it's not what the aim of this blog is about. it's about showing how there are ways to manage symptoms better and keep a positive mind no matter how bad things are.

there are always going to be up's and down's on the road to recovery from any chronic illness and negative feelings are a part of that, especially as you can feel the world is against you and it is all to easy to give up hope. right now i am spending my time trying to count my blessings for what i have, not what has been taken away from me, and concentrate on how i can somehow one day use my experience to help other sufferers through this debilitating illness. i am finding out how to manage my illness as best i can, and to try and do this with kindness towards myself.

new posts soon along with some guest blogs from some very inspiring people.