Why would one do such a thing? For me it’s simply a matter of survival. It’s only been in the last year that I’ve been able to say NO without feeling any guilt or less guilt. The world hasn’t stopped spinning just by me saying NO.
Some call it pacing, (which for some reason it makes me cringe and I don’t know why) some call it energy conservation or energy management. Whatever you call it we all or need to practice this.
Why? There’s two reasons for this which I learned last month while I was in Chicago for the HealthEVoices conference. First reason, taking care of the caretaker. As a wife and mom of two it’s important to take care of the caretaker. If not, we become run down and perhaps really sick which then makes it really difficult to take care of the kids and run the household. The second reason why it’s so important to say no to things, is if you have a chronic illness you’re body is already in a constant fight mode and energy reserves are already low and you risk getting sicker.
I always thought the best way to do things was “Balls to the Wall”. Interestingly, I felt awful for days and sometimes weeks afterwards and was out of commission because of of it. It wasn’t until I started working with an Occupational Therapist (OT) who introduced me to pacing 😬. I figured out what daily activities that needed to get done such get the kids ready for school, drive kids to school, walk the dog (how far would depend on how I felt), maybe shower, maybe wash my hair, groceries, doctor appointments etc… Anyhoo, you get the idea. Make sure you don’t deplete all your energy!
The first thing that was suggested by the OT was to apply for a Accessible Parking pass. This was to help with energy management on the days when I had no energy and when I had a difficult time to walk. This was a hard one for me to implement but with time I sure do appreciate my Accessible pass on the hard days. It’s ok to recruit help!
I’ve cut my hair shorter to make it easier for washing which I only do about twice a week. I found that I was completely exhausted after taking a shower. At that point, anything I had planned for that day was hooped. Be strategic!
Slowly but surely I was able to say no to scocial outings without feeling to much guilt or worrying what people thought. Focus on the positive!
The point to this is to find that balance that is good for you and your family. You got this!
Disclaimer: Janssen Global Services paid for my travel expenses for the conference. All thoughts & opinions expressed here are my own. #HealthEVoices17