How To Take Time For Yourself When Your Mind And Body Needs It

March 4, 2017 | 11:00 am | By Pants Up Easy

Everybody has off days, days when everything seems a bit much and your mind and body need a vacation if you want them to keep working well. This is even more true for us with limited mobility, we really put our body through its paces and there are a lot of demands for it. But more often than not we are taught to feel guilty if we take time for ourselves.

With my Cerebral Palsy, I developed a general rule of thumb if I want the best performance out of my body: I call it the two and one rule. Two days of being active and one day of relaxation and taking time for my body and especially mind to heal.

Now this ‘rule’ came through years of trial and error and a huge amount of internalized guilt. I always thought: ‘I can’t possibly leave my house a mess while I sit and watch movies or read a book all day!’ Or ‘I have to return those emails/finish that draft not just sit around and be lazy.’


With my Cerebral Palsy, I developed a general rule of thumb if I want the best performance out of my body: I call it the two and one rule. Two days of being active and one day of relaxation and taking time for my body and especially mind to heal.

We are not being lazy!

We are taking care of the most important thing, our health. Many of us suffer from huge health demands and they can often be the most important things in our lives at times. But there is so much more to it than going to doctors’ appointments; we need to take care of our mind before we can ask our bodies to heal.

So my suggestion to you would be: Find your own rule, figure out what works best for you. One day on, one day off, five days on, two days off? Whatever it may be that you find works for you.

My second tip is find what makes you happy and on those off days only do those things that make you happy; things that don’t create stress. Personally, I enjoy reading a good book series or throwing the ball for my dog in the park near my house. But if you enjoy knitting or crosswords fill your off days with those activities.

Thirdly, you do not and I repeat, do not have to justify the way you take care of yourself to anyone. Often people who are unaffected by disabilities offer us up well-intentioned advice on how we should be living our lives. This advice is generally from a good place but when it comes to our own bodies, we know best and the voice we should listen to most is the one inside our heads. People don’t need to know why you do things the way you do and you don’t need the stress of explaining it to someone that you don’t want to share your business.


SUM IT ALL UP

Over all I would have to say: listen to your bodies. They often give us clear and concise clues to how we are feeling, but most of all don’t feel guilty for spending the whole day watching Friends re-runs. 



 

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