Pacing & Acceptance – A Shifting, Dynamic Recipe for Managing Chronic Illness

Love yourself first, always - image of a woman looking at herself in a mirror

A client came to me today just devastated that she’s been in a pain flare for over 2-months now, worse than she’s seen in years. Prior to this flare up, she’d been doing everything right; committing to a couple of days per week of down time, sitting wherever possible instead of standing, getting help with things whenever possible. But despite all her healthy choices and her constant effort at pacing and effective energy management, she still ended up in a flare that knocked her socks off.

Has that ever happened to you? No, better question: When’s the last time that happened to you?

We all want to think that if we do it all “just right” then the illness will always behave and respond according to our expectations.

Wrong! <grin> Some part of me, at some point along the road, had to come to a place of acceptance around the illness always being a part of my life. Some might call that giving up or giving in, I just call it self-acceptance and honouring and accommodating my health challenges in order to accommodate my needs. Once I let go of trying to control how my health will respond to the random influences in my life, my quality of life began to improve.

Hence the acceptance piece. It’s so weird, once I changed my mindset around my expectations for my abilities and energy, I learned how to leverage my down time productively and not loose it to dark mental health. And when I’m doing well, I truly enjoy it because I don’t put any pressure on myself around getting the pacing “just right”. Acceptance affords the freedom to let go of trying to get it all “just right”.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not taking about abdicating responsibility for my daily choices. I just mean that instead of expending the energy and trying really hard to get the pacing “recipe” perfect, I kind of “wing it” just enough to bypass the stress of trying so hard. The “wing it” thread that now runs through my otherwise very organized life allows for much more joy and laughter in my day than the getting it “perfect” strategy ever did, even when I did get it perfect. 😉

What’s your experience been with “pacing”? Do you have a recipe of your own? Do you feel like your body has betrayed you when symptoms flare in spite of all your efforts? Please post your comment on this topic below…

Till next time, take self-care seriously & God bless.
Passionately committed to your optimal health!

 

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TRISH ROBICHAUD