Yesterday I talked about how you just need to hang on and wait out a flare. So while I was “hanging” yesterday I got to thinking about the things I do to occupy my mind and take it off of the pain and agony. I would love for you to add your secret coping skills as well.
As mentioned – keeping your thoughts off the misery you are feeling is really key. Otherwise you and I both know that the more you lay there thinking about how you rue the day you were born to suffer like this the worse you are going to feel. So, this whole post is not about any medications to take or any vitamins or alternative treatments to try. This is all about things to keep the mind moving! Ready? Maybe you’ll pick up on something you hadn’t thought about – which also would give you a glimpse into my mind. Now that can be scary. Consider yourself warned!
1. Watch TV – duhhhhhh – we probably all do this one. As you probably have realized by now eventually there is going to be NOTHING on ANY of the 300+ channels to watch. How that happens is beyond me? Why can’t there be SOMETHING on ALL the time? But that is a matter to take up with Directv (for me).
2. Listen to music – I LOVE music. It is peace to my spirit. So you could always put in those earbuds like your teenager and ignore the rest of the world around you. Let the rhythm carry you off somewhere else and relax in it.
3. Read – Now I love books – as you know if you are a regularly reader of my blog. But there are some days I’m just not in the mood to read. But when I am this is a PERFECT distraction. Of course if you have fibro fog as well you will ALWAYS have something to read because you will be reading the same stinkin’ paragraph again and again without even knowing it.
4. Look at magazines – I love magazines – especially People or Us Weekly. I love movies so I like to keep up with the celebrity gossip. So what – stone me later. I probably won’t feel it anyway.
5. Knit/Crochet – I have a prayer shawl that I’ve been working on for a year. I have a lot of prayers saved up for when I’m finished with it.
6. Netflix/Redbox/PPV – since I love movies these services are vital to survival for me. I love getting lost into some other world so I can escape the pain I’m feeling at the time in mine. And if I am also depressed I watch a comedy! And if they are around I watch a comedy with my kids! Laughing and quality time with your kids does wonders for depression. And a Xanax doesn’t hurt…
7. Write – Some people keep a journal. Because of the pain in my hands writing is not something I enjoy doing with a pen and paper anymore. But I love to blog (you’re welcome!). And I enjoy reading other blogs and commenting on them.
8. Play a game with our kids – obviously I’m not talking about tag or hide and seek here. Lauren and I like to pile up in bed when I’m having a bad day and play card games. Spending the time with her and catching up on her life surely takes my mind off myself.
9. Love on your pets – Oh my word my pets are just the greatest. No matter if I am the only one home or if the house is full if I am in bed Faith and/or Biskit (if Faith allows her) will pile in bed with me. Loving on them just does something to your spirit and your blood pressure. And it eases the pain – mentally and physically. They love the attention too.
10. This final one is something that I do to ease the guilt that is normal for us to have when we are in a flare. When I am laying in bed all the time (like lately) I feel completely useless to my family. I feel like I’m letting my husband down by not being able to keep the housework up and I feel like I’m letting my children down because I feel like I’m locked away in a tower. So, I have begun setting at least one housework goal for myself for the day. For example, while I’ve been upstairs for most of the last month my goal has been to keep the laundry going. I’ve always been bad about letting it pile up till we are all at the point of desperation. But I have told myself each day that since I’m upstairs right by the laundry room I will keep at load going at all times. When I get up to go to the bathroom or let the dog out or get some water I will tend to whatever load needs it. Some days it takes me all day to complete a load from washing to putting away. But I’ve discovered that I feel better about myself and less guilty because I have actually accomplished SOMETHING for my family that day. My children have been doing their own laundry since they were 10 – story for another day. This week I have surprised them by doing their laundry for them.
Now, when you’ve done all of those things – take a nap. You have kept your mind busy – you have taken control of your own mental health for that day. You’ve earned a nap! Then when you wake up you can start all over again.