Today's topic is close to home - I lived with Chronic Kidney Failure for many, many years until my transplant nearly 3 years ago. Even though there I am a lot better than I was before, I still have some days, or periods, of fatigue, nagging pain, or prolonged insomnia.
Here's some ideas how to keep our lives moving froward even when our bodies don't want to.
Staying Productive with Chronic Illness
Even if you don't have chronic illness or pain, we all have periods of being sick but cannot take a break because we're a parent, caretaker, or boss.
1. Remember you're not a burden
This was a hard one for me to accept, being sick and unable to do anything wears you down mentally too. You didn't cause the disease or illness, so don't blame yourself, or allow others to blame you as well.
If others believe that you are and have been outspoken about this - that's on them, not you (and you need to call them out on it too).
So, relax and recover and allow others to pick up the slack.
2. Give yourself time
Give yourself extra time to accomplish things. I do this in my freelancing work, I add a day to the deadline to allow for "down time".
We're so focused on what others have accomplished that we forget to look "behind the scenes" and see how long did it actually take them to accomplish it. Who knows maybe it took them much longer than you could do the same job, Eh?
Stop comparing and go at your own pace.
3. Make 2 "To-Do" lists
Many people create to-do lists for everything in their lives. I've suggested creating them on Day 6. We feel an urge to complete everything on these lists before we're satisfied.
I suggest you create two to-do lists - one for the good days and one for the "flare up" days. Maybe on the bad days do things that can be done from a bed or desk?
Even if the only thing on your to-do list is "take a shower" - you've done something.
4. Work with your Body
Remember I talked about working with your body's schedule on Day 15? Use this same method with your chronic illness. Work around the times your body is "uncooperative" and work during the good moments.
In my experience, sometimes I just cannot get up in the mornings, so I sleep in, waaay in. Then I putter around with coffee and food and then get some work in (like right now). Other days I can be up early, work all morning, but will need a short nap in the afternoons to recharge. When I was working outside the home full-time, I usually crashed in bed shortly after dinner - adrenaline and coffee was my subsistence through the days.
So, schedule around your illness.
5. Have a support system
If you've already delegated some of your work out (Day 9), maybe have them take on more on the bad days. Nevertheless, have a support system in place - friends and family who can come take the wee ones for a while, someone who can bring over a meal, take you to appointments, etc.
These supporters don't think you're a burden and are happy to help you out. Cherish this group.
Relax, the world keeps moving without you. It's perfectly okay to do absolutely nothing but recover.
That's it, take it easy, do some things you're able to, delegate the rest and stay positive.
Productivity Quote of the Day
"It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop" ~ Confucius