10 Nice Minutes with a Chronic Illness

I’m a fan of having a moment of nice in an otherwise tough day. My moment of nice is usually a good espresso, that jolt only caffeine can give me that lasts a fleeting 10 minutes, if I’m lucky.

I’ve had a liberating thought. What if we reclaim our days, what if we add as many “10 nice minutes” as possible?

10 nice minutes with chronic illness with cup and flowers

Here’s a list of the things we could do in 10 good minutes:

  1. Read (book nerd alert, always number one if my brain is not super fogged)
  2. Meditate
  3. Have a cup of tea or coffee and savour it
  4. A hot shower
  5. Lie down with a heat pack
  6. Lie down with a heat pack and a book
  7. Skype a dear friend or sister
  8. Eat a cupcake, or other deliciously good piece of food, savour it!
  9. Lie down with your legs up on a couch (yoga pose for calm)
  10. Watch half of a funny sitcom, or the whole thing and make it 20 good minutes!
  11. Sit in the sun
  12. Sit in the sun with a book
  13. Pray The Serenity Prayer with sincerity and meaning
  14. Read some good, inspiring blog posts that you’ve saved somewhere (like Pocket or Evernote)
  15. Give yourself a good foot rub (bonus with some lavender essential oil and coconut oil)
  16. Give yourself a good neck and shoulder massage with a heating cream
  17. Stretch, gently and mindfully
  18. Read a beautiful poem and just soak it up (I love Desiderata)
  19. Have a snuggle with your dog/cat/fluffy creature
  20. Have a snuggle with your baby, if you have one and they let you!
  21. Some form of intimacy with your significant other
  22. Breathe, deeply and mindfully
  23. Make your art (journal, write, colour, draw, imagine…)
  24. Write a “thankful list” for future reference
As you can see, for me, a lot of things revolve around reading, but that’s because it’s a big passion of mine.

Do you have more to add to the list?

Serenity, Or We’ll Be OK

One of the hardest things about living with fibro and chronic fatigue syndrome is the unpredictability.

You can have a day where you slept nine hours the night before (with only one interruption by the baby), did the right exercise the day before, take your supplements (D-Ribose and magnesium), do a 40 minute meditation – in other words do everything right – and still end up with a sudden increase in fatigue. The afternoon drags on. The shower is tiring.

When your energy is used up, think zero spoons, and the baby still needs feeding and cuddling and putting to bed you still, somehow, have brain power to worry about what tomorrow will be like.

You have to surrender.

You have to go with the flow.

That’s hard for someone who feels more comfortable in control. It’s hard to accept that you can’t plan your way out of it.

All there is to do is get on with it the best you can and HOPE tomorrow will be better. Be secure in the knowledge that you have made your life better on the whole, you can handle one or two bad days. And those one or two bad days don’t mean anything other than a slight wobble.

The Serenity Prayer has been helping me:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His will; so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever and ever in the next. Amen”

This brings me some comfort. I haven’t yet reconciled myself to my beliefs and the fact that I have prayed so desperately for healing, and not yet received it. But then I haven’t figured out many things.

So for today, I hope this brings someone comfort. That they may remember these words when they are gripped by a flare up. Or even just in daily life.