The other day I was at my doctors when I bumped into an old friend who I hadn’t seen forever. She was a friend whom I always admired. Energetic, positive and completely in control. Back when I was spending time with her she found a lump in her breast. It was cancerous but she dealt with it like everything else in her life, head on with a good dash of positivity.
The cancer is back and she was given a life expectancy which expired a month ago. It knocked me sideways and has taken up a lot of bandwidth in my mind since then. Every time I have a ‘poor me” moment, I think of her and how I have no reason to be miserable. I’m not dying of cancer, my troubles are minor.
Don’t use the experience of others to shut off your fears and feelings. Those feelings are just as real and relevant as anyone else’s. There is no scale that justifies who is more deserving of compassion based on the amount of suffering they are going through.
If you want to put an end to the pity party you’re having and gain some perspective certainly think about others who have it worse, but remember you are just as deserving of empathy as they.
Particularly when you’re feeling anxious and tired prioritise what you do.
Make a list. If you are control freak like me then get someone else to do the stuff that isn’t important. Let the family in on how you are feeling and express that you need help.
In the past, if I had to have a procedure done where I knew I would feel crappy afterwards I have planned and organised everything at home beforehand. So when I arrived home everything was clean and in order. There was nothing for me to stress over or worry about. Everyone at home also pitches in to help, as they should.
I suggest that if you are able to let those closest to you know what your expectations are then there won’t be any surprises, frustrations or anger.
Circumstances can sometimes dictate what we can and can’t do. Times change, you change your body changes. I used to be able to run but thanks to knees that have aged at an alarming rate I am no longer able to.
Focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t.
Maybe word it as “today I get to do a lovely yoga flow session”, or “today I get to do an energy-boosting power-walk up the hill”.
Whether you have to change your pace due to something which is here to stay or a temporary setback, accept it with grace. Ease into your new circumstances and find your new normal.
Stop ignoring the warning signs. Being anxious and tired, exhausted, frustrated, or short-tempered are all reasons to slow down and take time for yourself. Even if it’s as simple as a short meditation each day. Or booking in a hair appointment, or my fave, a pedicure.
We so often think we should be able to do more than we actually can. We compare ourselves to others who look to be doing so much more.
Taking your time does not mean you won’t get as much done. When your brain, mind, or body have had a rest you will find you have much more capacity and energy to do more.
Binge eating, drinking excess alcohol or coffee, excessive retail therapy, or binge-watching Netflix may make you feel better for a short time but you are teaching yourself a pattern of avoidance.
If you are doing these things to avoid your feelings of fear, frustration or anxiousness they can, in fact, exacerbate them. Plus you are exposing yourself to the risk that you may become addicted which will only add to your worry.
When you are anxious and tired it is important to give yourself permission and support to slow down, do less, and care for yourself.