Self Care: Rationing my Energy

When a resource is limited, the resource is rationed; it’s that simple. So, when the resource is energy, it is rationed just like other scarce resources.

I ration my energy on a daily basis as a matter of self care, and some days I do a better job than others.

Now, if you know me, you know that I am not bearing my heart-soul so that you will feel sorry for me; I’m sharing because I know I am not alone in this whether you have a chronic condition or not. We all have energy limitations; we simply differ on whether we choose to acknowledge and embrace them or push through with a fake smile on our faces.

Here’s my question to myself and to you: where is the JOY in pushing through?!

So, I thought I’d take a few posts to share with you some of my strategies for ensuring that I’ve got enough energy to power the daily of my life.

Point of Order: the phrase ‘enough energy to power the daily of my life does not mean pushing through with a fake smile on my face.

In all things, I seek to spark JOY! 

If I’m too tired to spark JOY, then I’ve overextended myself by miscalculating the demands of my day and/or the capacity of my body, mind, and soul.

Here’s my bottom line:

If strategies don’t enhance the day to day of my lived experience sparking JOY on ALL fronts, then theyare pretty much useless to me; I tend NOT to recommend useless strategies for obvious reasons.

This post will include the following general categories along with specifics from my lived experience

  1. Organization
  2. Clustering

Organization: This is a HUGE challenge for me!

Here are some of my organizational strategies;

take them, leave them, or share them if they might be of help to someone else

  1. Command: this is code for THE Master List for the family. EVERYTHING: my husband’s business, photography, and running travel schedules, family travel, and girls getaways; son’s activities [academic, social, et cetera], any keynotes [or] events I’ve accepted; MD/Dental appointments; upcoming houseguests, [and] holiday plans.
  2. Weekly: if Command is the bird’s eye view, then the weekly is the detailed account. For example, airline, flight numbers, ETAs and return dates; son’s weekly exam/quiz/project schedule and any plans with friends for the weekend; the who, what where, when, and why of any keynotes, professional conferences; local and school meetings; dates, times, and locations of MD/Dental appointments; plans for upcoming houseguests, lunches, pedicures, or cooking with friends.
  3. Bullet To-Do Journal: I have no idea if I use this correctly, but it works for me, especially because it meets my need to check off boxes and provides a carryover option for each item I didn’t get done whether I got tired, needed a nap, had to shift focus, or wasn’t in a particular part of town. I also put notes from books I’m reading, quotes I like, and things I’d like to investigate like tickets to sporting events, concerts, et cetera

Note: Command and Weekly are digital calendars and my Bullet Journal is paper, a composition notebook, in fact.

Clustering the daily of my life: 

Clustering for me involves prioritizing, planning, then pacing myself through my errands list. I do not seek to run 15 errands in one day simply to be done with it because that would be stupid and unnecessary given that none of it is an emergency.

Since I must pace myself, I cluster my errands running those that are in the same general vicinity then leaving the rest for another day. I also limit myself to 1 and 1/2 hours to be out and about, then it is home for me to put things away and likely catch a cat nap as a matter of daily self-care.

That being said, today I am violating these parameters and there will likely be a price to pay; I have 4 errands in a part of town that I am usually not in, each taking at least an hour, and I am not coming home until I have completed them.

It will be early to bed to power up for Thursday!

Clustering of Medical Follow Up:

I am blessed beyond measure that the interval between all of my routine follow-ups is either every 12 months or every 6 months; May and November are my follow-up months.

I LOVE this because that means I have 10 months of the year to myself: BOOM!

I schedule my appointments between 10-12, andrarely, have 2 appointments in one week; diagnostics are scheduled on later dates as dictated by our insurance company, but always before the end of May or November.

I am fortunate to have a medical team that is committed to the timely communication of results, so it is rare that I don’t hear something within a 48-hour window with the exception of dermatology whose pathology is just too damn slow, in my humble opinion.

Stop by next week when I talk grocery delivery and pick up services and their role in my life, especially during cold/flu season.

Organization and clustering are all about self care, a non-negotiable need in the life of the individual affected by a chronic condition.

Until then remember progress NOT perfection…

XOXO

PS My blog posts will be decreasing to weekly as I am getting back to the daily after my recent hospitalization which allowed plenty of time to write.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s