In my June goals post I mentioned that I would be taking a break from some forms of social media for the remainder of the month. I would continue to use blogger and Instagram (my favourite) but I would knock Twitter, my personal Facebook account and Snapchat on the head.
At a time where I am trying to beat chronic fatigue syndrome and return to a "normal" life I was finding myself spending hours trawling through my feeds in an attempt to catch up on other people's lives and conversations, constantly thinking "could I snapchat this?!", and quite frankly it was exhausting. What was the point of spending so much time and energy reading about other people when I was neglecting the fact that I've got a lot of work to do on my own life if I've got any hope of fixing this illness?!
I can honestly say that I feel so much better after my mini social media detox that I plan to continue with it. I have deleted my Snapchat app, I will occasionally check Twitter just to check in and reply to any messages, and I will mainly give Facebook a wide berth as I really don't need to know what my school friends and people I worked with 10 years ago are up to in their spare time.
My whole life I have tried to do everything, all at once, at 100 miles an hour. An "all or nothing" personality type you might say. I never really had a second thought about the effect it was having on my body and mind. I just accepted that that's the way I am and my body and mind would keep up with my endless worrying, darting from one task to another, never resting properly, and going through fazes of over-exercising and under-eating, and vice versa.
I heard this quote today and I love it! (photo source unknown)
Looking back at the six months before my glandular fever kicked in it's no bloody wonder I got sick. A break-up and a cancelled wedding, lots of tears, stress, uncertainty, taking on a qualification on top of my full time job, going to the gym every day, staying up late and waking up early to go running, fuelling my body with coffee and toast, and moving house (twice). I lived with a friend which was one of the best things I've ever done but I could never truly relax there because it was never 'mine'. I was worried the dogs would pee on the rug (they did) or leave hairs everywhere (they did). When I moved the second time and lived alone I worried about getting my bond back at the end of the tenancy (I did), finding money to make the place homely (I did - although there wasn't much I could do about the damp problem!), and whether I had set all of my bills up properly (I had - go me!)
When I see other people living the way I used to I want to shake them. I would do anything to go back in time and change my old habits to potentially stop me succumbing to the grips of glandular fever and chronic fatigue syndrome, which has turned my life upside down. I've had to temporarily give up work and some days I can't manage to walk the dogs or pop to the supermarket for supplies. I wake up each morning not knowing whether it's going to be a "good day" or a "bad day". Once I figure out which one it is I plan my day accordingly. I might manage a little bit of housework, email writing or bits and bobs on the computer, or I might spend a whole day doing little to nothing, wrapped up in a permanent headache dealing with waves of nausea, dizzy spells and brain fog. It's shit and I am so unbelievably fed up with it that I permanently want to cry about it.
At the moment I'm working on forming new habits so that if I do beat CFS I am equipped to live a more relaxed and stress-free life. I'm learning how to pace and spread tasks out through the whole day (instead of trying to do a weeks worth of tasks in one morning). I'm trying different meditation videos. I'm about to start some counselling sessions. I am trying to listen to my body and know when it has had enough and I need to stop.
I have discovered that audiobooks are my saviour! I don't have to hold a heavy book up which hurts my arms and my eyes, I can just sit and rest whilst listening to the story. Today I started "A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled" by Ruby Wax and I love it already, just a few chapters in. I'm going to leave you with this quote from the book which really struck a chord with me so I thought I would share it.
Have a restful and peaceful Sunday everyone! x
"No one is addressing the exhausted elephant in the room, why we are making our lives more difficult? Why do we stuff ourselves full of so much detritus? We put all that garbage in there, why can't we just scoop it out again?
There's not going to be some test at the end of our lives so why are we cramming so much in?"