The plan changed so I had to change the plan
If you have read my blog this year, you will know I have had fatigue since January and it has taken a while for me to establish a reasonable baseline of energy management so that I can do a bit more each week and gradually get back to my creative practices. But what I am really having to do is change my life and not necessarily by choice.
Listen to Your Body
The first way I have had to change is by listening to my body more. This used to mean realising I am stressed out because the world irritates me, getting angry, getting a migraine or both were a sign to do less. These things might hold me back but I would try and use this stress. And adrenaline would keep me going.
I know now I have been living on the edge of burnout . Before this year though, my body never fully told me to stop.Now, when my body tells me it’s too much I really have no choice but to listen. It aches like I have been in a car crash and leaves me so tired I can do very little. Without a choice, it has made me reflect on just how often I pushed through on little sleep and frazzled nerves.
Put systems in place
I have always tried routines and to do lists to keep on track of my life. It’s not something that comes easily to me. But this year my mind, like my body, has insisted I pay more attention. It is essential for me to work to systems to get anything done now. With brain fog I have to use the systems and more importantly I have no choice but to write it down.
Keep your Boundaries
This one I am only managing to change with the help of a therapist. Sometimes it is the boundary that my body or mind insists on. But sometimes it’s the really difficult one for many of us, saying no to people. It might also include the no to something you want to do. I am learning to sometimes say the hard no but also say I may not have that energy, explain the boundaries relate to the condition.
Quit Your Day Job
I suppose all artists, writers and creatives have toyed with the idea of quitting their job to follow their passion, pursue their bliss and other dream-life rhetoric. Sadly, the reasons I have for quitting are little more prosaic. In addition to work, I have caring responsibilities and my fatigue condition has become more difficult to manage. I have been trying to decide whether I can continue working but my temporary reduction of hours hasn’t quite been enough to get me back on my feet. I didn’t quite mean to join the great resignation but I know also that I am making the biggest step now.
This year has taught me a lot, not least that a lot has to change.
Feel Hopeful for the Future
Although managing fatigue is a tough task for me, it’s made easier by having the right mindset. Whilst that might sound like I could think my way out of fatigue, that isn’t really what I mean. What you can do is pay attention. By listening to my body I know even on a tough day or week, that I have had better days and they will come another day.
Have you had to change your life before? Have you realised you should have done it a long time ago?
Watch this space for more updates about all the changes I am making in the next months!