Tuesday, 24 January 2023

Make time to rest

Rest is so important especially when you have a chronic illness or disability. Making time to rest can really help with fatigue and other symptoms such as brain fog and pain.

For some people, like myself I need to build regular rest periods into my day but others may find that they just need to rest when they've over done it or on bad days or if they haven't slept well.

Working out how best to rest my mind and body has been a journey of trial and error. For some people they rest by watching television or listening to a book but for me that's too stimulating. Those two activities for me still require a low level of attention and use of cognitive energy and I consider them to be 'low level activities'.

In my other posts you may have heard me write about my 'daily plan'. This is my schedule for me day which I developed with my Occupational Therapist and it helps me manage my M.E. It mainly consists of during the day alternating between activity (normal level and low-level) and rest periods ranging from 30-60 minutes (though my activity limit is 10-30 minutes). 

I find for me making regular time for resting really beneficial. It just allows my mind and body to pause periodically so that I'm able to keep going; if I didn't I would just crash.

The best way's in which I have found best is to listen to mindfulness meditations and soundscapes though I know this isn't for everyone. I find for me I really need to 'switch off' to allow my mind and body to just stop for a short while whilst I rest.

If this isn't for you and you find you have to still be doing something to rest some restful things I recommend include:

  • Colouring
  • Reading or flicking through a magazine
  • Taking a hot bath or shower
  • Watching easy watching TV shows or YouTube videos
  • Listening to the radio, a podcast or an audiobook
  • Easy to do crafts like knitting or crochet
Rest has proven health benefits including supporting mental and emotional wellbeing, easing pain, supporting the immune and cardiovascular systems and decreasing blood pressure.