I have been more tired than usual lately- and as someone who's usually tired, that's pretty darn tired! Every once in a while, I have a day where I spend more time sleeping than I do being awake, and I recently had one of those days. When my body is telling me that it needs to rest, I try to listen, and rather than beat myself up about "wasted time," I think of it as taking the time to recover so I can continue to be my best self.
One thing that Fibromyalgia has taught me is how important it is to not only make sure you're doing what it takes to make it through today, but to also make sure you're doing what it takes to make it through tomorrow, and the day after that. Self-care has become self-preservation.
As much as I hate to admit it, I can't do all of the things I'd like to do. I've been seeing doctors about chronic pain and other discomforting symptoms since I was 14 (my Fibromyalgia diagnosis came about 13 years later), so the disconnect between what my mind thinks I can do and what my body thinks I can do has pretty much always been there- but it doesn't make it any easier to manage. In this side-hustle/all-go-no-quit/glamorize-the-grind culture, it's not always easy to say, "No, I can't take that on, I need to take it easy for my health right now," and in this economy, it's not always possible. This the rock and hard place I find myself in this week.
When you have something like Fibromyalgia that can affect your physical/mental activity levels, it's important to find things you can do when you aren't feeling your best- because being bored and upset about not being able to do what you aren't able to do/used to be able to do/etc. isn't good for your mental health. Focusing on the things we can do that we enjoy is a great way to keep yourself grounded and away from what I call "the dark and swirly place." Gratitude over attitude, as I like to say! If you need some ideas on things you can do when you don't feel up to doing much, here's a list of some of my favorite Fibro-friendly activites:
When you have something like Fibromyalgia, it can be hard to do certain things; like physically keeping up with certain (high energy) people, or feel like you're able to really enjoy something without the worry of what it will cost you tomorrow - things like this often come up around holidays and I wanted to share what I did to celebrate the Fourth of July: Nothing. That's right. Nothing. I didn't feel up to the physical, emotional, or sensory activities that go along with the holiday, so I opted to stay at home- and it was fabulous! I chose to not feel guilty for cancelling plans because I did what was right for me, and I'd like to encourage you to cancel plans guilt-free when you feel like you need to. Not everyone will understand every time, but that's okay because you're taking care of yourself!
I started acting when I was a Freshman in college, but committing to a play is no small thing. Typically, you rehearse at night for 3-4 hours, Monday - Thursday for a about three months, then there are three or four (sometimes five) performances a week for 2 or 3 weeks; so it's about a 4 month commitment. As you can imagine, with Fibromyalgia and a full-time job, that isn't something you take on lightly, and in the last six years, I've only been able to commit to two plays- but if I had my way I'd do one a year.
The only reason I felt like I could commit to the play I'm rehearsing for now is because it has nowhere near the the schedule that I'm used to- it's only two hours twice a week!- and it was AMAZING to be able to finally be able to say, "I think I can actually do a play again! Finally!!"