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On trying to relax

June 12, 2016

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The past few months have been a struggle for my body and my mind. An endless search to calm both, and the seemingly impossible task of getting them across the finish line at the same time. It seems so hard, I forget how it used to happen.

Living with chronic illness changes the importance and value placed on yourself. It means changing plans when I really, really don’t want to. It often means feeling like somewhat of a recluse, feeling trapped and frustrated. It means doing things that before would have seemed too indulgent, too selfish. A waste of good, productive time. But now these days have crept over into a necessity, and it’s difficult (so difficult) to adjust and understand that.

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I’ve found that becoming aware of sight, sounds, smells, has been a huge comfort. Hot baths filled with marshmallow bubbles, a candle on the side, music playing in the background. A vase of flowers in my lounge; bright, fresh flowers that bring a smile to my face whenever I see them. Bright, in contrast to the stark white that surrounds them. Sweet candles. Hand cream, applied throughout the day, with the comforting scent of orange oil. I can’t recommend this hand cream enough. I’ve found hot yoga to be incredibly helpful. An hour (or more) spent alone in a room full of people, focusing on letting go, and letting my body learn new things. I’ve had another hot stone massage.

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My body is tired but my mind is not, and guess who wins? I’ve always found sleeping difficult when I have a lot on my mind. Everything seems a little clearer in the morning, it seems that a lot of my worries simply slip away as I sleep, but those hours before it arrives are intense. Breathing techniques learnt in yoga have helped a lot. During the day, if I find stress building up, I’ve put together a playlist of music to listen to. Music like The Wild Reeds, Micah P Hinson and Laura Stevenson.

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Although sunshine is so good for the soul, dark clouds and wet skies make for justifiable afternoons spent at home, on the sofa with almond hot chocolate. Bad weather doesn’t take away all of the should’s, but it silences some of them, and right now I’ll take that.

What do you do to relax?
Any tips for an over-active mind at night?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 12, 2016 7:36 pm

    I’ve found the 4-7-8 breathing technique really helps when I just can’t switch off. Takes a couple of weeks to get the hang of it.

    • June 21, 2016 1:47 pm

      Ooh, I’ve not heard of the 4-7-8 breathing technique – thank you! Will have to look it up.

  2. June 15, 2016 2:00 pm

    So sorry to hear you are facing such challenges Christina and I can empathise as I struggle with several chronic conditions and all the accompanying stress and anxiety. I’ve had a bit of counselling this year which has helped and I’m also half way through the Breathworks Mindfullness for Health course which I highly recommend. Two friends of mine had done it and recommended it to me and I’m really starting to find the techniques helpful, especially when I wake in the night! They do them all over the country, mainly at Buddhist Centres though the course is not religious at all. You’ve expressed things so well in this post! I have found stopping and trying to make time to relax so difficult as I have blocked things and ploughed on for such a long time until I just couldn’t anymore. You sound like you are doing all the right things. Keep up the self care and I’ll be thinking of you xxx

  3. July 2, 2016 9:55 pm

    Sorry to hear about the chronic issues. Good luck trying to find a therapy.

  4. July 18, 2016 8:25 am

    Just to let you know I love you.
    x

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