Things I’ve Learned (after Andrew Sugden)

chronic illness

If something isn’t working, try a different approach.

The small things are meaningful, enjoy them fully and without restraint.

Always keep a part of yourself close to your heart, just for you and no-one else.

Don’t give in to the sunk costs fallacy. It’s always okay to change your mind.

If you can’t eat something / do something / go somewhere, live vicariously through others. Enable the people you love to do the things they love, and bask in their joy.

It’s okay to take medication for your mental illness.

It’s okay to not take medication for your mental illness.

You are basically a houseplant. Go sit in the sun.

Sometimes there’s more than one thing going on with your health. Trust your gut. If you think something’s up, talk to your doctor. You might have an undiagnosed neurodevelopmental disorder (or maybe that’s just me heh).

Pets are good for you.

Boundaries are healthy. Learn to set them and protect them, and help the people you love do the same. Be a safe person to practice enforcing boundaries with.

Live life like a poet. Stare at the moon. Sing to the springtime air. Lie in the grass. Collect cool rocks. Write honestly and messily about your feelings.

Listen to your body. It knows what it needs.

the view from my regular rest spot

Read the post that inspired this one over on Andrew’s blog.

Rules for rest days

chronic illness

I can do the thing tomorrow, whatever “the thing” is. Hardly anything in life is so urgent that it has to happen right this minute.

There are different kinds of rest. I don’t have to stay in bed. But if I need to stay in bed, or if I want to, it’s okay to do so.

Small spontaneous activities and errands are okay, but if I have to ask myself if I should really be doing it on a rest day, the answer is probably no.

Sometimes I need more than one rest day in a row. That’s fine. Better to rest for a week when I need to, than to push myself to do Things and end up bedridden again. Because when I’m bedridden, Things aren’t even an option.

For me, with my health as it is right now, movement is not rest. Do not go for a walk, no matter how nice it is outside. Don’t do it. Go sit on the verandah and read a poem instead.

Breathe. Just breathe.