Finding balance in the ever-changing landscape of chronic illness

Once again I have fallen behind on my schedule for posting here. As my health has improved (ever so slightly) I’m again trying to find balance between actually doing things physically and mentally, and resting.

Over the last few weeks I have had quite a lot of very busy days (for me at least) mixed with a few days of having no energy to do anything at all. The number of crash days – days where I have no energy at all – do seem to be getting less each month according to my records, but I still haven’t hit the right balance and I’m still struggling to do a full day of anything really.

I have decided that in order to do more physical activity I’m going to have to cut back on my online activities for the next few months at least, as such I will be aiming for only one post here and one post over at LiveKen each week (only every second or so post on LiveKen will be written by me, though I am acting as editor for all other posts).

What physical activity am I wanting to increase?

  • Spending more time with family and friends – I’d like to spend at least one day a week actually out doing something with the people I care about. In the past few weeks I have managed dinner at a friends house, a trip to our local open range zoo with my sister and younger cousin, and tomorrow my sister is taking me and my mum out for a winery tour.
  • Housework – I’m slowly working up to be able to keep on top of this myself. Through de-cluttering and setting up routines I’m hoping to be able to maintain the house at a level that we only need the cleaners in once a month to keep on top of it.
  • Exercise – I’m still trying to build up my exercise levels. The housework has helped a lot with that, but I’d also like to be able to walk or ride my bike a lot more than I’m currently able to.

Other offline activities I would like to increase:

  • Drawing – I feel like although I always want to get more of the drawing done for the Foggy Frog picture book, I’m not always managing to fit in any during the week. My aim is to do two of the hand-drawn pictures a week until they are done and then work out the next steps for colouring them.
  • Study – I have an assignment due in 4 weeks for my uni course, and have not made much progress on the Training and Assessment Certificate so I’m going to be prioritising these for the next month or two when my brain is functioning. I can still only manage maybe 1-2 hours a day actually focusing and being productive in any mentally challenging activities.
  • Business Planning – I have begun working with a business advisor to work out the best way to promote the picture book and build on it with the LiveKen brand. I would like to allocate some more time to this.

Overall, I am trying to find a better balance between my online and offline life so that I’ll be better able to work towards returning to work as soon as possible. As I do this I do have to keep in mind that this illness has a mind of its own. I’m trying my hardest not to get my hopes and expectations up too high, but at the same time trying to challenge myself and not resign myself to where I’m at now.

This balancing act is a difficult one for anyone to achieve well, even without a chronic illness, so I will try to remember that rest is still my first and foremost priority and that I need to be gentle on myself. No matter how frustrating it may be my health must come first.

Have you found balance in your life?

What is or isn’t working for you?