With fibromyalgia, you have to learn to take care of yourself, honor your body, and know your limits. Unfortunately, I used to treat my body like it was a donkey that was there to do my bidding. I would push it and prod it and force it to do what I needed it to do. In fact, I treated my body just like many people treat their computers or offices, “Why won’t this darn thing work right? I’ll show it who’s boss!” No wonder my body responded by often not supporting me the way I needed it to… and by being as stubborn as an ass!
A couple months ago, Jennifer Hofmann of Inspired Home Office wrote, “10 reasons why self care is good for your business,” an article which includes a definition for the four kinds of self care. It reminded me that nearly everything I know about self care, I learned from Jennifer. Working with her on my office really put me in tune with “what do I need?” (One of Jen’s favorite questions.) It also gave me practice in actually listening to that still small voice that knows what I truly need. I noticed that when I gave myself what I needed — nourishing my body, spirit, soul, and mind — my fibromyalgia started to get better.
Noticing that I needed clear space on my desk translated to clear space on my calendar, which gave my body time and space to heal.
Being gentle with how I viewed my “in process” office translated to being gentle with my body that’s “in the process” of healing.
Noticing that when I was stressed out about being two months behind on my finances and what I truly needed at that moment was to take a long hot bath, translated into a breakthrough in how I listen to and treat myself in times of stress. I realized that I actually end up with less pain when I listen to my needs and take care of myself with compassion. (You might say that the donkey responds better to sweet talk than pushing and prodding!)
A year and a half ago I got stuck in Jen’s Inspired Organizing class because I’d started working on painting my office and ended up in a fibro flare. Since I couldn’t finish painting, my office was a disaster. I ended up finishing the class in my living room working on my laptop. I was frustrated! Jen worked with me and we found things that I could work on that didn’t require me to be in my office. I organized my email. I dreamed of cherry blossoms, which took on a whole new significance. I was reminded to pace myself and be gentle with myself. I was reminded that even on the days I feel great, I’m not quite “there” yet.
Since that class, I’ve been able to come off of nine medications and haven’t had even one flare. (And yes, my office is painted and I’ve moved back in!)
Some of my improvements are because of things that my doctor and I have been working on. My doctor, however, says that 90% of it is me doing “the hard part” — the daily walk of taking my supplements, going to bed on time, eating right, watching my energy level, etc. Self care.
I highly recommend reading Jennifer’s article, even if you don’t have a business of your own; it’s just good advice to help you live your life. Then, if you struggle with clutter or organization in your home or office and long to find a compassionate way to deal with it, please take one of the Inspired Home Office classes. Finding Jennifer in Twitter literally changed my life!
If you want to read more on self care, I suggest reading my series about honoring your body:
- First Commandment of Healing: Don’t be an Ass. Honor Your Body.
- Honoring Your Body: Getting to Know YOU
- Honoring Your Body: Practical Advice, Part 1
- Honoring Your Body: Practical Advice, Part 2