It is important to push myself so I can gain back some strength and energy.
chronic illness,  Self Care

The Art of Knowing How Hard to Push Yourself

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I have been tapering off of my last seizure medication and I have not been feeling well because of it. I have been requiring a lot more rest during the day, having headaches that are not migraine related and having some major stomach issues. To say that the process of weaning meds isn’t fun is an understatement! It is important to push myself so I can gain back some strength and energy but it is easy to cross the line and push too hard.

How to push yourself without pushing too hard:

  • Set small goals for each day. My goals are probably seen by others as not even worthy of being considered a goal. When you have a chronic illness that has limited your energy you go back to the basics. Bathing, brushing your hair, getting dressed are perfectly acceptable small goals when have limited energy.
  • Set 1 or 2 weekly goals. These are the goals that require more energy than the small goals. By setting weekly goals, you are giving yourself an automatic cushion. There is no pressure if you have a few really bad days because you have 7 days to complete these goals. Examples of a weekly goal is to cook dinner twice this week (crock pot cooking is perfect!), pick one cluttered spot in the house and organize it or choose to start a craft project.
  • Pace yourself. The faster you go, the more energy you use. Take an hour to do something that should take you 30 minutes. It is not going to bring the world down around you. Stop and take breaks if you need to. Remember that life is a marathon…not a sprint.
  • Do not shame yourself if you don’t meet your goals. Life with chronic illness is unpredictable and there will be bad days and weeks that require you to change the plan. It really is ok and not the end of the world! Just shift those goals to the next day or the next week.

What happens if you push too hard?

Pushing too hard is the worst thing you can do. Trying to accomplish more than your body can tolerate can cost you days, maybe even weeks, of productive time. Hitting your “wall” is not healthy physically or mentally and recovering from it will take longer than if you had just stopped for a short rest.

I realize that sometimes you have no choice but to push yourself harder than you would like. I did that last Christmas because I was trying not to miss any of the fun on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so I pushed myself really hard. I did make it but after we got home Christmas evening I physically collapsed with exhaustion. It took me 2 weeks to recover from those 2 days. I wouldn’t have changed anything about it but it is a great example of what pushing too hard can lead to.

It is important to push myself so I can gain back some strength and energy.What things do you do to make sure you don’t push yourself too hard?

 

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23 Comments

  • Janita

    Great post!! Pushing yourself too hard can actually do more harm than good. I always try to remember to take a little time for myself, if I put too much on my shoulders I end up doing way less than I originally wanted and end up feeling like I failed! These are great tips, that everyone should follow!

  • Joan

    So true, pacing yourself is so important. I can definitely relate to your Christmas story. Last year I pushed myself way to hard and wound up with pneumonia and flat on my back for weeks. It was terrible and could have easily become more serious. Lucky for me I recovered, but learned my lesson for sure. I try harder now to listen to my body when it begins to tell me (gently) to stop. I didn’t used to listen til it was screaming!

  • Alyssa

    Fantastic post! It is so important to know our limits. I often try to push myself way too hard and that just causes me so many more issues. I am learning to pace myself, but often I fail at that!

    • The Frozen Mind

      My husband actually gave me the strangest look when I told him about this post. I come from a long line of stubbornness and this one is just hard for me!

  • Lisa McLachlan

    Such a great post, it really struck a chord with me. I think it’s so hard to know when to slow down or even stop. We need to give ourselves permission to not always tick everything off our lists. Thank you for sharing and I hope your journey with your meds and weaning off becomes easier in time. x

    Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com

  • Anjhanee

    I try and tell my boyfriend this all the time, although I’m guilty of it sometimes too. I set small weekly goals and sometimes daily goals as well. I find that it helps to keep the goals small, and increase on them as time goes on. Lovely post! (:

    • The Frozen Mind

      Thank you for the wonderful comment!

      Most men are too stubborn…I notice that you said you “try” to tell him. 😂

  • JP

    I have a bad habit of pushing myself too hard. I think knowing your limits and knowing when to slow down can be helpful. Great post!

  • Jennifer Dawn

    I can totally relate! I have been chronically ill for the last decade, which lead to my blogging. It is sometimes difficult to find balance when you need to work to try and pay for treatments so that you can get better. I spent 8.5 months in a lazy boy going through withdrawals from my medications.

  • Kate Findley

    I can definitely relate to this as I have epilepsy myself. In fact, I wasn’t born having seizures but started having them just a few years ago and I think the main reason was pushing myself too hard. I would push myself to stay awake and write one more page when I was tired and ready to sleep and that’s when the seizures would happen. Since then, I have learned to pace myself and take breaks when needed.

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