When you have all the time in your hands but, for whatever the reason, there is only little you can do, you start to think through another perspective. Using a Holistic Health approach has been helping me.
Because of my brain tumor surgery, I had to change my pace. Here are the 7 things I have learned through slowing down.
Where I am now
My mom has always said I do not like things the easy way and she (as all mothers) is right.
Just sitting around doing nothing is something I cannot enjoy.
For me, the time has always been too precious to be wasted. I must be active, productive, or else I will get bored easily.
Note that doing “something” can go from working out to reading a book, but I need to be occupied somehow.
The trick about my revalidation is that until further notice, I cannot do much physical activity.
Being frank: I can pretty much sit and lay down, for now, that is all.
I haven’t dared to walk around the place for longer than the minimum necessary yet because it has already been tiring enough to me.
Watching TV or even writing a blog like this one is not a piece of cake either because my concentration span is still limited too.
7 things I have learned through slowing down my pace after a brain surgery. #recovery Click To Tweet
So what then when you are a busy bee? What can you do?
So this week so far has been an incredible opportunity for me to take a step back and become more mindful of life around me.
Here are 7 things I have learned through slowing down my pace so far:
1. Develop Patience
Exactly how long my full revalidation will last is something I do not know yet. My first appointment with my surgeon will be on May 19th, 2015.
Only after that I will (hopefully) get the green light to get slowly back to my routine or, at least have some plan put together.
Until then, I have to exercise one of my weaknesses: patience.
Waiting is all I can do for now.
Even though it is not like I am just lying down like a lazy cat all day long, I am not my usual multi-tasking Debbie either.
And it is OK…
Patience is indeed a virtue, and I am taking advantage of the opportunity to appreciate it.
After long days in the office and evenings (and sometimes also mornings) working out, I am accustomed to leaving a lot to do on the weekends.
In other words: the days fly by, and I am just rushing from a to-do to another.
Under such conditions, even the healthiest person on the planet will crash after some time.
It may not show up immediately, but chances are their metabolism is getting messed up, and inflammation is taking over.
During my leave, I am focusing exclusively on healing, especially in holistic health.
No work, no stress, no rush.
Eating well and getting enough rest is the only thing that matters and it is helping me recharge my depleted batteries.
3. Try New Things
When one’s agenda is packed, all that they wish for is that nothing comes in between and that they have the chance to do. If not everything, at least as many planned tasks as possible.
There is no time for creativity or spontaneity.
The result is falling into a (safe) repetitive pattern without any room for improvisation.
Because I don’t have the handcuffs of endless appointments keeping me down, I can:
- Try new recipes (even if I have to find the closest chair every 3 to 5 minutes).
- Browse different radio stations just because.
- Watch all cat vids on YouTube (not ALL of them, but you know what I mean…).
It may not be exciting as going for a walk in the forest, but that is what I can do, and I am enjoying it.
4. Have Clear Thoughts
Being constantly on the top of everything is an impossible task, but we try it anyway.
Technology makes our life easier at the same time it overwhelms us with information of all kind, anywhere, anytime, in different formats.
I’m guilty of watching TV using my laptop at the same time and always having my smartphone or tablet within reach.
At the moment, there is only this much I can deal with at the same time without getting the urge of taking a nap.
So if I want to spend at least a few hours of the day awake the best thing I can do is clear my thoughts.
5. Be Mindful
“Mindfulness means to maintain a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment”(1).
I discover the term years ago through Zen Meditation, but outside the ZaZen sessions, I have always struggled to practice it.
There are different ways to reach this state of mind. Some use prayer, other chants, and visualization exercises to assist them to achieve it.
Ideally, however, we should be mindful, present, aware, every single moment of the day.
If I am trying to put together my grocery list while writing this blog, I’m not mindful.
Not focusing on The Now is much more exhausting that you can imagine. Also, it will probably damage your productivity as well.By being at peace with your #mind and taking good care of your #body, you… Click To Tweet
6. Reevaluate Priorities
The fact is: at least in the beginning of my revalidation, the amount of energy I can spend and the number of things I can do is very limited.
Things will (probably) get a little better once the clips are removed, but, still, I won’t be able to start training for a 5k race just yet.
The solution in such cases is looking at the things I can do and at the ones I want to do and prioritize them.
While I normally can do social media, write one to two blogs a day and workout when I am at home. There are days I have to pick one task to do in the morning and another, in the afternoon, and that is it!
No nagging in the world will make any difference (patience is number one in this list for a reason), so why not saving energy for something else?
7. Enjoy Me-Time
When you are not overdoing things, your batteries are recharged, and your thoughts are in the present moment; you have the chance to enjoy your companion fully.
When you are at peace with your mind and taking good care of your body, you are exercising self-love.
Since I’m not rushing from one appointment to another, I’m granting myself the chance to be my sole partner and it is being a genuinely pleasant experience.
Probably because I know it isn’t an indefinite state, I am getting the most out of this me-time until I am back to civilization again.
Your time down doesn’t have to take months like mine, but if you can save a weekend to pace yourself, please do so.
Afterward, you will be back reenergized, and the experience will prove itself worthy.
Also published on Medium.