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I had someone email me recently in regards to my new journey of living with a chronic illness. She was recently diagnosed with an autoimmune disease and was tired of feeling so useless on her really bad days. So we talked about things to do on a bad brain day.
While I am still very new to the Spoonie world, about a year now officially, I know how lost I felt and still feel on my really bad days. Going from a 12 or 16 hour day to sometimes only an hour or two of energy in a whole day. It can push you to feel useless or lazy. Which is NOT the case. Our bodies are fighting a battle inside that nobody else can see, but we can feel it. It’s on those days, that we have to remember to give ourselves grace. A whole lot of extra self care and compassion!
Things you CAN DO on a bad brain day
This is a list of things to keep handy, so on the days when the brain fog won’t lift, you have a gentle reminder, that there are still things you can do.
- Yoga or stretching
- Light cleaning – dusting, sweeping, laundry
- Color – yep! With crayons, or markers or my favorite, gel pens.
- Take a bath – self care is important!
- Low Energy/Relaxing Hobby- crochet, painting, photography
- Light reading
- UNPLUG – this should be at the top of the list! Social media and too much computer time can cause stress on our eyes and our brains that we don’t realize is affecting us until we just don’t feel good.
Some of these you may look at and think I’m crazy, but giving our brains a break, doesn’t always mean our bodies don’t need to move. I have days when my vision is worse then others, so coloring or crochet is really out of the picture, but walking around the house with the dust mop (we have a lot of hardwood floors and doing a load of laundry or 2, is doable. And sometimes, I just need a nudge to remind me, there are still things I can do. It’s why I keep this list handy for my Plan B days 🙂
There will be days that the body and brain are both tired, give yourself the time you need to rest and remember that tomorrow is another day. Most important thing you can do on a bad day, give yourself grace!
Things NOT to do on a bad brain day
- Pay the bills
- Spend hours scrolling social media
- Plan the next home project
- Deep clean or sort things
- Cook a big meal
- Don’t fight the fog, it will just mean more recovery time
I learned the hard way a few months ago, not to force my brain to do more than it could. Because for a couple of months I was fighting against this illness and pushing myself to do as much as I could everyday. Which led to me losing much of my ability to walk or talk for a while. Luckily, with a few weeks, yes, weeks! of rest, I am walking good again and my speech is ok again.
These autoimmune diseases and chronic illnesses, they aren’t things we can fight against or ignore and they’ll go away. Our bodies are fighting from the inside and if we are going to have good days, we have to learn to manage whatever symptoms that get thrown at us.
Do you have a bad brain day list of things you do? I would love to hear what others do on days the brain fog just won’t lift.
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