I wonder if you’ve ever taken the time to think about what your favourite letter of the alphabet is?? No? Well let me tell you about mine.
When I was around 16 years old, I started to find the six week summer holiday less exciting than it had when I was younger. I had more autonomy than I’d had in the past, but still didn’t really have the means to do much other than spend time with my friends. One day, as a way to add a little more interest to our time, my friend Gillian and I decided that each day we were only going to eat things beginning with a certain letter. And that we’d work our way through the alphabet.
We started with A, which was a little boring. B was a bit better because we could have biscuits! And then we got to C…. Crisps, chocolate, candy, cheese, crackers, cola. It went on and on. And needless to say, we decided to stick at C for the rest of the holidays! (My diet wasn’t nearly as good back in those days)
And ever since then, the letter C has become my favourite. These days it’s not really because of food (although I do still like all of the above, I very much limit my intake!). No, nowadays it’s more about words that begin with C. Have you ever noticed how many lovely words beginning with C are particularly helpful when you’re on your fatigue journey? Well here are a few to pay attention to:
Curiosity - I’ve mentioned many times in previous articles and posts that this is my favourite word! I love everything about it…and I encourage all of you to choose to be ‘curious’ as you go forwards in your fatigue journey. Particularly when you’re about to try something new. If you go forwards with curiosity you’re more likely to be open minded about the results. Otherwise it’s easy to become very black and white - it’s all about right or wrong, success or failure etc. Whereas being ‘curious’ means you’re giving it a go. Of course you hope it *will* help…but if it doesn’t, you’re more likely to be in a mindset of accepting that at least you know now, and can move on and try something else.
Courage - something anyone tackling a fatigue journey needs in bucketfuls! Every day requires courage to get up, get going, and do what needs to be done. Anyone who’s been on a fatigue journey for a considerable time deserves a medal in my book!
Confidence - this is such an important thing to find. The early stages of a fatigue journey are often spent feeling bewildered, confused and often quite scared. You don’t know what’s happening, and you don’t know what will help. You start to cut back and back on the things you loved to do, because you just don’t know if or how you can do them. You become the opposite of confident. But it *is* possible to get that back! And the first step is to discover the helpful signs that are there to guide you, and to learn to crack pacing. Once you’ve figured out how much energy you’ve got, you can start to learn how to decide what to use it on. Easy in principle, tougher in practice. If you want some help with this, why not sign up for my Fatigue Reset course?
Calm - the vast majority of those who I’ve helped over the years, have had some type of nervous system dysregulation. People who had never had issues with stress or anxiety until then, often find themselves getting extremely heightened by things they’d have hardly spotted before. Perhaps a clumsily worded text from a friend, or someone being late for an appointment. Finding ways to get your nervous system back into balance and into a lovely resilient place again, is a crucial part of your fatigue rescue plan. Knowing how to get back into a calmer state is so important, and easier to do than many think.
Creativity - when you don’t have as much energy as you used to, but still have a few important tasks to achieve every day, you have to be creative about how and when you do them! As a fatigue coach, my approach is to help you try and find ways to do the things you really need (or want!) to do. I don’t simply tell you to eliminate everything - I show you how you can often still achieve things, just in a different way than usual. We get creative about it!
Careful - a certain amount of care needs to be applied every day when you’re on a fatigue rescue mission. Yes you can learn things that will help you make life feel a little easier again. Things like pacing, mindset management, nervous system regulation, healthy eating etc. But you need to DO them every day in order for them to help. And that takes discipline and care. You need to be careful every single day to do as many of the right things as you possibly can, and as few of the unhelpful things.
Celebrate - such an important word!! Improvements can be slow to achieve for many on a fatigue rescue journey, and it can be so easy to be too focussed on what’s still not right, and miss spotting the things that are already better. Celebrating the improvements you’ve already achieved, no matter how small, is so important. Often we don’t spot them ourselves, because they are slow to build. So why not ask those around you to let you know when they see that something is going better than it used to? And when you spot these things, CELEBRATE them!!! Slowly and surely, all of these small improvements join up and become lovely shifts in your level of wellness.
Cognitive - many people who come to me for help have already figured out that they need to be careful about their physical activity. They know that overdoing it physically can trigger symptoms and post exertional malaise (PEM). But what they are surprised to realise, is that these same symptoms can often be triggered by overdoing it cognitively. Filling our days with heavy brain tasks can be just as tiring for many people as overdoing it physically. Whether it be reading, watching tv, socialising, looking at screens. It doesn’t mean you can’t do any of these things, it just means you have to be smart about how much, and when. All part of your carefully created pacing plan!
Coaching - for some, this is the most helpful word of all. If you’re wondering how to master incorporating these lovely C words into your fatigue rescue plan, why not ask me to help? Visit www.pamelarose.co.uk to find out more about my fatigue coaching services. I’d love to help you!
For now, take care.
www.pamelarose.co.uk | Fatigue Coach