I’ve made some new rules for myself as of late, one being that I can only watch or listen to the news on the weekdays, and only once per day, either in the morning with morning coffee, or in the evening. There is so much on the news that can overwhelm us and cause us to end up feeling hopeless, for some it causes depression, and or anxiety. I like to know what is happening both locally and globally but find less is more, if something really important is happening I can tune in for updates, but otherwise I can focus on the positive things in my life, things that I can do, things that are within my control. I can speak out about other things when I feel I should. I can do my part, and I try to do that to the best of my ability and then leave it for God, the universe or whoever you might think needs to manage it. This has been working well as of late, I feel more peacefulness about me again, which is very important to me.
I have been also been given certain days to my advocacy work, it is so very important to me, but I am also giving myself permission to have more non – dementia days. I know I don’t ever really get a non dementia day, I live with it, 24 hours a day 7 days a week, but some days I need to focus just on regular things, like the beautiful November we are enjoying at the moment.
Having the ability and strength once again to enjoy some nice walks that are more than just a block. Being out walking and discovering whats new in my area, and I can do those things safely without putting myself at risk where covid is concerned. I also allow myself days where I have non covid days, where I don’t look at the numbers, I don’t talk about it, I just enjoy my days. I know how to be and keep myself as safe as I can, I cannot control what others are doing. I know its likely to be around for a long while yet, so some days just need to be free of covid discussions, etc.
Allowing myself these things without piling guilt on myself, which is something we all seem to be good at doing. Feeling as though we should be doing more, that theres so much to be done if we don’t stay on it 24/7 then it must mean we aren’t as committed to it. Yet in fact it is the exact opposite, when we give ourselves permission to rest and relax and give our brain a rest from all those things, we are giving it and ourselves a chance to recharge. We all or at least those of us living with dementia have learnt that our battery ( brain) drains and is depleted easier than in days gone by, yet somehow we still expect to do the same amount and more. So when we give our brain the time to recharge, and giving it things that are joyful, taking beautiful pictures, being out in Nature, laughter with friends and loved ones, it actually usually rewards us with the ability to do some of our work at a better and higher level. It has taken me a long time to settle with all this, yet at times I still must remind myself its ok, it does not mean I am less committed, but on the things that I want to commit to I want to be able to commit and be productive and be fully present.
So the weekends are mine, Friday through Sunday, to play, to relax, to rest, to recoup so that as I head into Mondays I can start the week off fresh. Like this morning, waking up refreshed, it’s 10:17 in the morning, I have already accomplished mush of my to do list, shortly I will head off for my Physio/pilates integration program, I love the program and the benefits I am seeing and am grateful to be able to go once again.I have learnt to take my responsibility to myself with has much importance as my commitments to the other areas of my life.
I was recently reminded that we must live until we die, not wait to die for it is what we do in on all the days in between that matter, for we will all die, bing given a terminal progressive illness like dementia, does not mean we should not longer live, just the opposite actually we should be living and doing all the things that matter to us, in ways that make sense for us. Live like you were dying for in fact we all are despite having a diagnosis or not.
So I hope that you can all find ways to embrace this new week we have been given, look for ways to bring the balance you need and want without guilt, without feeling like you don’t have time, without feeling like you have things that you have to do.