My hubby and I went to a Home and Garden show yesterday. We were a little disappointed because it wasn’t exactly what we expected, but we did have an opportunity to make some connections for some projects we need to have done around our home.
We have several things we want to do, but we can’t do them all at once. Since we’re not made of money and haven’t won the lottery, we have to prioritize. Part of that is figuring out what’s going to give us “the most bang for our buck.” Which project is going to have the biggest overall impact on our home’s comfort, value, etc.?
Just as my husband and I have to decide what’s going to benefit us the most in terms of investment vs. value added for our home, those of us who live with fibromyalgia or another chronic illness often have to prioritize self-care “projects.”
Doing the things we know will make us feel better is vital, but sometimes knowing there are so many different “projects” involved in giving us our best chance to feel better can become overwhelming.
With our limited energy resources and fluctuating pain levels, it’s hard to do everything at once. The good news is that we don’t have to.
It would be great to be able to do it all, but that’s not always realistic. So how do we figure out what to focus on if we’re limited to only doing one or two things? We just need to prioritize our self-care activities.
Sometimes asking ourselves a few questions can help. Here are some I use when trying to figure out where to focus my efforts:
- What’s going to make the biggest impact on my overall health? Asking this can help us figure out what’s going to help us most. All of our self-care activities are important, but not all have the same level of impact on our overall health.
- What do I have the energy to do? Just as my hubby and I have a finite amount of money in our bank account, when we live with chronic illness, we have a finite – and often limited – number of energy “dollars.” Making sure whatever we’re doing fits within our energy budget can help us be successful in completing our “project” and prevent the feelings of failure we often experience when we attempt to do things we simply don’t have the energy for.
- What will I be most likely to stick with over time? Consistency is key when we’re working to make health changes, so if we choose activities we can stick with, we increase our chances of making permanent, positive changes.
- What self-care activity might I enjoy more than others? This may not sound that important, but we’re much more likely to stick with things we enjoy. When we can do those things we enjoy and benefit ourselves in the process, it’s a double win.
Deciding which self-care activities should be given priority can help us do those things that are going to benefit us the most, especially during those times when we don’t feel up to doing much of anything. It can make sure we’re spending our limited resources in a way that gives us the most value.
Do you ever find yourself having to prioritize your self-care activities? What do you tend to focus on that helps you the most overall? Please share!