A Year of Growth – Week 20 – Spare time with Chronic Illness

Living with chronic illness generally means you have a lot of down time and often there are some pretty intense criteria around what you are and aren’t up to doing… and yet often we still need to be doing something. Lying in bed unable to move can be pretty boring stuff, and well, brains like stimulation.

So we’ve already ruled out anything particularly energy intensive, though whether I’m referring to mental energy, physical energy or both could depend on the day… I’ve noticed that a lot of people tend to get home, flick on the T.V and stare aimlessly at the box when they’re low on energy. I don’t have a T.V but one of my favourite ways to spend my “me” time is on my computer. If I’m up to sitting at my desktop I have an endless selection of games to choose from to suit any mood I could imagine, or if I’m bed bound then I still have a fair few that I can play on my laptop. Maybe I’m physically exhausted but my mind is still active? Writing or drawing can be done easily from bed with minimal exertion. If I can make it to the couch we have multiple Playstations and a Nintendo Switch to choose from, or perhaps some Pokémon or Zelda on my Nintendo 3DS. Even my phone has a realm of games I can play, most fairly mindless if I just can’t be bothered thinking. So many choices, but what if I have a headache and can’t stand the thought of screens?

Reading is a great option for days when I’m mentally alert but often I’ll find my eyes unable to stay open or my mind unable to unscramble the letters running wildly around the page. If there is someone else around then maybe just chatting is a good option (it helps if they know that your eyes being shut doesn’t mean you’re not listening…), or maybe doing some simple craft like making a card, scrapbooking some photos, knitting, crochet, cross stitch – all can be fairly mindless tasks if you let them be. Even a gentle walk, or simply sitting outside can be a great way to get fresh air and liven up, just don’t forget that walking stick!

What do you do to fill in time when you simply don’t have the energy?

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This post is Part 20 of 52 in the series – A Year of Growth.

The series is a celebration of the first anniversary of The Truth About M.E and is designed to help me grow through my illness throughout my second year of blogging. I look forward to having you along for the journey! 

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