Sometimes we are overwhelmed by what is the most important thing to do for recovery from Fibromyalgia, ME/CFS (chronic fatigue syndrome), POTS or MCS. So I share my thoughts and experience around this in this short recovery snippet.
|What is the most important thing for recovery intro||0:00:00|
|An important caveat||0:02:28|
|More important than the external healing environment||0:04:15|
|How to deal with challenges around triggers affecting internal healing environment||0:04:59|
|Further resources to address internal healing environment||0:08:47|
Here is a link to the ANS REWIRE program.
Chandy asked this and said “too many things can be daunting and feel like too much effort” – well, many of us have been there – i know i have.
So i am going to share what i feel is the most important thing towards healing from me/cfs, fibromyalgia or pots and how people often do the exact opposite despite their best intentions.
Over the last 10 years, i have supported thousands of people seeking recovery from this illness and when people change this one thing, they often suddenly make their breakthrough.
And that one thing is creating a healing environment. Surprised? Do you actually know what that really means?
Much of what you might read about healing environments is only partially right in my view and often focussed on the wrong aspect.
So, a healing environment can be defined as one that has a nurturing. This age-old concept and there are numerous scientific papers and the impact of the environment of hospitals and their impact on recovery time, and their pain has been scientifically measured.
Most people hence only look at the physical environment. And they are doing things like:
Incorporating elements of nature like rocks, natural materials, plants and maybe things like aquariums or water features.
Having comfortable furniture, cushions, an environment with the right temperature
Having low noise level, maybe soothing background sounds like a fireplace or water
Having soothing calming colour schemes.
But let’s face it, we are not building a nursing home or hospital here – right? We live in our homes and don’t necessarily have the resources to transform our homes into some kind of utopia.
So before I go into this whole other often untapped area, the first thing to realise is that any changes you make, they don’t need to be ideal or perfect. In fact, they are often much better if you don’t do them perfectly – now more about that shortly.
The thing to realise is that small changes can actually have a big impact. Thinks like dressing appropriately. Being comfortable, having something in your the space that brings you comfort; like maybe a cushion, a pillow or blanket, or playing some water in a background music device, using noise cancelling headphones or listening to a nice audio track.
But it’s not just about changing your home, you can change where you spend your time. Can you spend your time in a different place that you find more calming and nurturing? Someone else’s home? Or maybe another part of your home? The garden? The balcony? Or maybe you can transform a space into a special nice space?
And of course as you can see from this video, what about spending more time in nature?
What else can you do?
Now if you have some ideas, please share a comment below with your ideas and like other people’s ideas that you find most interesting.
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Ok, so back to the healing environment for recovery.
There is actually a much much more important way of creating a healing environment then these strategies with your physical space.
Just reflect on your experience for a moment. Since you were sick, have you found that you were irritated, anxious, uncomfortable or triggered? Did you find sounds sights, people and other things uncomfortable?
And of course, many of the things you might find uncomfortable or triggering or anxiety provoking – things that make you feel physically unwell – many of these things can’t be avoided.
In fact, some of those things may even be part of your efforts to get well again, right?
So how do you deal with all that?
We tend to think of most problems in a one-sided way – as solely being the uncomfortable things we are exposed to, but actually it also has to do with the feelings or how we experience these things.
Let’s face it, life with chronic illness is difficult. Over time, we can lose our way and become more vulnerable. Things that wouldn’t have been a big deal when we were well, suddenly become a major stressor
Things like the electricity going off, phone service being interrupted. And things that should help us, like an appointment with a health care professional or doing some recovery action like a new diet, a treatment or something else.
Changing how you experience these things, the rules in your mind of how things should play out – these all affect your internal environment.
These all affect your overall healing environment for the same reasons that the external elements affect your ability to heal – like in hospitals as discussed. And it’s because your immune system and other systems are regulated by your autonomic nervous system.
I remember during my years of illness how easy it was to get stressed, sad, angry and so on. I have to do this – this is so hard, i don’t like doing this….is that a healing environment?
Many times our response is, “but i have to” or “ I have no choice” or “how else am I going to get better”. Let’s face it, some things just have to be done – right?
Well – sort off, sometimes that needs some re-evaluation.
Look, in the end, it isn’t always about what we do, but how we do it.
Often you can choose how you engage in things – to what extent you engage in them and in what time. When you deal in absolutes, it quickly becomes stressful.
So what’s the solution to creating a healing environment?
Well the first big steps are ones you have already just taken. Awareness! If you can see it, you don’t have to be it – right?
So simply recognising all these issues means that you can explore for ways of changing your physical and internal environments – this is a huge step forward when most of us are all caught up in dealing with the problems and tasks we face.
Another step you can take, is to find a more flexible to whatever takes you away from experiencing a calm, nurturing healing environment. Even if you are uncertain what impacts this would has on your physical well-being, I think you will quickly agree that it will at a minimum help you to cope better with the difficulties associated around chronic illness.
Now In a moment i will point out one more resource for you.
But first i wanted to point out that there is another video with more ideas on how to reduce the discomfort, stress or upset we experience when seeking recovery with new, sometimes multiple recovery strategies that we try.
Many of us get into that spot where it all feels too much - so make sure you check that video out, subscribe and click the notification button so you don’t miss it. Once it out, i will link it in the description below. Or just come and visit me on YouTube.
So, that other resource; well, I would encourage you to check out a particular recovery interview video that I found interesting. Katie shared with me some years ago about how she changed how she approached her ME/CFS recovery to create a healing environment.
People think that rest is laying down, well if that was true, i would have rested most of the years that I was chronically ill, which wasn’t the case. Katie shares that it wasn’t so much about what she did, but how she thought about it to transform her experience. Check out the link below and come visit the website and you can also check out some of the other recovery resources.Remember that whilst there may not be one single thing that will magically cure you, there are many many tiny steps that can help you move in the right direction. Little steps. Until next time, remember, make every choice your best choice.
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