I had my third appointment on Friday. I'm still completing my activity diaries and we talked about how I'm breaking my days up a bit better i.e. not having such big chunks of medium or high energy activities and am switching between mental and physical tasks. I'm definitely thinking more about what I'm doing during the day and prioritising what needs to be done and what can wait. I really notice my instant reaction to things that happen that are stressful and how my body and mind responds to them. My therapist spoke about how the body is often on 'high alert' in ME and sufferers reactions to stress are amplified, which I can really relate to. Pre-ME I would become nervous or stressed but now I feel like the slightest stress makes me feel quite disconnected, brainfogged and anxious which then leaves me feeling drained minutes, hours or days afterwards. It's funny though as most people who know me say that I never really look that distressed but I have a habit of internalising things..So to break that cycle I've learned that I need to delegate tasks to my other half so I'm not taking everything on, leaving things that don't need to be actioned straight away and practising more relaxation. I also need to stay in the moment and not start catastrophizing (I know I've slipped into CBT talk now....) I think that's where mindfulness would be really helpful.
We also chatted about exercise. I'm having to give up my yoga class due to moving house and the location of the class which is a real shame as I've been finding it very helpful. I'm on the lookout for another though and in the meantime have ordered the Beat Fatigue with Yoga DVD which I've used in the past and would recommend. The therapist has given me some stretches to do and if I get on ok with them then we'll look at some others at the next appointment. She's been adapting them to a yoga style which makes them a bit more interesting to do.
So until the next appointment the main focus is to be more zen like :)
Photo: taken at Lake Como September 2012