The Slight Edge for Daily Resolve to Fight CFS/ME

By on June 30, 2011 in Activity, Books, Headspace with 4 Comments

How easy it is to know the basic theory of recovery – pace yourself, regular exercise, eat well, take supplements etc etc – but how difficult it is to actually put it into practice.  That’s my story!

In fact, I’m sorry it’s been over a month now since my last blog.  Doh! Time has got away from me.  I’ve been working on a new business venture which has taken my eye off the Green Girl ball… just temporarily.  But I’m back and planning on keeping you updated weekly so if you havn’t already sign up for my email updates, please do so!

All my best intentions often fall slightly short of my goals, well sometimes significantly short!  But you know the fact that I actually have daily goals such as good sleep, take supplements, drink 2L of water, 10 minutes of exercise, regular nutritional food etc, means that I am somewhat moving towards a better place.  As long as I keep getting back on the bandwagon, regardless of my failure rate, then I should inevitably get to that better place.

A book I read recently has really helped me to sharpen my resolve around doing those things daily that are important for my recovery.  The book by Jeff Olsen is called ‘The Slight Edge’.  It’s a great little book.  Jeff points out that it’s what we repeat regularly or repeatedly avoid that determine whether we are on a trajectory for success or failure, eg if we do our daily exercise we are working towards success, if we regularly skip our excercise then we are working towards failure.  Makes pretty easy sense.  The thing that woke me up a bit was that it is often the things that are easy to do, but also easy not to do that actually make the difference.

Not saying that for those of us with CFS/ME it’s easy to do the exercise, cook good food, stick to the daily activities we know will help us.  But it is often very easy not to do them and when I look at it on a daily basis its actually pretty easy to do that 10 minutes of exercise or go to bed at 8.30pm etc, its just also pretty easy not to!

So each week I’ve got my list of daily actions which I check off and some weeks I’m firing, kicking goals, but then some weeks, like last week, I fall pretty short.  But each Sunday I check out how I’ve gone, reset my goals and get prepared for next week.  I’m working on developing good daily habits, small progressions to give me the ever so slight edge that continues to move me in a positive direction.

Writing on my Green Girl Fights Fatigue blog has certainly helped to remind me of the management practices that I need to keep focussed on.  Hey, I’m basically telling the world what I think the answers are so I have to keep going back and applying them even when I want to mig out!

I’d love to hear how other people keep themselves vigilant around the things that work for you and how you get back on the horse when you fall off.

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  1. Hiya Green Girl, I think it comes down to being kind to yourself – whether you’re kicking your goals or not. Know that all those small daily goals are how you treat yourself and your body with respect. And then, when things fall apart (as they do), be kind to yourself and accept that yes, you’ve strayed a little, but now it’s time to get back on track. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking hideous things about yourself: lazy, stupid, hopeless. You wouldn’t say these things to a friend, so don’t say them to yourself. Maybe there are people out there who plod along on a smooth trajectory, reaching one goal after another like they’re playing nintendo. But for most of us, success comes in bursts or waves – and that’s ok.

    • Green Girl Mel says:

      Very Wise words and need I say – ‘Down to Earth’. Thanks a lot for your comments I agree whole heartedly, we are human and we’re always going to stay from perfection, but that is perfectly ok….its how we manage to pick ourselves back up that counts.

  2. kerry says:

    hi green girl. i do like the simple suggestion of jeff olsen’s. i have been off my gentle yoga for a couple of months and promising myself that any day now i will get back to it. the thing that keeps me idle is that there is a strong reward for not exercising. whenever i stop exercising i notice pretty quickly that i don’t have the constant aches and pains anymore. such a beautiful experience that i am reluctant to go back. i’ve had this experience over and over through the years. and yet i have also learned the hard way that immobility is my enemy. this cycle tends to end when pain takes over again and i need to exercise to loosen up the stiff joints.

    and yes i agree with down to earth that we need to be gentle. i have a harping voice at the back of my mind that nags and accuses. often it has become such a background constant that i don’t even consciously notice it. yet it is having the effect of wearing me down. i was listening to buddhist teachings by tara brach last night talking about unconditional friendliness to onesself. she asks us to consider what keeps us from being compassionate towards ourselves. she now makes the habit of noticing her pain and just stopping for a moment to say “you’re suffering, i’m sorry”. so today i am trying to remember this practise and so far it is deflecting the hurtful arrows.

    • Green Girl Mel says:

      Hi Kerry, thanks for your very honest message. Sounds like you also have Fibromyalgia, which I can’t say I’ve really had. I have got the occassionally ankle and wrist pain and it does show up when I’ve pushed myself a bit the day before or havn’t had enough sleep. So I can totally understand if that was worst that i’d be pretty reluctant to do the yoga and exercise too. With the yoga I really stick to restorative poses, which I will do a post about very soon. Some days if I’m really not up to it I simply do a couple of resting poses. I’ve found that the legs up the wall pose (very technical term there!) is really great for helping my body to feel better.
      Sounds like you are on the right track with being compassionate to yourself. I try to remember that my first priority is healing and getting myself to a better place and so whatever needs to be done to help myself, its first on the list. Well that is the theory anyway. I have to keep reminding myself of that.
      When I do the exercise I tend to do it one day for a really short period of time and then rest for a couple of days. I do find that my energy is less the next day and I might be a little sore, but overall it does help me. Keep an eye out for my Self-Help Challenges that I’ll be running soon. You might like to join in with something.
      Thanks again for your comment.
      Mel

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