O.k. Maybe it’s not JOY, like jumping up and down joy, or going on vacation joy, or skiing a powder day joy, but it certainly makes a difference in your amount of mental suffering you do or don’t have when you get sick.
You see, there is pain and there is suffering. Pain/discomfort is not optional, it’s part of what comes with the package of having a human body. But suffering, well, that’s optional. Suffering is your mental state, the one that says, “this sucks” because if that’s what you believe, then that’s what you’ll experience.
Last week I woke up with a sore throat. “Oh crap,” I thought. “I don’t want this.” Then the thoughts went on, “I have a presentation to give today. I have meetings to attend. I have clients to see that are counting on me…” and the list went on.
I noticed what was going on in my head. And it wasn’t just in my head, I was feeling a contraction in my body, everything was going tight. That’s when I knew I was resisting WHAT IS.
I was resisting that I was getting a cold. It was like a 2 year old repeating, “NO, NO, NO, NO, NO.” Only I’m 43 (I get to turn 44 on Sunday!).
Could I change the fact that I was getting sick? Probably not. Could I have a different attitude about it? YES.
So out came my wisdom. Or I like to call her my Inner Goddess and Coach. She always knows what’s best. She said, “Angela, it’s o.k. that you’re getting sick. Everything is o.k. You can reschedule the meetings, and your clients will understand.”
Phew, I took a deep breath and new she was right.
What did I do in that moment? Here’s the one word for enjoying your illness: SURRENDER.
I surrendered. I opened to WHAT IS. My body was teaching me this important lesson in that moment. Your body teaches this lesson through aging. How much do you resist aging? How much do you resist the thought of dying? These are the only two knowns that we have in life – aging and death. Freedom comes from learning to surrender, over and over and over again to whatever you are resisting in this moment.
After being sick for two years (read that story here), and a weakened immune system for another 3 years, where a common cold would put me in bed for 3-4 weeks at a time, I’m so grateful I’m now only sick for a week.
What I share below is what I’ve learned from spending many years sick, and how I learned to actually enjoy it by surrendering.
8 steps to actually enjoying your sick time:
- Stop saying, “This sucks,” about being sick. It doesn’t help, and it doesn’t change WHAT IS.
- Thank your body for having the immune system for fighting the virus. This is a gift.
- Open to the reality of being sick: your body needs rest. It’s time to stop and be. Leave the “doing” at the back door for as long as you need to feel healthy again.
- Let go of the guilt and ask for help. This is for Mom’s who are use to taking care of others. This is your time to be taken care of. Embrace it. You have done nothing wrong in getting sick. Remember that you are human too.
- Sleep as much as you need to. I use to not use any drug when I was sick. Now I know better. Cough suppressants, decongestants, and fever reducers are GREAT. I am not prescribing them, use your own judgment here.
- Take a hot bath or shower every day. The steam is great for your sinuses and chest, and feeling clean adds an emotional lift to your heart.
- Watch some great movies. It’s time to settle in and enjoy.
- Cuddle with your pets. One of my favorite joys in life is hanging out on the couch with my cat Dave. This is prime time for that.
Recover slowly. Don’t jump back into your normal routine as soon as you start feeling well. Take it slow. Listen to your body. It knows what it needs. Trust that everything will be o.k. and that it is o.k. right now…
Categories: Health & Happiness