Balancing Life

When dealing with chronic pain and other life events I find that it helps for me to understand where I am at in order to decide how to proceed.  If my pain level is high, I am extremely fatigued, I am in crisis, or involved in a major event, I focus on the most pressing issue at hand (level 1).  When I am dealing with a moderate amount of pain and fatigue, I can focus on balancing my everyday activities and relationships at a greater level (level 2).  Level 2 is mostly where I am at.  If I am feeling an abundance of energy and less stress in life, I can make some headway in my goals (level 3).  During most months I find myself in each of these levels at some point.  Because I can anticipate changes in my health, my doing some preparations I can allow myself to accomplish more of what is most important to me.  This also helps me learn to let go, when my expectations exceed my abilities.

Level 1

Take care of myself.  Isolate myself to my key relationships.  Ask for help in areas I can delegate.  Ask family members what is most important for me to do.  Complete work projects/appointments that can’t be changed.  Exercise if possible.  Connect with Higher Power in some way.

Level 2

What are my priorities?  Family, friends, spirituality, work, coaching, service, exercise.   Daily routines help me keep up with household chores, exercise, connecting with others, and work commitments. I love creating lists. I also structure down town during the day, where I read, play games, journal, and/or rest if needed.  I allow extra time for the unpredictable and try not to over commit.  I set up tentative plans with my more spontaneous friends/family when my health feels shaky.  I enjoy taking risks as well, to keep things lively and to test the waters, and strive to help others when I can.   I am much more aware of the effects of stress, and aim to keep this at a minimum.  Sometimes this involves removing myself from certain situations and people, and other times it is an internal process of discovering my thought process and personal expectations.

Level 3 

I think it is important for me to continue with planning and working towards my goals in life.  Writing a book, creating a website, running, reducing my pain level, traveling, preparing my kids for college, etc.  I may have to break down my goals into small steps, but it allows me to feel some momentum.  Even though I may take a break from some of my goals because of health reasons, or situations in life, I can continue where I left off when it works.  During level 3 days, I also increase my service to others.


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