One of the wonderful things living with a chronic disease has brought into my life, is finding new networks and friends in the chronic illness and blogging communities.
Before becoming disabled and unable to work, I had no idea about blogging or online support forums. I never even had a Facebook account.
Fast forward to today and I am now fully entrenched in a whole new world of blogging, social media, networking groups and online support groups, either as an active member or as an administrator/owner.
My Medical “retirement” has turned into a full time job managing Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook pages linked to my blog, my personal Facebook account, writing for The Mighty and other publications.
It’s A Full Time Job!
All of a sudden my sedentary, chronically diseased life, looks more like it did when I was working full time in an Executive Management role.
From morning ’til night I am involved in some way in one of these online activities. I love it. There is no denying it. I love sharing, learning and supporting.
However, even when you enjoy something there is still the danger of overload and burnout.
I have to constantly rest my body because of my physical disability but what about my mind? Do I rest that enough?
I asked myself this question today and very honestly answered, “No, I don’t”.
I wonder how many others in the chronic illness community who are bloggers/writers, administrators or active members of support groups, are feeling like their minds are just a little too full of chatter?
It’s Ok To Switch Off
As I quietly mused upon my response of not giving my mind a rest, it all became so clear.
It’s ok to switch off. It’s ok to have a “chronic illness” free day”.
In fact to do so will mean you will add more value to conversations the following day. You’ll approach situations with better clarity and insight.
It’s ok not to blog for a week or two.
A break from writing allows time for creativity to take flight.
It’s ok to step aside from forums you perhaps feel are not right for you anymore, or they have just served their purpose. We grow and our needs change over time. A new group with a different focus may be required.
It’s ok to say “No” if asked to be involved in something which would over stretch you.
It’s ok to commit to one or two things solely and give them your all. In fact it’s probably a good idea.
Switch off your phone, tablet, laptop. Listen to the quietness envelope you. Take a deep breath and just enjoy the moment when you let your mind rest from the social media world.
Ahhh…it’s so refreshing. Peace is a wonderful thing.
Give Yourself Permission
I’m going to make some changes. I love my forum and it’s my number one priority. I do though need a day off once a week and I’m going to take it. No set day as I want the freedom to go with the flow a little, after all I’m medically retired so surely the regimented lifestyle should be a thing of the past.
I want more time to quietly write. Writing helps me relax. For me it is a reflective process, but when there is too much filling my mind, it’s hard to listen to any inspirational ideas lurking in the recesses of my brain.
Thinking time is essential for creativity to emerge and writers block to be broken.
So I shall still happily emmerse myself in the chatter of the chronic illness networks and blogging communities I love. However, I will now also be making every effort to ensure I take time out each week, to clear my mind and enjoy some peace and quiet.
If you feel like your blogging or online work is overwhelming you, I’d encourage you to switch off for a moment. Think about how you can better manage your time and involvement in social media activities and networks.
Assess what’s working for you. Is it still relevant to your needs? Do you need to make changes? Is it adversely affecting your health and well-being?
“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.”
Genesis 2 v 2 NIV
Give yourself permission to seek some quiet space. It has been such a refreshing experience to have a reality check and determine to make changes to how I manage my writing commitments, my blog and forum.
I know it will take a little while to get my online/real life balanced, but I’m on the right track and that’s got to be a good start.
If you’re looking for genuine support, care, understanding & friendship, you are so welcome to join my closed Facebook support forum, Medical Musings with Friends . It’s a safe place to connect with others living with chronic and complex diseases, who truly understand the daily challenges. A warm welcome awaits.
I’m a Contributor at “The Mighty”. You can check out my published articles at My Author Page
I also write @ Blogs by Christian Women