I always read all the comments over my different posts from the day before and I started writing a response to my post in this blog left yesterday. To date I have always said that I know what works for me and is often the way it was as I wrote that I realised that I do know where the process of improving my life started and when I wrote it, it all pulled into place, the light-bulb went on above my head and I saw the whole thing in simple to follow steps that made sense. I have written bits and pieces of it all over the place in my blog over the months and although I knew they were written it still didn’t seem possible to put them into logical steps. Well here they are….
Everything starts with structure, the structure of your day form the very start of that day the time you get up. When you are housebound or just unemployed it is all to easy to switch off the alarm clock and never turn it one again. This is a terrible big mistake, you have to choose a time at which you get up every day, no lie ins because it is Sunday everyday has to start at the same time to begin with.
Brush the dust off your alarm clock, choose the time you will get up and stick to it. For me that is 7:30, no that wasn’t the time I got up for work I was up 3hrs earlier than that when I was working in the office, this just seemed reasonable for the start of a day,
You also need to set a reasonable bed time, one that will let you get enough sleep to be able to get up. For me that is between 10:30 pm and 11:00 pm I like to watch the evening new but it has more to do with that being a long enough day without the danger of me falling asleep on the settee.
If your condition requires you to rest or sleep for a period of the day well scheduled that, I know I have to sleep in the afternoon, through trial and error I also know that I need at least an hour or more. I worked out that I didn’t need more than 2 hours I just took it somethings. So I bought a timer which I set each afternoon when I go to bed for 2hrs, if I wake sooner fine I get up but I always, like with the alarm clock get up when it beeps at me. Spend the next week getting used to the new routine of sleep and awake times. That week should have settled you to the sleep routine and you are ready to move on.
You now know how much time you have to fill in each day, but there will be daily things like showering and eating, you need an idea of how long that takes as if you plan too much in your day, you will be disappointed, so be realistic. Step 4 is a ‘To Do’ list. You first list will be a little odd as it is your test list, put everything on that list you now do on a normal day, I don’t know what you normally do but if you do physio, put it on the list, housework on the list and so on with rough times, even put on that list the time you spend doing nothing but watching TV. List complete, the next step is to set that alarm knowing that you have your list, for the morning.
This first day tick off everything on your list as you do it, adding the true time it took so that in the evening you can see how what you thought compare to what the truth is. If you managed everything then there is your first achievement, I know it doesn’t sound like much to do what you already do but it is, because it shows you are realistic about your life as it is, if you are trying to cram in to much then change your to do list, I am quite sure all of you will get those timings wrong on a lot of things. Now is the time to look at all the things you do now that you have to and what you are doing because you are bored or don’t know how else to fill your time. I used to spend more than half my day playing computer games, as I had nothing else I thought I could do. I expect that is something that will be reflected in some form in most lives and it is that time that has to change. That is step 5, what do you want to change what is it you don’t like, make a list of those things. My list of what I wanted to change was huge and daunting to say the least.
This is in someway that hardest step because it involves us all being honest with ourselves. What is it you don’t like and what is it you would like to change in yourself and your life. That is where your first ‘Desires’ come from, this wasn’t that hard for me as I wanted to stop being lazy and just playing games. I knew I was lazy, I knew I could do more and I knew I wanted to write. You might have a hidden desire to do a craft or learn French, but be realistic, I wasn’t going to be able to go back to an old hobby I had of needle point as I didn’t have the dexterity. What ever that Desire is or even if you can’t come up with one, schedule into your ‘ToDo’ list a 30 minute window a ‘find out session’. Spend those 30 minutes finding out online what you need to be able achieve your desire or goal. If you really don’t have a desire, then I suggest you start from something you used to do and enjoy. Sit down at your PC with a pad of paper and start your research, enter it into Google and let it, take you on a discovery session. You will be amazed how many things are achievable for free. One I used to do were online competitions, free with an extra reward of the odd prize. Although I at one level don’t like voluntary work, there are a lot of charities and organisations who need people who are good at admin style work that you could do from home and for many that is a great way of being part of something, even if it is only and a few hours a week. Do not accept that you can’t reach your goal without spending huge amounts of money, because unless you are wanting to do a degree or become a diamond polisher I am sure you will find it if you look hard enough, you might actually even find you come across something you had never thought of doing, that takes you in a new and interesting direction. Each day repeat that 30 min window extending if you want to an hour. Do this for a week and I really wouldn’t accept anyone who said they didn’t find inspiration in that week to write down a ‘Desire’ they really want to achieve. That is also a major achievement.
This is the final step after this you should be able to change your situation enough to change the way you feel about yourself, your condition and your future. Take your ToDo list rewrite it, put in instead of the things you don’t like about it, short sessions starting at 30 mins of working on your ‘Desire’, everyday that you have ticked off all your items on your list you are achieving. It won’t take long until you throw away the ‘ToDo’ list because you will have settled into the routine and your day will have structure, you will also know your desires and your achievements. These are the core of what keeps me mentally active, involved, busy and happy. What have you got to loose by trying. I lost only what was getting me down, I also learned a lot about my illness and what it will allow me to do and not do. Most of all I found happiness in where I am.