I never used to be one to struggle to get motivated. I loved early mornings, quick starts and would always be the first one to be up and about. Since being diagnosed with chronic migraine, finding motivation can be extremely difficult. Why would I want to get up at the crack of dawn? Why would I want to even contemplate leaving my bed on the days I felt like this? So many ‘Whys?’ would continue to take over my little brain and lets be honest, your bed is always more comfy when you have to leave it!
Having learnt to recently accept that this is my ‘normal’ I decided enough was enough. Ok, I may not be stuck like this forever but I can’t hibernate, I can’t shut myself away. It was time to make a change.
My first point may seem a little silly and it may be quite obvious to some but getting up, getting dressed and having a plan for the day has made a huge difference to me. Making that initial decision to leave my bed, have a bath, put on fresh clothes and make myself look semi presentable even if I am staying at home helps a lot. It not only means that I am alert and awake, it means I am not lazing around in my pyjamas, tucked up in bed with no enthusiasm. Some days I may get fully dressed, others I may just put on some comfortable lounge wear and an oversized hoodie but the difference is making the choice to actually get up and wake up properly so that the day has a beginning.
Although I have always been good at keeping on top of things, not falling behind too much and being organised, I was never one to make ‘lists’. However, lists and notes may have become one of the best ideas. Whether it is notes reminding me of appointments, what I need to do at work that day, what I have planned for the week or daily to do lists, my phone is full of notes and is a reminder of everything that I need to achieve. When speaking to those who have chronic migraine or other chronic illnesses, you may often hear the term ‘brain fog’ being used. It is something that I will write a separate post about but is something I suffer with and therefore, notes and lists have become essential throughout my recovery.
It is important that your brain and mind are both feeling fresh and on top of themselves. An unclear mind isn’t healthy for anyone and therefore drinking plenty of fluids and eating well is important. I have never struggled with drinking lots of water and it definitely helps me feel better. Drinking plenty helps to keep you focused and by eating well it ensures that you have plenty of energy. By eating a bad diet you will feel lethargic and this does not help motivation. Now, I’m not saying you have to completely cut out the rubbish, I mean who doesn’t love a treat? But constantly filling your body with bad foods is only going to make you feel worse.
Remembering to take a break and have ‘rest time’ has definitely helped me throughout the day. When I feel like enough is enough and its only early afternoon, taking five to re gather my thoughts, have a drink and a bit of time out really helps to pick me back up and get going again. It is okay if you need to have several breaks throughout the day, take as many as YOU need too and take the time that YOU need to start again.
Regulating my sleep pattern is something I have had to learn to control. I used to have late nights, late mornings, early nights, early mornings and my sleep pattern was all over the place. The odd late night is okay but learning when to put your phone down and cut off technology is important. I now get between 7-10 hours of sleep a night, I don’t use my phone much after 10pm and I often leave it downstairs so that I do not have it with me whilst I am trying to get to sleep. On most evenings, I now fall asleep anywhere between 10 and 11pm and will wake up around 8-9am the next morning. Even on my days off, or days that I do not have much planned, I will stick to this as much as I can and it has really helped me with feeling motivated for my day. I feel awake, refreshed and as my family would say, a lot less grouchy!
Pacing myself is something I will probably always have a little trouble with. I like things to happen quickly, I like answers and I don’t do waiting but I am learning too. I am learning that not everything happens overnight and this is important when staying motivated. You have to set little goals, little achievable goals and you have to recognise when these goals have been achieved. It is important not to put unwanted pressure on yourself and don’t rush things. Take your time, pace yourself. If something takes you that little bit longer, does it matter? Do things at a pace that is right for you.
I would love to hear any of your motivational tips and tricks and your thoughts on staying motivated. I am always open to trying new things!
Love Vicky x