Lupus in :60 - Listen to your Body

One mistake I made in my early days (make that years!) of lupus was my unwillingness to listen to what my body was trying to tell me. If I'd paid attention, my body gave me all kinds of clues as to what it needed: sleep, better food, exercise, a break. Early on, I missed every single signal! 

But as my approach to lupus mellows with age and experience, I find myself listening more and responding accordingly. Here's an example:

One of my pre-teen girls invited a friend over for a sleepover a few weeks ago. Johnny was out of town, so I was in charge, and we had big plans: fun dinner, make cookies, play games, even fit in a slurpie run (don't judge.) But we had rushed around earlier in the day, and I hadn't allowed enough time for a proper nap before the friend arrived. I knew the amount of rest I got was insufficient, but duty called. 

I started off strong, as a fun, peppy mom with lots of energy. But after an hour or two, the lack of proper sleep kicked in. By then it was almost 6p, and I had declared that we'd do dinner and slurpies at 6:15-6:30. But something had to give. 

I weighed my options: a) get some caffeine and push (aka struggle) through the entire evening, b) take a short nap but still keep the 6:15 plan, or c) scrap the agenda, and ask the girls to busy themselves until 6:45-7p while I rested. Ten years ago, I would have chosen A. Five years ago, B would have been my go-to. But because I try and listen for those signals, I chose C. The girls were busy playing, and they didn't really care about the details of our evening's plans. So off I went. I first told the girls that I had "a few things to do", and that we would go out around 6:45p. But my daughter came in my room shortly after I started napping, so I told her the truth. She understood, appreciated that I had pulled her aside privately, and gave me the downtime I needed.

I woke up 45 min later, refreshed and ready. We had a great evening, and I finished the night strong. What I saw as major blockades (disappointing the girls, rearranging the schedule, cutting something from our evening due to time constraints) became minor inconveniences that no one even noticed. Love it when I listen to my body! 


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