Getting off the Energy Roller Coaster
“Summertime and living is easy”, so says Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald in this famous song. But when you are on a roller coaster of emotions and energy from living with chronic pain or a chronic autoimmune condition it may not be so easy. Finding ways to stabilize your energy during life’s inevitable ups and downs becomes extremely important for preventing a crash.
I crashed this week after two months of very high highs and very low lows. The highs I have shared with you in the past few weeks included a wedding, a visit from my granddaughter and family, a new position for my husband and leaving our home of 15 years to return to the land we love—in the Old Dominion. We were excited to start over in a new city—Norfolk. The highs also included many beautiful moments with friends who we told “Adieu” to in Fort Myers.
It has not been all smiles!
There have been some real low moments during this roller coaster ride including:
The physical and emotional toll of moving (see this blog)
The mental toll of figuring out all the little details that could go awry. This is how that showed up :
- Losing things including important papers, keys and glasses.
- Incredible frustration over navigating different bureaucratic systems such as the transfer of license plates from Florida to Virginia.
- Feeling like an old person as cars in Norfolk zipped by us and honked their horns.
- Feeling like an old person when we moved into an apartment complex (first time in 35 years) that we were paying more than our mortgage in Florida. Yet we were living with mostly young, hip kids and military folks who moved fast and were quite self-focused
Change Is Exciting and Exhausting!
While everyone feels tired after going through so many life events, those of us who with chronic conditions experience it doubly. Here is what happened to my body as a result of all of these ups and downs. Maybe you have experienced similar symptoms. I will be providing you with lots of helpful tools in the next few blog posts.
- Extreme Fatigue which seemed almost unnatural. There were moments where I could not keep my eyes open. Thank goodness Mark was doing most of the driving. I would be sitting up and then I felt my head fall forward no matter how much noise and commotion was around. However, at nighttime sleep evaded me. 10 pm, 11 pm, 12 am no matter– my sleep was fitful and very uncomfortable.
- Unsatiable hunger and salt cravings. I felt hungry all day long. Noshing on grain-free chips and Hu chocolate only made me hungrier. Yet I was too tired to cook for several days. Thank goodness I am back to cooking. I could feel the weight creeping up and that frustrated me and made me angry at myself. The anger and lack of real nutrition creates havoc on sensitive digestive systems.
- Depression and Lethargy: I noticed that my normal cheery disposition was not automatic. I really had to force myself to be pleasant and not to feel annoyed by little things and judgmental towards myself and others.
- Brain Fog so thick I felt like I was sloshing through Irish peat bogs. I could not concentrate on anything for too long. I would turn the TV on and within a few minutes would want to stand up and sweep the floor. Then I would turn my attention to something else and in the middle of that activity, I would decide I wanted something to eat. But wait, then I realized I had not taken my vitamins. I would open the cabinet and get distracted by another thought. “I want to look up another property that I am interested in seeing,” I would say to myself. Instead of looking that up, I would check the weather as I thought, “What is the temperature outside?” As I looked at the weather channel on my phone, my thoughts would change again. “What is going on in my house in Fort Myers?” I said to myself as I typed in a text to my realtor. The thoughts were flying through my head at the speed of light! They were both fleeting and disjointed.
- Restlessness: In the middle of my prayers and meditation sessions, my mind kept wandering. I found even a two minute session was asking too much of myself. I could not complete a thought or a prayer. I was all over the place and that brought in guilt.
Thank goodness I have my short HeartMath practices to help! This one I shared with my yoga students recently for dealing with chronic pain.
Sharing with you new and old solutions for rebalancing your Energy
So if you have been on an emotional and energetic roller coaster and your health is being adversely affected, stay tuned as I share more practices with you that are short and very helpful.