Sunday, February 02, 2020

Weekly Inspiration: When Difficult Times Hit

This is going to be a quick post today, relying mostly on previous blog posts. My energy and stamina have been poor recently. I'll write more about the details here on the blog this week, but the bottom line is that my Lyme disease is back again. It tends to go dormant for years at a time (though only about 15 months this time) and then suddenly flare up. I didn't catch it quickly this time because the joint pain was centered in one hip instead of my knees, as is typical for me. So, I've been dealing with excruciating pain for weeks. It's given me a whole new respect and appreciation for those who live with chronic pain all the time! Now that I figured out it's Lyme and have re-started treatment, I am getting better, bit by bit, but it's been a very challenging time for me. So, here are some previous posts with tips and ideas on dealing with stress and finding joy when your life is very restricted:

In These Are a Few of My Favorite Things, I was just recovering from a bad crash--similar to now--and I comforted myself by listing things that brought me joy. Just re-reading this list lifts my spirits! In this ProHealth article, Finding Joy in Every Day, I dive more deeply into the topic, including my approach of keeping a Joy Journal.

Yes, that's a groundhog in my son's oatmeal - Happy Groundhog Day!
In this post, Joy of Celebrations, I write about our traditions of celebrating even the most minor of holidays (Happy Groundhog Day today!). While it may seem counter-intuitive to celebrate when you are feeling down and out, a small-scale at-home sense of fun and celebration can really lift your spirits, especially when every day feels the same. Today, besides being Groundhog Day (an excellent day to re-watch the warm and funny Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day), is also Superbowl Sunday. Usually it is just my husband and I, but we still have our own little Superbowl party, with favorite snacks, enjoying the game--and more importantly, the commercials! Luckily, I am feeling better enough today that we have two good friends coming over tonight to join the fun. I will be in my own house, in the recliner and/or on the couch, so it will still be low-key and low-energy for me, but I am looking forward to this little celebration.

When I feel as incapacitated as I have the past few weeks, it is hard for me to slow down and truly rest; I fight the need to be productive all the time, even when I know I don't have the energy. This week, I mostly watched TV when I needed some downtime. You can check out all of my TV show reviews if you are looking for a new show to grab your interest and occupy your restless mind. For some recent highlights, check out Favorite TV Shows Reviewed in 2019.

Books are always a HUGE comfort to me, and I set aside quiet time for reading every single day, before my nap and before bedtime at night. I write a book blog, Book by Book, which features reviews of books I have enjoyed each week. I also included lots of book recommendations, plus tips for those who can't read easily due to cognitive problems in my article, The Joy of Reading. For more book recommendations, check out my Best Books Read in 2019 post.

My Weekly Inspiration post, Laughter is the Best Medicine, featured TV shows, movies, and books sure to make you laugh and forget your problems for a bit. Laughter really does have positive physical effects, improving immune function, relieving stress, and relaxing you. Plus, it's fun!

Another Weekly Inspiration post, Listen to Podcasts, points to another great way to entertain and distract yourself (or learn something new!), even when you are stuck on the couch or in bed. The post lists some of my favorites.

Oops - this was supposed to be a short post! My husband is up now and it's time for breakfast, but I hope these ideas will inspire you to lift your spirits and find some joy each day.

I'd love to hear YOUR ideas! How do you cope when intense stress and/or a crash hit? What are your favorite uplifting TV shows, movies, books, and podcasts? Please share your ideas in the comments below.

Happy Groundhog Day and Superbowl Sunday!


  1. Loved this post. I cope by resting and making sure I have alarms so do my breathing exercises/take pills as it's easier to forget when you've crashed. I also have some go to happy tv shows I like watching/comfort ones. I book something in for the future to do that's lovely. Gives me something to focus on. And remind myself that I will get through itx

    1. So glad you liked the post, Lucy! And thanks for adding some great tips - it's so important for us to focus on self-care when we're down.