Sometimes ‘to work hard’ means ‘to rest’, and for people with chronic illnesses, oftentimes getting enough rest means more than the average. The amount of rest your body needs in order to function cannot be compared to another person’s requirements; we are not robots manufactured on a factory belt.
Sleeping is hardly inaction or a waste of time; your body does not cease in its labour. In fact, so many regulatory, purging and healing processes can only take place when your body is in that state (we shall produce more in-depth research in another post).
A person who is chronically ill tends to become extra sensitive to his or her body, because ignoring that red flag brings about painful consequences. They also learn to respect the need for rest, as their bodies are working overtime at any given moment, due to the hyperactivity of their immune system. As my cousin Jennie once said, “Even if we find good remedies for our ailments, these (and the body) still need time to heal and improve. Almost like proving your unconditional love to someone who does not trust easily, so must we prove to our body that we will stay committed to protecting it.”
After all these years, I am still learning to pay more attention to my body, and to stop whenever it warns me of an impending break down. I try not to force myself to accomplish tasks that have the capacity to wait, or I postpone meet ups with my very understanding friends, should I feel a twinge of inflammation on the rise. That one less step is an action step – it can make or break the next couple of days.
Just remember, your body’s version of ‘enough’ can be quite different from another person’s definition, and it deserves to be respected for its endless labour.
1. To Anyone Who Thinks They’re Falling Behind In Life (article on Huffington Post): http://goo.gl/lM9ZG2
“Patience is also a form of action.” – François Auguste Renè Rodin