With my book just about finished (although sadly still without publisher) I’ve decided to invest my energy in a life coaching course. I hope to set up my own skype business so I’ll be able manage my work load and work from home. (Email me if you’d be interested in a bit of free life coaching from a trainee, although I think I’ve got a bit of theory to get through before I start the practise).
One of the first exercises of my course involved expanding on a list of life skills. These are skills we need to learn and develop in order to do well in life. This brought me to thinking about the skills that we need to learn and develop to optimise our quality of life whilst dealing with ME/CFS. I’ve written about many already and will be linking to many past blog posts.
A skill can be thought of as something that is acquired or developed through training or experience. You may have some natural ability at something but to become skilled you need to develop and refine that ability. Many skills are transferable: an ability developed in one area of life can be applied to another area of life with just a little refinement and tweaking.
When tackling the challenges of dealing with this illness and improving your quality of life, it can useful to think about how you can use the skills you have developed in other areas of your life and tweak them to help you now. Other skills may have to be learned from scratch which might seem hard when you’re very unwell, but with small enough steps we can take on anything. I personally found that the skills that I developed whilst learning to live with this illness the first time round were pretty useful to my following 7 years of life with full health too!
Skills transferable from pre-illness that just needed developing and refining:
- Self-awareness to listen to my body and notice when I’m tiring or when I’m having to employ effort. Also to notice when my I’m indulging in unhelpful thoughts about the past or the future
- Presence: how to live in the here and now and fully appreciate what this moment has to offer. Also being present with my emotions; allowing them the freedom to flow and change
- Creative cooking skills to find ways of enjoying healthy food despite my many dietary restrictions
- Assertiveness to make sure I don’t take on too much and to clearly communicate my needs in a non-aggressive, non-manipulative way
- Ability to prioritise, focus on what’s important and let go of the non-essential
Helpful new skills I have learned and am developing:
- How to rest, relax, meditate and become mindful
- How to appreciate the little things in life
- How to be relaxed and effortless at all times
- How to manage excitement and stay relaxed
- How to use aromatherapy to relive my symptoms
What skills have you learned or developed that help you live better with this illness? What skills do you think might be worth aiming to develop?