I thought I would gather together a few of the notes I have quickly typed into my phone on the compassion challenge as it happens. This is from the first week (December 3rd to 9th), and I think my biggest challenge was remembering that I was doing it! But we're getting there :)
3rd December, Monday
I had a lot of trouble sleeping last night, but I spent time just breathing and reminding myself it's okay to not be able to sleep sometimes. Plus reeling myself back from negative thinking/fearful or catastrophic thinking.
Woke and asked my husband to stop waking me since I had my alarm set XD I tried to do it in a gentle, loving way, though, as I know he was just trying to connect with me and didn't know about my resolution to work on my sleeping pattern.
Woke a little late, but that's okay too. Day one of sleeping pattern overhaul is often like this!
4th December, Tuesday
I wonder if maybe my negative thinking drains energy from me? Today I have been able to do much more than usual, and I have remembered to stay compassionate and calm as often as possible. I am tired now, about 4pm, and feeling my symptoms more acutely, but the day has felt productive and yet slow.
5th December, Wednesday
Today has been kind of rough - I slept really poorly last night and woke up feeling really unwell. Possibly I overdid it yesterday, possibly this is just a random flare because that's what happens with my body sometimes. I tried to get up and do things, but my stomach has been hurting a lot today, so I decided to postpone the things I wanted to do and go back to bed - this is often a hard decision for me to make, but I just had to acknowledge that I needed to rest more. Compassion towards myself seems to be one of the hardest things for me, but I feel like I'm doing better.
6th December, Thursday
Compassion seems to be different during times of stress and outside of them. I mean, this probably comes across as painfully obvious, but I am just observing it now. For example - do you have the energy and brain power for the compassion, or are you completely burnt out and the best you can offer is not forcing yourself to make a huge dinner and just making toast? Or do you have the time, but you've fallen into some line of thought that makes you just push-push-push because you need to get a lot done while you can? It's different, but it's the same. You know?
7th December, Friday
My parents surprised us by asking to go out to a local garden centre and then get morning tea this morning, so we went and did that, and I observed how I reacted to different things. I tried to show compassion to my parents more than I usually do - sometimes, weirdly, it's the people closest to us it is hardest to remember when it comes to being kind and compassionate. I think that links into anxiety a little, but that might need more introspection.
How I showed myself compassion today? I was completely wiped out from the morning outing so, instead of pushing through, I went back to bed. I am working on my sleeping patterns, but I'm also not going to starve my body of sleep. Chronic illness takes a lot of energy, you know?
8th December, Saturday
Wow, I did a lot today. But a lot of it felt good, and like I was giving my future-self a gift. I remember what it's like to not have brain fog right now, and it feels really wonderful, but also brings back to me just how sick I am lately. How can I continue to be compassionate to myself even when I'm too sick to think? A question to really consider during this challenge, I think.
9th December, Sunday
Compassion felt hard to grasp today at times. And yet I think it was a little more present than usual, which is a plus. This morning, Xin and I went to some local Farmer's Markets to get some lovely fresh fruit (success!) and then went to some local shops to get a few things. I had a migraine late last night, and so I was a bit... grumpy. And then it turned out that walking was difficult for me today because my hips and back were hurting a lot. But I still managed to show some compassion to Xin and find somewhere to get coffee so he could feel more awake, and then later some compassion for myself in the form of checking out some new shops and getting icecream! The icecream place we found even listed everything it had in each flavour, so I could easily avoid things that make me sick - that was wonderful.
Week One Closing Thoughts
I think I am still learning what compassion feels and looks like at the moment - it feels like a simple concept, but I am still having trouble grasping it sometimes. I'm really pleased with how I've been going, and still really happy that I am taking on this challenge, but I think more learning is on the way.