Our Diabetes/365 Community IS our cuppa!
From Complicated to Simple
Isn’t it great that within an hour or two, we have the ability to affect the rest of our day? Perhaps, you have found that even less time is needed to do this for you on given days. Some folks may use the phrase, “better days ahead” or “tomorrow is a new day” when they experience an “off” day. When we have those inevitable days where we just “don’t feel quite like ourselves”, we get to ask ourselves if we want to choose to “write the whole day off” or choose an alternative thought & action to that position.
Have you found that from time to time, you simply wake up in either not so upbeat a mood or a feeling of melancholy that you cannot immediately put your finger on the cause of? Although I find that this does not happen often to me, that it does happen from time to time.
This morning was one of those rare days that I woke up in one “of those off” moods. Like many people, once I realized that I was not quite feeling like myself, I asked myself why that would be. It did not make sense. Here it was a beautiful sunny morning with above season temperatures. Are you naturally “a morning person?” Well, I will share with you that I sure am. Spring is my second favourite time of the year since there is the new life & growth in plant life outside. Today was especially gorgeous out since the cherry trees right outside our kitchen window were in blossom this morning. Still though, even that did not seem to lift a low feeling this morning. Finally, I realized that there were at least 2 possible reasons why this cloudy feeling was there this morning. One reason that I came up with was that for the past few weeks, I have increased my level of commitments in the community & was feeling wiped out. It was a good kind of wiped out though since I had been participating in things that I absolutely love with people that I love profoundly. Still though, sometimes our bodies give us signs & signals that it is time for a rest break even if it is for just a short time. The other possibility though I realized quickly was that sometimes there really is no reason that we can see for “off days.” Sometimes, parts of life are a mystery & so too are feelings. And sometimes that explanation is just fine I find in my life. Today was one of the days that the second explanation seemed to fit & I soon realized that although it does not feel great for any of us to have an “off day” that it is understandable & human & okay.
Do you find that you too realize as well though that just because we may wake up in an “off mood” that we can choose to do something about that to salvage the day if we really set our minds to doing this? I am not too much of a fan of kind of writing the whole day off & accepting that it is going to be one “of those days.” That is not my go to position. Rather, I find that it is so encouraging to have an idea in advance for what we each find to be soothing to us & give that to ourselves. This morning, I knew instantly that what would work wonders on getting out of the “funk” was a walk in nature with our furry gal. Isn’t it great when we find the thing or activity that works for each one of us? Have you thought about what you find works wonders for you if you find yourself in a “blue mood?” It may be a walk or a swim, run, an uplifting book, music or sharing time with a friend. Do you give yourself that gift when you have that “off day?” My heart hopes so. You know what, I really did not feel like going for a walk even though I knew that it has worked wonders every single time in offering brand new perspective & lifting “off moods.” I don’t know if this happens to you as well on the occasions when you are having an “off day.” The great part though is that we don’t have to choose to listen to the voice within ourselves that says, oh don’t bother ‘cause it is just going to be one of those days. We get to press through that voice to instead give ourselves what we need.
Often, I find that if at any given time in the day that I am not feeling like myself that my go to thought is that it must have something to do with diabetes. Many times that is a true connection for me I have found. There are parallel feelings that I tend to have when my blood sugars are too high or too low. Those are times when I take extra glucose tests. This morning, I reached for my glucose meter to check to see if diabetes was the culprit for the “off mood.” Hmm, no, it was not since my sugars were in range. Sometimes, moods don’t seem to be connected to diabetes. Those are times that I remind myself that I had “off days” even before diabetes. Diabetes is not always the “fall guy.” Sometimes, we can just chalk it up to having the full range of human emotions.
This morning, I made myself go for an extra long walk. As I was leaving the house, I said to my husband that I wanted to make sure that I got going on the walk as soon as possible since I did not want to “share” this off mood with anyone. I also said that I wanted to be totally alone. That is rare for me. Life is funny too though because sometimes we think we are so much in control of what we think we want or need & then there is another outcome & we realize that the outcome that happened was so much better than we had planned. This morning I ran into more people than usual on the walk. As I said hello to folks, many folks stopped to chat for a few minutes. One chat really put it all in perspective. The lady said to me as she patted our goldie, that “dogs just get life.” She went on to say that they teach us so much like being naturally kind with others, unconditional love, being happy and taking pleasure in simple things like a walk, and things like that. Then it hit me that before I had gone on the walk that one of the things that my mind tried to tell me was that there was no point in going for a walk this morning because I was not in a great mood & that going would be complicated. Why complicated? Well, if you have type 1 diabetes too, then you & I both know that we don’t just grab our sneakers & go out the door. We have to test our blood sugars & figure out what we are going to need to take with us. You & I are likely going to need to pack a small suitcase practically for a simple walk! We will need: our glucose tester, hopefully a cell phone, a fast acting sugar, a slow acting sugar, a reasonable amount of insulin if we are pumping & we will have to do some math to figure out if we need to turn the basal rate down on our pumps for the exercise. Most days it is like second nature to grab all these things without thinking much about it but if we are having an off day then we can feel pretty cheezed off about how diabetes complicates a simple walk. The thing that I realized though when I was talking to the lady is that the walk was so worth it. Once I was out the door, the walk became medicinal. Maybe it is those endorphins that kick in with exercise combined with the beauty of a walk through the woods & then on to the lake. The half way mark of the walk provided an opportunity for a shift in thought & to the day. My focus was then on the simple pleasures of nature & being outside. The chats that I was convinced would not be happening today were in abundance & they too were medicinal. It was the realization that nature & community were & are both continuous simple pleasures. The choice became about focusing on the blessings of both of these gifts of that walk. As I gave our goldie a drink & a good long pat on the fur, I smiled to think that even within the most complicated, the simple can still be found, enjoyed & savored.
My heart’s hope is that if or when you have an “off day” that you already know just the thing or activity that will turn your day into one of simple pleasures too. You too may not feel like giving yourself that activity at the time yet please remember that we don’t have to listen to every single thing that our minds initially tell us. Sometimes we have to push through to doing what we need to do even when we don’t feel like it when we experience “those off days.” If you are not sure what that activity may be for you, a walk may be exactly the thing for you too.
Smiles, Saundie :)
Have a "right on" week & Friday's sharing is entitled, "Kindness Exponentials" :)