There are many benefits to meditating daily including quieting the mind, feeling more calm and reducing stress. Meditating slows down your breathing rate, which calms the adrenals and oxygenates your body. It is especially important for people with ME/CFS who may be stressed at being ill and whose adrenal glands are often in overdrive.
It can seems difficult to find time to meditate when you are busy, but I find that setting aside 15 minutes every morning is manageable and helps me to wake up in a gentle way. It may take time to get into the habit of meditating everyday but after you have done it sevens days in a row it becomes a habit that you do without thinking about just like brushing your teeth.
15 Minute Light Meditation
This is the meditation I do first thing every morning
- Stand on your bedroom floor with your feet hips width apart.
- Now imagine roots reaching down from the soles of your feet all the way into the core of mother earth. This will ground you.
- Next draw up white light from the earth and visualise it filling up every area of your body and cleansing and dissolving any black energies sitting in your body.
- You can repeat this exercise with any colour of light such as light pink light for unconditional love, purple light for protection from negative energies or sky blue light to cleanse your throat chakra for clear communication.
- Next open up your crown chakra and draw down white light from the universe. Imagine it moving down into your body filling up your head, arms, hands, torso, legs and feet.
- Again you can repeat this practice with any colour of light.
- Now imagine white light from above cleansing your aura and any negative entities moving out of your aura space. Purple light is very effective for repelling these negative energies.
- Ask Archangel Michael to cut your cords. You can see these black cords coming out of your body, usually in your back, and attaching you to other people who may be draining your energy. I ask the angels to pull out the remaining ends of the cords and visualise them surrounded in bright white light until they dissolve.
- Now push out a sphere of white light from your being to patch up any holes in your aura.
- Finally draw up your roots from the earth and close your crown chakra.
- Thank mother earth, the universe and the angels for the healing light meditation.
I always feel a lot better after doing this cleansing meditation. I feel centred and peaceful and it sets me up for a great day! I hope you find a way to fit meditation into your daily routine and start reaping the health benefits!
People who are ill with ME/CFS tend to be workaholics and overachievers. They think their self-worth is determined by how much they do and what they achieve. That mentality means you neglect your needs such as food, water, sleep and time to relax and leads to burn out and chronic fatigue. This is what happened with me.
ME/CFS sufferers are often keen to get back to work as soon as possible and are not keen to take the time needed to rest and heal. All their lives they have worked hard to prove to themselves that they are good enough. They were brainwashed at school that they are only as good as their grades. They often had workaholic parent or parents who criticised them a lot so they worked hard to get their approval by being overachievers. This behaviour continued into adulthood. They are perfectionists who never feel good enough, despite achieving more that most people.
I know that I am a workaholic who finds it hard to relax. I have to make time in my busy schedule for relaxation including meditation, yoga and walking in nature on a daily basis in order to stay healthy.
Ways to relax include:
- Taking a nap
- Reading a book
- Walking outside in nature
- Sitting and watching the sky
- Epsom salt bath
- Listening to relaxation music
- Patting a pet
- Sitting in the sunshine
- Focusing on the breath
I only started to heal when I accepted I could no longer work and do as much as I used to do. When I let go of validating myself by societies high standards and just be myself. It is enough to just be.
The information in this post is my opinion and stems from my experiences with ME/CFS. I know many other people with ME/CFS who also had this tendency to push themselves too hard before they got ill.
Sleeping well is important for having a productive day. After a bad nights sleep our concentration levels are reduced as our brain has not had time to process the events from the previous day. We have missed that important time during the deep REM sleep when are body is healing. We may be grumpy which can put a strain on our relationships. Also we are more likely to reach for comfort food instead of cooking a healthy meal and be less motivated to exercise.
Taking measures to ensure we sleep well will mean we feel refreshed and ready to start the next day!
Here are my top 10 tips for sleeping well:
- Avoid caffeine in the evening – having tea or coffee in the evening will stimulate your nervous system and keep you awake. If you want to have a drink before bed, a relaxing herbal tea such as chamomile will have a calming affect that will let you drift off to sleep.
- Have a bath – a warm, relaxing bath before bed can work wonders for a good nights sleep! You can use essential oils such as lavender to relax or use Epsom salts which contain magnesium, a natural muscle relaxant.
- Avoid eating before bed – eating a big meal before going to bed will mean your body will be digesting it all night. If you a hungry just before bed, I advise eating easily digested foods such as fruit which only takes 30 minutes to digest.
- Avoid sleeping tablets – sleeping tablets can become addictive and will make it hard for you to wake up the next morning.
- Avoid drinking water before bed – drinking a lot of water before bed will keep you awake going to the toilet all night! It is best to drink throughout the day to keep hydrated as water is not absorbed during the night.
- Lavender oil on your temples – this is very effective. Rubbing a few drops of lavender oil onto your temples and the soles of your feet has an instant relaxing effect.
- Write a to-do list – try keeping a notepad beside your bed to jot down your thoughts. Writing down what you need to do the next day will mean it won’t be playing on your mind all night.
- Use an earthing sheet – these are fantastic. I use an earthing fitted sheet which is plugged into the bedroom socket. The connection draws up healing negative ions from the earth which neutralise the harmful build up of positive ions absorbed throughout the day from wifi, mobile phones, TV, computer etc. It guarantees an improved nights sleep!
- Right bedroom temperature – we need to be slightly cool to sleep well. Adjust the layers on your bed as the seasons change to ensure you get a good nights sleep. Use a 4.5 tog lighter duvet in the summer and a heavier 10.5 tog duvet and blankets in the winter.
- Use f.lux – if you are on the computer late at night download f.lux which changes the screen colour to slightly pinkish at sunset. The normal blue light emitted from computer screens, mobile phones or ipads signals the brain to stay awake at a time when it should be shutting down. The red light of sunset has a calming effect on the brain, signalling it to release melatonin for sleep.
I hope these tips help you to have a deep and restful nights sleep!
I am going through a personal crisis at the moment and have been feeling very stressed! I really want to get back to creating new recipes and posting them but I can’t concentrate and have fallen out of my creative flow. I think my creativity is returning as I am inspired to write this post!
Here are my tips on how to deal with life when it becomes stressful and overwhelming:
- Get enough sleep – you need more sleep that normal when you are stressed, so it is important to go to bed early and also takes naps throughout the day if possible.
- Talk to someone – a problem shared is a problem halved. Speak to a trusted family member or friend, they may be able to help you process what is going on in your life and give you advice.
- Breathe – when we are stressed we tend to breath very shallowly and we don’t get enough oxygen. Take a few deep breaths. Breathe in and then exhale and release all the stress and tension.
- Keep a routine – falling out of your routine such as eating at irregular times and going to bed late will just put more stress on your body at a time when it needs extra care.
- Eat foods rich in zinc – when we are stressed our body uses up zinc very fast and it is vital to many processes in the body such as wound healing. Examples of foods high in zinc include pumpkins seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, spinach, cashew nuts, beans, chickpeas, chocolate, seafood and chicken.
- Meditate – if you know how to meditate take 15 minutes in the morning before you do anything to sit cross-legged on the floor, breath and clear your mind. It can take a while to still an over active mind, but eventually the thoughts will stop and your adrenal system will calm down, leaving you with a sense of peace.
- Exercise – go for a walk and get some fresh air, you will feel better. You could go running, do yoga or put on your favourite music and dance. The release of endorphins will uplift you leaving you feeling happy and relaxed.
- Find a solution – instead of worrying about a problem, find a solution and then act on it. Find a way to improve it or leave the stressful situation.
- Write down your thoughts – sometimes it helps to write down everything that is bothering you. Take a notepad and write until you feel better. It can be very therapeutic.
- Do something you enjoy – take your mind off it by doing an activity you enjoy. It may be listening to your favourite music, going to the cinema, going to the beach, painting, reading etc.
- Ask for help – if you find yourself losing track of time trying to come to terms with a stressful situation, or are lacking in energy and motivation ask your family members for help with everyday task such as cooking, chores, or even financial support. Most of the time they will be happy to help.
- Listen to relaxing music – the slow rhythm of relaxation music will quickly calm down an over active nervous system and get your brain into an alpha brainwave state.
- Have a bath – put a few drop of lavender oil in a warm bath or use Epsom Salts which are high in magnesium, a natural muscle relaxant and switch off.
I hope these tips help you to de stress and bring back your peace of mind!