My Spring Survival Guide for Spoonies in the Southern Hemisphere
September has come, and for those of us in the southern hemisphere, the sunshine and reprieve from rain that comes with spring is very welcome news! While us spoonies who have circulation issues rejoice at no longer being constantly bitterly cold, and those of us with mobility issues are thankful for mild days without the rain that can complicate our efforts to venture outside, we must also remember to be cautious and preemptive in the new season.
Here is a list of tips I like to call the Spring Survival Guide (Spoonie to Spoonie):
– It’s tempting, but don’t completely shed the winter clothes. On the first day of spring, I made the decision to wear much lighter clothes, leaving a lot of my body uncovered. Even though the sun was bright and the temperature was mild, I was freezing cold and very much uncomfortable due to my poor circulation and temperature sensitivity.
– Stick to a schedule similar to your activity in colder months. In spring, I often experience a relapse of my illness due to overexertion (which occurs often subconsciously). I’m tempted to use the extra hours of daylight to fit in short walks after my daily activities (going to class, medical appointments) but it’s incredibly easy to overdo it. So, if you’re looking to make some spring changes to activities, it’s important that you schedule these conservatively.
– In the spirit of the season, make a ‘”spring cleaning” goal. This could look like anything from a traditional clear-out of unwanted items to the tying of loose ends such as paperwork, personal projects, outstanding work tasks or even getting back in contact with old friends.
– Re-immerse yourself in an old hobby or interest. Spring is considered a symbol of youth and of renewal, and it’s important for us spoonies to engage with the things that make us passionate and excited. The way we engage with old hobbies, especially in cases of hobbies you had before illness/disability, requires a new approach sometimes and can open up new avenues of exploration for us. My own example would be dancing: I once spent over 20 hours a week dancing and teaching dance, and for a while after getting sick I was resentful and upset towards the idea of re-engaging with dance in a way other than being a dancer. Now, after realizing there are more ways to engage with dance than as a dancer. I am able to enjoy watching dance performances and have formed a heightened appreciation for the music and choreography.
– Last but nowhere near least, continue to know your limits, respect your body and assertively manage your health.
Enjoy spring, lovely people, and take care. May the spoon be with you!
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Thinkstock photo via XiXinXing.