When Pushing Yourself Is Productive
When you’re coping with RA, sometimes it’s hard to know what you can and cannot do.
I think a lot of times, we err on the side of caution, and we become very limited.
There’s a difference between pushing yourself to the breaking point, and pushing yourself in a good way, a productive way.
And sometimes it’s hard to know the difference between the two.
But it’s important to try and figure that out for yourself.
For me, I know there are many things that put me over the edge. I know that I have to wait to go full-on grocery shopping on the weekend. Even though the store is busier on the weekends, I can’t do grocery shopping on the same day as work, as grocery shopping takes a lot out of me.
It’s a total spoon-suck.
One area of my life where I struggle with knowing whether or not to push myself is exercise.
It’s really hard to know when pushing myself is good and when pushing myself is bad.
Ultimately, whether we’re talking errands or working out, pushing yourself is as much mental as it is physical.
Sometimes our limitations are totally real and valid. Other times, our limitations are more psychological.
And it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. It’s easy to want to put ourselves in bubble wrap, and protect ourselves from the elements.
But that’s not real life. Real life didn’t keep us from getting sick. And real life isn’t going to wait for us to get our acts together.
So we have to figure our acts out for ourselves.
And that means really meditating on what we can and cannot do.
So how do you figure that out?
Do you learn by doing?
Or do you get stuck on what you can’t do that you end up limiting what you can?
I don’t really think there’s any formula to this, other than knowing your body and yourself well enough to do the things you can and accept the things you cannot.
Leslie wrote for HealthCentral as a patient expert for Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).