Post No. 1 for The Lifestyle Project

I’m excited to introduce Caroline who will be using the beautiful A5 Ordning och Reda in Black to document her treatment and recovery from ME/CFS.

Hello! First of all I would like to say thanks to Janet for the great idea and for her generosity, and  thanks to J too for all the hard work she is doing keeping everything organised and co ordinated!
I’m sure most of you out there don’t know anything about me so I’ll tell you a little about myself and my project!

I was diagnosed with CFS/ME nearly five years ago now, and have tried various treatments over the years to try and get better, but nothing really worked. In case you’re not really sure of what CFS/ME is, the simplest explanation is that your body is stuck in a stressed state, and is hyper aware to any stimulus. Essentially it is perpetually in flight, fight or freeze mode. The symptoms vary from person to person, but generally the most common are unrelenting fatigue, digestion problems, headaches, tinnitus, joint paint, sleep disturbances… and so on 😉

So anyway, around 3 months ago I decided enough was enough; I signed up for a course at the Optimum Health Clinic (the world’s leading CFS/ME specialists) and decided I was going to change my life. 

Recovering from ME is a hard task, as you have to address the physical, nutritional, and psychological imbalances. The trick is to calm your body and mind, and get it into a healing state. A lifestyle overhaul was needed! And of course, this means planning and organising, too!

Now I’m back from my course, I needed something and I was happy to see a jolly green envelope waiting in my room for me on my return 🙂

This is the beautiful black croc Ordning & Reda binder that Janet sent me. I am using to plan and track my new daily routine, (a work in progress!) and to organise and correlate all the information I have been given on my course.

The first bit after the front cover is a credit card holder that I plan to use to put little reminders in for myself, to keep me on track! I snipped the holes so it is easily movable.
The next section, before my dividers, are the monthly and weekly calendars. The ones I’m using are from DIY Fish. Aren’t they lovely?! I love that they are black and white. This weekly section is a bit of a mess, and still a work in progress. I shall try and have it sorted in time for my next post!

My tabbed sections are:

Check In: This is where I will check in with myself every two weeks, and track my progress. I want to monitor my symptoms, but also acknowledge how far I’ve come! It’s so easy to not notice the progress we have made, especially when you are constantly brain foggy and tired! In this section I also keep track of the one thing I do everyday that brings me joy; happiness is an essential part of recovery!

To Do: This is just the next actions… no intense planning. I have information in a big binder that was given to me on my course, as well as a wealth of material online, and in books. This section is just to stop myself from feeling overwhelmed and like I have to do everything at once.

Index: This is a set of A-z tabs. Like I said, I have so much information everywhere! I need a place to cross reference all my information so I can find what I am looking for easily. I expect this section will become invaluable as it is filled.

Support: Print outs and e-mails from my practitioners, and bits of nutritional info. I will expand this to include yoga and meditation info in the next few weeks.
Etc: At the moment it’s mainly holding all the paper Janet kindly provided with the binder (there was A LOT 🙂 )
The Ording & Reda binder is really perfect for this project as the rings are not too big and the binder itself is super simple; no pockets or flaps. I love this because A5 Filofaxes tend to overwhelm me, with their giant rings and pockets and hiding places. There can be too much going on! I need to keep it simple; I am aiming for a reduction in stress, and I want my binder to reflect that.
Until next time!

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