In a recent conversation with my son, we got onto the subject of his years when he suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). Given my coaching niche I was curious to discuss his memories of that time, what he found helpful and what made his life more difficult. I had made some assumptions about his experience, but was keen to see if these assumptions aligned with his recollections.
I was a little surprised to discover he does not spend much time ruminating on his illness. Surprised and pleased, as it was clear during our discussion, that he focusses more on the present and his plans for his future. He is still focussed on what he eats and drinks, how he exercises and moves, the quality of his sleep, his mindfulness and the quality of his environment – all from a health perspective.
We did cover some topics about what was helpful and what was not, during his illness.
The things he found helpful were;
- being believed,
- having an open and frank line of communications,
- knowing someone was on his side,
- supporting the creation of new habits and routines, and
- finding a supportive school.
The things he found created difficulties were people;
- forcing activities he was not well enough to do,
- not respecting changes to dietary requirements, and
- denying the illness.
I asked, knowing what he knows now, what advice would he give to his fourteen-year-old self, these were the points he made:
- Build a foundation of health through a healthy lifestyle (under professional guidance) – including; diet, exercise, sleep, meditation and healthy amounts of sunlight.
- Find a health practitioner who is knowledgeable, supportive and understands how to find the root cause of illness.
- Understand there are many alternate pathways for education and you can reach your goals through these pathways – it’s not just one shot.
I hope carers and sufferers of CFS alike can gain some insights and some hope from these reflections.
If you’d like more information about how health coaching can help you make meaningful lifestyle changes that work best for your values, strengths and circumstance contact Annette for a discovery chat.