In February 2018 my whole world changed. I found myself at work struggling to speak, with a headache like childbirth and the left side of my body going numb. I spent the next few weeks in an out of hospital with various tests including MRI scans, CT scans and lumbar puncture. The final diagnosis from the neurologist was viral meningitis.
As a mindfulness meditation teacher noticing the sensations in my body may have been heightened. Over the coming months I became unable to function as a mother and go to work. I had 6 months off work and it took another two years to almost recover. All the little things we take for granted like going for a walk, watching the T.V., listening to music, dancing, playing with my children and swimming were now activities I couldn’t do.
I found it very important to focus on what I could do and what I could control. I have always found nature and being outside helps to make me feel calm. Taking the time just to look at the sky, feel the sun on my face, notice the flowers on the table were all goals to get me through each day. I could no longer look at the sea which was my sanctuary. Nature became a greater importance in my life as they were calm, still and something that brought me great joy to see the colours and feel the air and the sun.
With any virus for many of us there is a period of post viral fatigue. For me, the fatigue lasted over two years. Every day I adapt to what I can do however big or small that may be. Recovering from an illness has a big impact on mental wellbeing. Mindfulness is an important part of recovery and may help you feel a sense of calm and peace when days can feel frustrating, painful and less hopeful. Mindfulness also helps with acceptance. For some the hardest part of being ill and recovery is adapting to your new normal! Everyday may be different and everyday you may go forwards or backwards. Accepting each day as a new day and accepting what you can do helps reduce stress and anxiety levels.
If you are recovering from an illness viral or any other that affects your daily life I would highly recommend the mindfulness for health course/book –