Energy conservation is a strategy that is inherent in a lot of different types of illness management, yet it is not commonly used as a way of talking about how we use our daily energy levels for self care when we don’t have ‘classic’ symptoms of diagnosed illnesses or conditions. How much energy do you have for something? In your current physical state do you think that you could easily learn to ski? Or is it something that you would need to work up to? In your current emotional state do you think that you could easily learn to ski? Or is it something that you don’t want to do?
How we prepare ourselves in advance for different opportunities that might come our way can be inherently built into our routines already. Some skills transfer over easily because we either have a body that makes that easier to do or we know how to prepare ourselves for most things and that is just a natural part of how we take care of ourselves on a day to day basis.
Being able to prepare yourself in advance is something that is a skill that needs to be developed. Do you have natural endurance for swimming long distances? Or do you prefer to complete faster races? Do you have a natural ability to know how long you will be able to complete a task before it overwhelms you or is it something that you have had to learn over a period of time? Are you at a stage in your own individual understanding of being able to predict if something will demand too much of you or that you will complete it easily?
Is there a difference in your own individual feedback that you provide yourself on what your endurance is like as compared to those around you? Do your parents think that you have amazing endurance or are they highly concerned that you might fall apart at any second and as a result don’t let you participate in things that require long time periods of commitment. Endurance in this format is also about permission to be engaged in something for a long period of time as that in and of itself requires other peoples attention or commitment as well. Do ‘they’ have the endurance? Is their physical endurance enough? Is their emotional endurance enough?
What is the joint impact of a families endurance on each other – as a physical form? in its emotional form? What does that mean for the choices of activities that are available or offered for completion?
Risk taking and a lack of self awareness can be a part of how someone approaches physical activities because of the emotional enjoyment or achievements that come out of it. For individuals with poor sensory discrimination and processing or those with other neurological diagnoses / related disorders the desire to participate in long heavy activities needs to be monitored consistently to assess for physical injuries and self harm.
As an Occupational Therapist the concept of what is self harm versus what is a difference in knowledge gap that an individual may have when they have an understanding of something that isn’t working within their body needs to be analysed in depth and monitored consistently. Having discussions about what is going on internally is important, especially for individuals who appear to be developing greater neurological symptoms e.g. seizures.