Making A Healthful Haven
First of all, let me apologize for being a model slacker and not meeting your expectation of a weekly deadline. I have no excuses. No “dog ate my homework” line. No “well, Martians kidnapped me and they broke my computer” cover. I may be on focused bed rest at the moment and making a lot of online and phone contacts, but that’s no reason to neglect my goal of a bi-weekly if not weekly blog post to you.
So, you will get no excuses. And you, too, should stop making excuses and make the commitment to get back in action in whatever it is you’ve been meaning to do. Show appreciation to others who have been waiting expectantly and proceed. You can multitask. I multitask, even from bed with my legs propped up.
Last time, I wrote about remodeling your state of wellness—not just from within the body, but from the outside. Work on your outer wellness in the form of restful clothing, creative and easy methods for cleanliness, and polishing your outer glow to draw in those inner wellness vibes (or even a few more visitors) as you’re going through whatever illness you are facing.
Once you have your sacred body space shining, you just might have some energy to either do-it-yourself or make a to-do list for someone else to help you create a healthy haven where you are on bed rest. I don’t care if it’s your bed room, your living room. Even if the kids have been mean enough to sequester you’re ailing body to the attic or basement, it is pay back time by making the space better than ever. Put yourself and someone else to work on redecorating your space so it’s easy to get to everything you need, fun, restful and a wellness magnet.
Here are some suggestions:
- Being on bed rest for you maybe a short-term, long-term or permanent endeavor. Regardless of the length of time on bed rest, it’s important to keep your mind stimulated and use this time to let your creative side blossom while creating your healthful haven of rest. Who knows? You might end up helping another friend on bed rest when you yourself are more well.
- When decorating your wellness haven it is important to think about surrounding yourself in restful (as well as stimulating) colors, fabrics and objects. You may find yourself staring up at the ceiling a lot. Using colorful posters of interest to you, or dangling 3D art objects and mobiles to the ceiling will keep you stimulated. Mobiles aren’t just for babies anymore! The posters can be rotated on a regular basis, to offer a change and keep your eyes and mind stimulated. When affixing a poster to the ceiling it is important to place them outside the boundaries of the bed below. They may be placed toward the foot of the bed, or along the sides. CAUTION: Do NOT use staples, pins or other objects over the bed. If they become detached, you may be harmed by falling sharp objects. Your favorite artwork may also be added to the walls around the room and placed in frames from a discount store or old frames you’ve had in storage.
- Place shelves around your room, approximately 12” -18” below the ceiling or lower if you are of short stature or use a wheelchair. This offers an area within the line of eyesight for you and possibly easy reach around your bed. These shelves can be used to place items of interest such as books, flowers, cards, photos and motivational knick knacks that inspire your smile or laughter. From time to time, you, a family member or your nurse should move objects around and/or replace them with new ones. This will create a little more interest on an ongoing basis. Remember, your wellness haven is evolving in positive energy just as you are evolving towards being the most well you can be!
- Place baskets near the bed or chair, on a table or within easy reach; so you can offer a hands-on experience. You may want to place small photo albums containing pictures of family, activity books, travel size games, joke books, blank journals or sketch pads for you to write or draw in. Other items of interest may be playing cards, books, magazines, or puzzle books. I particularly have enjoyed a good crossword or word search and pocket-size games when I’m not on my laptop. And visitors can partake in some of these activities if you get sleepy while they visit so they don’t feel the need to leave as soon as you nod off for a few.
- All items used within the room can also be used in stimulating conversation with visitors. It is important for you to have interaction with others, even beyond your caregivers. These items may be used to jog memories if you have a traumatic brain injury or are in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. Talk about family times, or discuss the subject of a particular poster. For you writer’s out there, use motivational poster slogans and images as writing prompts. You never know where your next blog or Great American Novel might come from! By placing items of interest and color at eye level of your bed, you allow your mind to engage in stimulating activity, not to mention changing a dreary room into a bright and cheerful room for you and your visitors!
- What about your medications, snacks and fluids? Do you have a place to keep a lunch box with a cold pack inside for juices, drinks and bottled water? I slung a lunch bag strap over the head board of my bed and keep it filled with cool things to drink like Gatorade, water, juice, diet caffeine-free soda, milk cartons, etc. And if I’m hungry, but don’t feel like getting up, I have yogurt packs, popsicles made with real juice, Jell-O, crackers, string cheese, nuts, meat jerky and fruit. Base your snack packs on what you are allowed to eat per your dietary restrictions. I also keep a separate basket or satchel for my medicine bottles in the bedside drawer with a weekly pill box so I can sort my medications and keep track of when I take them more easily.
- What about your bedding? Sure, new bedding can be expensive, but what about those guest linens that you only get out for company? Thrift stores DO have perfectly good bedding for sale at bargains as well. Just give them a good washing and you’re set! What about discount warehouse sales and linen shops with “seconds”. Seconds mean the bedding is perfectly fine to use, but the manufacturer might have left a snag in the weave or mismatched the dye color in one place or another. Those are usually sold at linen manufacturing warehouse stores. Look online or in catalogs for bedding you like if you haven’t gone shopping before your bed rest began, or can’t get a reprieve from it long enough to go shopping now. Then, send a friend out for the bedding you want.
- Do you like candles? No one wants to go to sleep with a candle burning, but now there are great battery-powered candles you can find at your favorite discount stores that flicker and can be scented just like the real thing without fear of the fire department paying you a visit. I SO enjoy the flicker of different colored candles around me, so a few of these around the room can really create a relaxing environment for you to meditate, pray, drift off to sleep or set the scene while you are partaking in a particularly unpleasant therapy in bed.
- What about music, books or lectures on CD or online? I am an avid reader, so I have a stack of my favorite paperback books next to the bed to read. If you enjoy audio books, then get your headset or have someone move the stereo and pipe in some of the classics being read by a silky voice in your room. Jam to your favorite tunes. Funk music can really help me get down while lifting me up while I’m on bed rest. I can also catch up on the latest seminar on my favorite topics online with my laptop. Get out that extension cord from the garage and use it!
I hope these tips have helped you bring your bed rest environment into a whole new view for yourself. Being on bed rest could very well drive you insane and some of us aren’t that far from it to start with, so do all you can to take control of the things you have the power to change. Make your bed rest experience great!
And don’t lament that you didn’t start on it before now like I did with this blog entry. Just start. Regret takes up even more valuable time. Just decide to move forward and do what’s good for you! It’s not too late.
© 2009 Monica J. Foster and The Life Beyond Limits™ Blog. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Monica J. Foster and The Life Beyond Limits™ Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.