Growing Through the Occasional Cold & Flu

Around this time of year when school is back in full swing is often when colds & flu start to crop up again. It’s almost an expectation now that at some point, no matter what I may do to prevent being exposed to these minor illnesses, I will become sick.

To be honest, it’s more of an inconvenience and I’m thankful that I do not have to cope with anything more serious or life altering. These colds & flu do help me see things a little differently which, in spite of the way I may feel at the time, remind me that I will grow & get better in due course.

I Am Human

I push myself to achieve things and to set goals with realistic boundaries. But I also need reminders every once in a while that it’s ok – I’m doing the best I can, as is everyone else around me. Things will get done in due time and pushing tirelessly forward all the time just isn’t possible. I don’t need to wear the “hero” hat all the time, even though it may feel nice. These minor colds give me a chance to pause & slow down a bit, and to reflect on what I’ve already been able to accomplish.

I Am Connected

Colds & flu remind me that I’m part of a bigger tribe, people who I rely on and who I enjoy being around. I remember that we’re all in this together. Being part of a group means sharing the good & the bad, the highs & the lows. The alternative is that I would shut myself off from any interactions with people – where would the fun be in that? As a group, we become stronger in all ways. This reminds me that people are here to look out for me, the way that I look out for them.

I Can Slow Down

I have noticed patterns in my life where I would push myself for extended periods of time and benefit from the positive stress and adrenaline to drive me. Once whatever project I was working on began to wind down, I could feel something almost like weightlessness at first, like that moment when I’d take my foot off the accelerator. Eventually, the pace of life would gradually slow down and it would give me a chance to regroup and start planning the next phase. In that slow period, yes – I would sometimes succumb to a cold while my body was physically trying to regroup. I know see these periods as a resting phase that allows me to heal and prepare. As I mentioned before, it gives me that chance to reflect on what I’ve just experienced and be thankful for what I’ve learned.

I Am Transforming

This is a new approach that I’ve adopted as part of my healing process. Getting through a flu or cold or fever can be physically & mentally taxing. Your body is doing so much behind the scenes to become healthy again. I can get impatient and want to rush through the healing process, but I’ve now tried to take the viewpoint that all the things I experience through healing – the fevers & sweats, the chills, the mental fog – all these things are signs of me transforming. I visualize how parts of me are changing, burning away, reconfiguring like a big Tetris puzzle on my path to getting better. This mindset actually excites me and helps me look forward to how I will be transformed through this process. The chance to reflect & pause helps me to identify stories & behaviours that might be ripe for changing as I get healthy. Are there things that I’ve been doing that I can adopt to help me stay strong, or perhaps that don’t work for me anymore? These are the things that I get to learn about myself during this process.

It’s a sunny fall day as I write this, and I’ve decided to make this day my own and to use it for my own healing & reflection. I can already feel that I am getting better, and knowing that I will be running tomorrow gives me a positive milestone to look forward to.

Thanks for the time you’ve taken to read this and I hope it’s resonated with you in some way.