Staying Occupied When Energy Levels are Low

Treatments that we undergo for our lung cancer can really zap our energy. Someone recently posted a question on a forum on which I participate asking what kinds of things people do to occupy their time when they don't have much energy. It was a popular question and there were lots of great responses. Below are some ideas that you might find useful.

Paint or color

Several people mentioned painting or coloring. Neither activity takes an inordinate amount of energy, but they are calming and enjoyable. One person is teaching herself to paint watching YouTube videos (is there anything you can't learn on YouTube?). I personally bought some books. "Painting for the Absolute and Utter Beginner," is sitting on my dining room table right now, just waiting for me to start using it! (I bought "Drawing for the Absolute and Utter Beginner," too! Does that tell you anything about my artistic talent?)

While I am no artist, but I have found great enjoyment in painting Kindness Rocks. I bought a bag of rocks from Home Depot, selected a bunch of 50 cent acrylic paints at Walmart, and went to town painting rocks. It is a lot of fun. After they are painted, you take them places with you and leave them behind to hopefully brighten someone's day when they find them.

Adult coloring books are also a great way to pass the time and keep your mind occupied. I purchase ones that are religious in nature, but there are all kinds available. I like the ones that are not real intricate. I am way too impatient to color in very tiny spaces. One friend frames the pictures she colors and gives them as gifts. There are some great coloring book apps, too, if you prefer to color electronically.

Crossword puzzles

Many of us have some chemo brain after our treatments. It makes it hard to focus and difficult to remember words. I frequently can't remember the word I want to use. I have to define it (you know, the 4-legged creature with a tail that meows ... what's that called?). Doing crossword puzzles, either using an app on your phone or an old-fashioned paper and pencil puzzle can help keep your mind occupied and sharp.

I also like to do the Word Find activities, both on my phone and on paper. They may not help your vocabulary like crossword puzzles will, but they'll keep your mind active and involved.

Watch YouTube videos or television

One lady said she loves to watch travel destination videos on YouTube. She can't actually travel, but she loves seeing and learning about all of the interesting and beautiful places in the world. One day she may feel like visiting those places for real!

Others said they like to watch cooking shows or home improvement shows on television. If you have cable, there are any number of channels dedicated to DIY projects, cooking, and just about any other topic. My husband and I can lose ourselves in shows about purchasing RVs. It is incredible what some of those homes on wheels have available! Sometimes, I wish we could just sell everything we own, buy one of those big RVs, and travel the U.S.!

Read your Bible

If you're religious, this is a great time to get into the Word. I resolved to read my Bible through, cover to cover this year. Unfortunately, I got bogged down in the Old Testament and I am afraid my resolution may not come to fruition. Still, getting deeper into God's Word, especially at a time when we are feeling weak and vulnerable can bring great comfort and peace.

How do you stay occupied when your treatments are zapping your energy? Please let us know!

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