4 tips to help you live well chronically ill
To many, it seems unattainable to live well chronically ill. How is it possible when you have been feeling sad, depressed, and full of anxiety? You have been in this state of mind long enough that it has now become your safe environment. One that you are familiar with. Finding a way to be happy again seems like the impossible. The good news is we can rewire our brains. That’s right. You and I can rewire our brains by our thoughts and words. This is how to do it.
Start by doing something healthy over and over again. It then becomes a habit It becomes a healthy habit and in turn, becomes your new healthy norm. Is it that simple? Yes. Can anyone do this? Yes. Yes, you can! Do you have a vision for your life?
Have you given yourself permission to envision something better than what you have right now? Take time to think about yourself and what you want in your future.
Write down your vision. Post it where you can see it every day like on your bathroom mirror, on the door of your bedroom closet, or on n your refrigerator. Post your vision in places you are every day.
Next, start writing down affirmations. Check out my Affirmations page. You can read a few affirmations I have written down, and I will be adding more to the list soon. Here is one of my favorites… “I look forward to tomorrow and the opportunities that await me”
Begin to learn how to meditate. There are some great apps for beginners to seasoned. Sitting quietly for a whole minute can be trying for a beginner. It was for me. I encourage you to stay with it. The benefits are many. I’ll be talking more on this topic in a future post.
You repeatedly do these things day after day and they will become your new norm squeezing out one negative habit at a time. One positive replaces one negative.
Negative emotions zap our energy
Negative affectivity subsumes a variety of negative emotions, including anger, contempt, disgust, guilt, fear, and nervousness. Did you know it has been proven that it takes a lot of your energy when you stay angry? It zaps your energy the instant you get angry. It takes a lot of energy to stay resentful? I do not know the amount of energy you have, but the energy I have on a daily basis is next to nil. I need all the energy I can muster.
We cannot and must not let negativity take up residence in our minds. Because once we do, it can be very difficult to get rid of. When I would get depressed, it was hard to find anything to be positive about. It could be a beautiful, sunny day outside and I’d grumble because the sky was blue. It made no sense. Negativity would get a stronghold and it was hard to free myself from it. We must not allow ourselves to give up an ounce of energy toward negative thinking, negative emotions, and negative words.
The way we think, how much physical activity we do, what we say, and our lifestyle play a big role in our journey to wellness. You have the right to live well. You can change the course of your life.
Let me share a few natural tips I found helped me to feel better again.
SCHEDULE: One way to counter depression is to get in a routine. Make a schedule. I suggest using a calendar that is just for you. This way you are free to make additional notes about how your days are going and how you are feeling each day.
GOALS: On your schedule write some goals. Start small. Maybe it is to help do the dishes two days a week. You might write something like my goal is to spend 15 minutes reading your favorite book that’s been collecting dust. You might make it a goal to do five minutes of exercises every other day.
Some of us with a chronic illness will find ourselves staying in bed all day due to extreme fatigue. After a good night’s rest, there have been many times I’d wake up so tired, I’d roll over and fall right back asleep. There have been countless days when I simply did not care whether or not I got dressed.
Making a goal gives me a reason to look forward to each day. I do my best to make the most out of each one.
EXERCISE: Go for a walk. Summer is a perfect time to begin a new routine outside. In the case of having been sedentary for some time, I suggest starting with a 1-3 minute period of walking in place. If you try to do three minutes and notice you are getting winded, cut back to one minute and take note of how you are feeling at each minute interval you reach. The point here is to start moving again. Remember this…feel-good chemicals in our brain are released when you exercise.
SOMETHING NEW: Try something you have never done before. Read the book your friends have been telling you is so good. Take an online class. Learn how to draw or learn a new language like sign language or take a computer class. How about volunteering in your community? Sit in the hallway at school with a child while he practices reading a book to you. Help out at a local church on soup night for the homeless. Be a coach or referee for a basketball team at school or summer camp. Challenge yourself.
Life is so worth living. It took a lot of baby steps before I could walk. But I stayed focused, followed my vision and am living a life of wellness. It is not easy to come out of depression. But it is worth every step to come out on the other side smiling.
Don’t give up. I made it. And you will make it, too. I believe in you. Happy. Content. Optimistic. Peaceful. You start by thinking about something other than your illness.
You can and will begin feeling better with the right tools like therapy, possible medication, staying focused, and incorporating the tips given above.
I wish you enough…