We will hear that taking care of ourselves can be overindulgent or that you are entitled to it in our society. Tune out what society says, and as someone with a Chronic Illness here are the facts. You must utilize self-care. This means that you cannot run yourself ragged emotionally or physically. You need to invest in emotional and physical health. There are days that you must rest, this will prevent you from getting sick. There are times that you will need to cancel plans; yes this is frustrating, but it is unfortunately our reality. But, there are things that we can do to help invest into our emotional and physical health with give us strength to fight our chronic illnesses.
Emotional health can involve going out with friends, getting away to that quiet place in your home that you love with your favorite beverage, and watching HULU, Netflix, or reading a book. (I personally prefer a book, but to each his own. ?) Go to the movies, take a walk in the park or around your neighborhood, go pet a neighbors cow, or look at the birds that are flying overhead. Make sure that whatever you do brings a smile to your face, heart, and soul. It is proven that when sick laughter causes the production of serotonin; find something to laugh about! Watch a movie, or find that TV series that makes you laugh. Spend time with your pet, the joy they bring to you is great for your heart and sould.
Your Physical health does not mean that you need to run a marathon. It can be something as simple as 5 minutes three times a day of some sort of easy exercise, or if you can handle it more. Yoga, Tai Chi, Walking, Pilates, these are all low impact exercise options that help build strength and help with mobility. Aquatic therapy is excellent for those with joint issues. Check with your local community centers and churches, synagogues, or temples to see if they have classes if you are not sure where to start.
Another aspect of your physical health is eating healthy. Make sure that you are getting 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Try and eat a healthy balanced diet. Yet, when you feel awful or are down it is easy to hit that quart of chocolate ice cream (I brought up chocolate ice cream because I went through the 12 step program and I still have problems. Apparently, they frown on ice cream for 3 meals a day.) in frustration. Between prednisone and many of the medications that we take for our diseases, weight gain is easy. While eating healthy won’t prevent it necessarily it does make you feel better. If you want help with dietary suggestions, check with your local hospital which normally will offer a community class or go to WebMD.com
Remember that while you cannot control everything in life, you can choose to enhance what aspects of your life you can. Decide today to do what you can to help make a difference. Even a series of small baby steps over times makes a huge difference.
In Lupie Love,