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Do you struggle with creating and following through with New Year’s resolutions?
I did! It wasn’t that I wasn’t willing to reach my goals, but that they were unrealistic. They didn’t fit my chronic life. Living with fibromyalgia, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and endometriosis has a lot of challenges. So-called “easy” resolutions might not have been an issue for the average person but impossible for someone with multiple limitations.
The following goals won’t heal your body, but they can and will help you live better with your chronic illnesses.
Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission to fund my coffee drinking habit if you make a purchase. You will not be charged extra, and you’ll keep me supplied with caffeine. It’s a win for everyone. I am not a medical professional, and nothing stated in this article is mistaken for medical advice.
Realistic Mental Health Goals For Chronic Illness
1. Forgive Yourself!
Make a New Year’s resolution to forgive yourself when you screw up!
You are human! You are going to make mistakes!
Make restitution and let yourself move on.
Forever punishing yourself for a mistake, you make that either wasn’t a big deal or happened ages ago will prevent you from moving forward and making better decisions.
2. Unfollow Negativity
If the people you follow on social media cause unnecessary stress, anger, or sadness, it is time to let them go!!
Your mental health is essential, and if seeing negative posts affects your attitude, it is time to do something about it.
I understand the need to keep the peace by not removing certain family members, but at least on Facebook, you can unfollow someone without unfriending them. By doing this, you will still remain Facebook buddies, but you won’t see their posts in your feed. Other social media sites allow you to control who you see posts from.
3. Stop Blaming Yourself
Do you blame yourself for every chronic illness flare?
You did not create or cause your chronic illness. Nor can you control it. Sure, you can do things to decrease specific symptoms, but not all of them.
Acknowledge that it is your illness that is to blame and not yourself.
4. Stop Comparing Yourself
Resolve to stop comparing yourself to others.
Seriously, stop it!!
Everyone is different. Not everyone has the same health issues, money woes, relationship drama, or life challenges. Even if you have something in common with another person, you still won’t have the same experience or follow the same journey.
Focus on what you can do, not about doing what your neighbor is doing.
5. Try New Things
Have you considered trying a new hobby or looking into a career change?
Try something new if your current treatment or pain management plan isn’t working. Talk to your doctor and see what is available or talk to them about alternative/natural options.
Struggling with mobility? Try using a mobility aid. Mine allows me to do more with less pain.
Don’t give up just because everything you have tried hasn’t helped or worked out until now. Keep trying!
6. Resolve to Complain Less
How often do you complain? Weekly? Daily? Hourly? Every minute?
One trick to help curb how often you complain is to counter every complaint you make with a positive thought.
I am not suggesting that you hop on the positivity train and never acknowledge the struggles your chronic illnesses create. But that not all of your thoughts be dark and depressing. Even when my health is at its worst, I can find something good about my life.
Realistic Physical Health Goals For Chronic Illness
7. Resolve to Exercise Daily
Everyone can exercise to some degree. No, I am not suggesting that someone who is unable to walk for more than five minutes go for a 5-mile run, but instead to find a form of exercise that they can do.
If walking is not your thing, you could try yoga, stretching, or water aerobics. Depending on my pain and flare level, some days, making “snow angels” on my mattress is wild as I get! The point is to make an effort to move your body every day!
8. Make Your Health a Priority
Take care of yourself! This includes mental and physical health.
Besides following your treatment protocol and pain management plan, be sure to practice self-care.
Pushing yourself to the point of having to go to the emergency room because your pain level spiraled out of control is not making your health a priority.
Pacing and taking precautions will result in more time spent having fun and less time in the hospital.
9. Focus on What You Can Do
By focusing on what you can’t do, you open the floodgates of all that is negative in your life to flood your mind. Before you know it, negativity takes over your mind and life.
It is okay to look at what you can’t do for research purposes and find ways to do it differently, just don’t forget to think about what you can do.
Thinking about what you are capable of can also help you find solutions to what you can’t.
10. Always Plan With Your Chronic Illness in Mind
This will be difficult for the newly diagnosed because they are just learning their limitations. But for those willing to acknowledge their disabilities, planning with them in mind will improve activities and possibly decrease the time needed to recover.