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Author Archives: Cynthia Covert

The Chronic Holiday To-Do List


The Chronic Holiday To-Do List: No Other List Matters!

The holiday season is all about lists.  Grocery lists, menus, gift lists, card lists etc…. We are constantly making lists to make sure that we don’t forget something or someone.  However, there is one list that is far more important than those I mentioned, in fact it is even more important than who is on Santa’s naughty or nice list!! Do you know what that is?  It is the Chronic Holiday To-Do List!!

This post contains affiliate links. Meaning that, at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission from sales. The proceeds offset the expense of operating this site and fund the giveaways in my Fitness Buddy and Disneyability groups on Facebook.

1. Pace and Plan

Plan ahead and expect to need time to recover from outings.  The weather is cooler, which for many equates to increased pain.  If this time of the year is tougher on your body than others, don’t plan your activities based on how you felt earlier in the year.  Plan enough time to finish your tasks.  Designate a larger than normal block of time so that you won’t be tempted to skip any rest periods your body may demand.

2. Watch what you eat

Avoid foods and beverages that you know are inflammation or pain triggers.  I suggest eating healthier than you normally do, because in addition to being busier than normal, you will also need to be strong enough to fight off germs.  Flu season doesn’t make an exception for the holidays! Your best defense is to strengthen your immune system.

3. Exercise

You don’t have to be in the gym for several hours a day or need to run for miles, but you do need to exercise.  Find a form of exercise that fits your schedule and pain level.  It may be something as simple as doing daily stretches, yoga, Pilates, or a walk up and down your street.  Just make sure to move your body every day!

4. Listen to your body

Don’t ignore your body’s needs, then get upset when it fails to meet your demands.  The holidays are not a time to test your limits or to push too far.  Rest when needed, even if you don’t want to. Sometimes our bodies just need a 20-30 minute rest before it can continue on.  Better to take that time to rest and be able to accomplish something later, then to push through, allow your pain to spiral out of control, and accomplish nothing.  On the flipside, if you find yourself with the stamina to get something done, DO IT!

5. Sleep

Not only is taking naps when needed necessary, but so is getting a good night’s sleep.  Plan time to relax before bedtime.  Do what you need to relax.  CBD capsules from BioCBD+ are perfect for helping me get to sleep.  I am ready to drift off into dreamland within an hour of taking one.  Take a bath, turn off the TV, listen to calm music, meditate/pray, just make sure to give yourself time to shake off the stress of the day.  Try sticking to a sleep schedule as well.  Aim to go to bed and to wake up around the same time every day.

6. Be proactive about relieving pain

The holiday season is not the time to prove how strong you are or how much pain you can endure! As I share in my eBook, Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life, you aren’t winning when you let your pain reach high levels before taking action.  Winners take precautions to prevent pain, like use a mobility aid or tool to make what they are doing less taxing on their body.  Winners also address pain the moment it presents itself and don’t push themselves to the point of passing out from pain.  My pain management plan addresses the source of pain caused by fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, adhesions, and degenerative disc disease.  Click here to check it out.

7. Delegate

Put your spouse and kids to work! There is no reason for all of the holiday planning to fall on you! Especially if those plans involve traditions that they want to keep doing.  Teach them what need to be done and let them go for it!  Have them help out with house and yardwork.  The key to getting your family to help is to not be overly critical if they don’t do things exactly like you do.

8. Under commit

You know your body. You know what it is capable of. Don’t make plans based off of what you WANT to do, plan them based on what you CAN do.  There were years when I knew that the only thing I could really commit to was going to church on Christmas Eve.  By only committing to what I felt my body could handle at that time, I didn’t have to cancel plans or let anyone down.  Never plan more than what your body can handle.  The best part is when your body surprises you with the strength and energy to do more than you planned.

9. Multitask

In addition to rallying your family to help with your holiday tasks, ask your friends to help out!  Time is precious when you live with a chronic illness, so use it wisely! Instead of trying to make time to catch up with a friend over a cup of coffee and then go home to wrap presents, ask them to come over for a coffee/present wrapping date! Have a group of friends over to help you decorate your tree or house.  Invite a friend to go shopping with you.  In one outing you will have finished your shopping, caught up with your friend, and even gotten in a little exercise!

10. Get real and over yourself! You are NOT Super Woman!!!

Stop trying to make the holidays perfect! Accept what you can do, do it, and rejoice in the fact that you could do it!! Don’t focus on what you couldn’t do or obsess on what others are doing.  The best gift you could give to you and your family this holiday season is to not end up in so much pain that you have to start the new year in the hospital or stuck in bed.  Life is simple, so stop trying to complicate it.

Dominate the holiday season and the rest of your chronic life by purchasing and downloading Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life today!

 

 

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The Secret to a Successful Thanksgiving

This post contains affiliate links. Meaning that, at no additional cost to you, I earn a commission from sales.  The proceeds offset the expense of operating this site and fund the giveaways in my Fitness Buddy and Disneyability groups on Facebook.

The Secret to a Successful Thanksgiving

What is the secret to a successful Thanksgiving?  The answer to that question depends on what your idea of a successful Thanksgiving is.  But if you ask me, my definition would be that a successful Thanksgiving is one in which doesn’t trigger my chronic illnesses, increase my pain level, nor does it take days or weeks to recover from.  Here are some tips to help you achieve the same!

Stuff the turkey, not your mouth

I get it, you want to whoop it up and indulge in all of the festive foods that you don’t make throughout the rest of the year.  And it is okay to enjoy it, just not all of it.  Savor small portions or bites.  Avoid triggers.  Personally, I have to be mindful of my sugar and bread intake.  I also had to cut out alcohol years ago as it increased my inflammation levels far more than any food did.  Stay away from the food and beverages that are going to cause you to spend the next day or more in agony.

Walk it off

If daily walks have become a part of your life, don’t use the holiday as an excuse to not go for one.  I find that I crave healthier foods when I exercise.  If the weather permits, go for a vigorous walk in the morning or before dinner, then again after dinner. If the weather outside is frightful, try an idea that Donna, Abi, and I came up with earlier this year that can be done by anyone! It can be done while watching the big game, parade, or the family’s favorite movie!  Click here to learn more!

Avoid conflict

Thanksgiving is a time when we gather with family and friends to enjoy a meal and to give thanks.  The purpose is NOT to confront people you have issues with nor is a time to sway your friends and family to your political beliefs.  These are conversations that should be done one on one and not at a family gathering.

Focus on what is important

Remember what the day is really about, giving thanks! Think about all the things you ARE THANKFUL for, not what drives you mad!  If need be, write a list and when you find yourself feeling stressed or agitated, pull it out and remind yourself of what is really important.

With that said, I wish you a Thanksgiving that is filled with laughter, joy, and void of additional pain.

Want to dominate the holiday season?

Download my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life

More posts to help you get through the holiday season:

Dominate the Holidays with These Energy Saving Gift Ideas

Three Ways to Prevent an Anxiety Attack During the Holidays

Six Ways to Dominate Christmas With a Chronic Illness

‘Tis the Season to Thrive

A Chronically Cheery Christmas

 

Dominate the Holidays with These Energy Saving Gift Ideas

Having one or more chronic illnesses and getting through the holiday season can feel like a recipe for disaster.  However, with a little planning and creativity, we can get through it without pushing ourselves too far.  Here are a few gift ideas that your friends, family, and body will love!

*This post contains affiliate links

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1. Gift Cards

Gift cards make fantastic gifts when your energy level is non-existent.  Many can be purchased and delivered online, which will save you from having to go out to purchase or send them.  You can also take your gift up a notch by going to stores that you were already going to be going to for your basic needs.  For example, for a Pizza Hut Gift Card, you could purchase napkins and paper plates with holiday prints.  Boost your gift of a Red Box code by placing it along with popcorn, flavored seasonings, and candy into a large plastic bowl.

diva christmas coupon 2.jpg2. Coupons

This idea won’t only save you energy during the holidays, but it will also save you money! Give coupons to your friends and family that offer a service like house, pet, or baby sitting! Personally I wouldn’t offer baby sitting as that would be more exhausting than purchasing a gift, but if that is something you would like to do go for it!! These gifts are far more valuable than you might realize.  Watching and caring for a friend’s house and/or pet while they are on vacation saves them a large chunk of change and puts their mind to ease knowing someone who cares for them is on the job.

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3. Host a DIY decorating party

Give the gift of a handmade ornament or a gingerbread house.  But instead of you making the gifts, host a party and have your friends create their own masterpieces! There are a slew of gingerbread decorating kits on Amazon to make prepping easy. For ornaments you may want to purchase kits that have everything you need to make a particular ornament or a bunch of different items to give your guests options.

Whatever gifts you choose to give, remember that wearing yourself down to the point of not being able to function is not what the season is about.  Be good to yourself as well as those you love!

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Wishing you and yours and Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season!

The Disabled Diva

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The holidays can be an emotionally trying time for some.  If you are struggling, but don’t have time to see a therapist check out OnlineTherapy.com.  Their qualified therapists are there for you every day, not just once or twice a week!
Give yourself and the one’s that you love the gift of drug free pain relief from Oska Pulse.  Click here to learn more and use promo code DIVA to save $55.
Join Spoon Rest, a Facebook group for the chronically ill dedicated to empowering and supporting each other while sharing a laugh.
Join The Disabled Diva’s Alternative Chronic Pain Fighting Forum, a Facebook group for those who are seeking information or already treating their chronic pain with alternative treatments.

My eBook

Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life

will help you dominate your entire life, not just one season!

Order your copy today!

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Countdown to 50: Nobody Else Could

Three, Two, One…… and after the clock strikes midnight I will be fifty.

The final three reasons is actually one reason made up of three words…. Nobody Else Could

That is right! I am here today and my dreams of living a life that isn’t ruled by my chronic illnesses because I made it happen.  Nobody else could!

Doctors couldn’t fix me.  They couldn’t even reduce my pain.

My husband, kids, family, and friends not only cant, but aren’t responsible for making me happy.

It was all on me!

I had to figure out how to live with my chronic illnesses, how to care for my body, how to not make myself worse, how to love myself no matter what was going on with my body, and so much more…..

If you are waiting for someone else to make your life better, stop!!!

Instead, download my eBook for only $5 and start dominating your chronic life by making pain your bitch!!! Click here to buy now.

 

 

Countdown to 50: To make my dreams come true, I had to open my mind

 

Read series from the beginning.

I had to open my mind to make my dreams come true!

Only a few more days left!!!!!

Had I not opened my mind and allowed myself to believe that there had to be a better way to treat chronic pain from fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, endometriosis, and degenerative disc disease, I wouldn’t be here today.  Wondering what it was that I needed to open my mind to?  Read on….

Prescriptions aren’t always the answer

To be clear, I am not completely anti-medicine.  I am however against medications that don’t enhance or improve a condition/symptom or that make life harder or more painful for the patient.  When chronic pain first hijacked my body, I went to my doctor knowing that his answer would come from his prescription pad.  What I didn’t expect was that each pill would end up making me sicker and destroy life as I knew it.

Cannabis isn’t just for hippies

I resisted trying cannabis for many reasons.  One being that I had a bad experience with laced pot in my younger years.  Another was that I didn’t want to labeled a stoner.  Click here to see what other reasons I have heard for not trying cannabis for pain relief. I had to open my mind and recognize that it wasn’t just hippies that were smoking it, there were already tons of patients successfully treating chronic pain and other disorders with it.  I wasn’t going to be the first housewife to try it, nor would I be the last.

*Disclosure: I am not a medical professional and am not issuing medical advice. This post includes affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links. The proceeds earned fund the giveaways I host in The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddies and Disneyability Group on Facebook.

Get your medical marijuana recommendation online! Click here for California and here for New York

Be open to new ideas

When I first heard about PEMF therapy with Oska Pulse, I refused to believe that a simple device could relieve pain.  Yet it did that and more.  Thank goodness I didn’t give up after just a few uses, because what happened after a few months and now two years of using it has blown my mind.  Not just mine, but everyone who has witnessed my life since chronic pain began invading it in 2001.  But don’t just take my word for how well this piece of technology addresses inflammation and pain, click here to hear what others have to say too. BTW you can read about my experience from the beginning by clicking here.  I am an affiliate with Oska Wellness, the makers of Oska Pulse.  The reason I became one was to be able to offer my readers a discount on a device that, if used religiously and with patience, will change their lives.  So don’t forget to enter promo code DIVA at checkout to save $55.00.

Last but not least, if you are struggling to figure out how to live with chronic pain, check out my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life.  In it I share lifestyle, pain management, and attitude changes that must take place.  You will be challenged and given the kick in the pants you need to make the next years of your life the best they can be! My book costs less than a venti caramel macchiato from Starbucks.  Isn’t your future worth a cup of coffee?

 

 

Countdown to 50: #5 To make my dreams come true, I had to stop waiting

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Before my dreams of living the life I wanted could come true, I had to stop waiting.  What was I waiting on?  You name it and I was waiting on it!  Read on to see if you are still waiting on what I was……

A cure

My life was on hold, because I didn’t think it was possible to live the life I wanted with my chronic illnesses.  So I waited and waited.  I would make “plans” for the future, my future without pain. As you can guess, a cure, let alone pinpointing the cause of many of my chronic illnesses has yet to be found.

My doctors

I waited for my doctors to prescribe the perfect cocktail of pills to make my world better. Wasn’t it their job to heal me? To fix me? To make me feel better? To make my life livable? While it is partly their job, nothing they do will be effective if I didn’t take responsibility over my health. I had to eat right, exercise, pace myself, listen to my body, and find natural and alternative treatments to reduce inflammation and pain.

My family/friends

After giving up on a cure and my doctors, I put all the responsibility to make my life better on my family and friends. But I never told them!! I unrealistically expected them to fill the voids in my life and to make everything better.

*Disclosure: I am not a medical professional and am not issuing medical advice. This post includes affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links. The proceeds earned fund the giveaways I host in The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddies and Disneyability Group on Facebook.

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PEMF therapy with Oska Pulse has made it possible to ditch my wheelchair! Save $55 with my discount code DIVA. Click here to learn more about this amazing device.

 

I was the only person who could make my life better.  I had to address my mental and physical health.  When plans A, B, and C failed, it was up to me to look outside the box and try something different.  Only I could bring joy into my life.  I had to stop waiting to love myself and start loving who I was right then and there no matter how sick I was.  I couldn’t expect friends and family to adjust their lives for me, I had to adjust my life for me.  Does any of this sound familiar?  It’s okay if you aren’t ready to admit it, heck it took me 13 years to admit it!!  When you are ready, be sure to download my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch for only $5.00.  That’s less than a venti caramel macchiato from Starbucks! Isn’t living a better life despite your chronic illness worth $5.00?  Click here to order your copy today. 

Click here to read entire Countdown to 50 series

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Countdown to 50: How getting real with myself made my dreams come true

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Before my dreams of living the life I wanted and not the one that my chronic illnesses and pain were pushing me into came true, I had to get real with myself.  This meant facing realities that I had not been willing to face for 13 years.  It included accepting and letting go of things that I didn’t want to.  It meant that I couldn’t use the same excuses.  Most importantly, while difficult, getting real with myself freed me to live passionately and purposefully.

Part of getting real with myself was accepting that my chronic illnesses were going to be with me for the rest of my life.  With no cure on the horizon, I needed to stop waiting to live and figure out how to live with these diseases.

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Even though I wouldn’t have admitted it back then, my eyes told the truth…. I was miserable.

 

Before I could begin living I had to let go of how I was living.  This meant changing my pain management plan to one that truly addressed the sources of my pain.  It included letting go of a lifestyle that didn’t work with my illnesses.  It meant that I needed to accept that pushing myself in the name of pride was really self-harm and not self-care.

I had to stop blaming my doctors for not giving me the life I wanted.  Focusing on solutions versus making excuses needed to become a daily habit.

I discuss all of these steps in my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life.  I share how I applied each one and how it changed my life for the better.  In it I also challenge you.  Not to necessarily make the same changes that I did, but to examine your life and to figure out what you changes you need to make.  You may not be aware of the ideas or habits that are holding you back.  I am the kick in the pants you need to make those changes, let go of harmful habits and ways of thinking, stop making excuses, and to start living a wonderful life.  Believe it or not, a life with a chronic illness isn’t a death sentence and a cure is not needed to reduce the pain it inflicts.

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I went for my first hike at the age of 49.  This would have never happened had I not gotten real with myself and made the changes necessary to live a great life despite my chronic illnesses.

How do I know?  Because, chronic pain from fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, degenerative disc disease, and endometriosis practically killed me.  The pain was uncontrollable. No amount of pain meds allowed me to function. I spent my days and nights lying in bed, wide awake, crying and begging to die.  It wasn’t until I implemented the changes I share in my book that I began to thrive.  There was no overnight miracle…… It has taken me six years to get where I am at today…. And each moment was worth its weight in gold……

Download my eBook today and begin your journey to living a life that you love.  Don’t you want to wake up excited to face the day?  My book costs less than a venti caramel macchiato from Starbucks.  Aren’t you worth that?

Click here to read entire Countdown to 50 series

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Click here to purchase and download

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