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Category Archives: mental-health

Resolutions without plans are just words

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do you make New Years resolutions?

How many do you keep?

If the number of resolutions you make is zero or very few, the problem may not be with the resolutions you are making, but instead with how you expect them to happen.

Do any of these resolutions sound familiar?

  1. I am going to lose weight
  2. I am going to exercise
  3. I am going to make more money

While there is nothing particularly wrong with any of these statements, it is the lack of planning that dooms them to failure.  Not one of those goals will happen without a plan.  No one is going to lose the weight for you.  Nobody can make you exercise.  You control what goes in your mouth.  Unless you’re hoping that someone leaves you in their will or is just going to hand you more money, you will need to figure out a way to make more money.

*Disclosure: 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 my Facebook Groups.

        Save 20% when you register with                      Online-Therapy.com via my link!              Click here to check it out!

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t dream about a better year, create it! Make an action plan to start making those dreams come true.  Find a diet plan that you can stick with.  Make exercise a part of your daily life, not just something you do when you want to lose a few pounds.  A plan and hard work will make you more money, not hoping or wishing.

No matter what your resolutions are for 2019, do NOT make them until you have created a plan.  With that said, that plan doesn’t have to be perfect, it will take time to figure out what really works best for you, but have a plan to start with.  Hoping, praying, or wishing for a better outcome will only lead to disappointment.  The only way your resolutions have a chance to come true is if you are willing to change.  Bad or destructive behavior isn’t wished away or magically changed just because you want it to be.

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I prefer NOT making resolutions, but to instead make new life habits.  Last year I vowed to make exercise a part of my daily life and it is.  Not because I wished, hoped, or prayed for it to happen, but because I made an effort to move my body every day.  I was also realistic and didn’t expect my body to be able to walk for miles until it was able to conquer minutes…  This year I resolve to love myself.  Not just when my body cooperates and I am losing weight, but when I am injured or flaring from fibromyalgia or psoriatic arthritis too.  I plan to do this by making the healthier food choices I make when I am feeling my best also when I am feeling my worst.

What is your New Year resolution and what is your plan to make it happen?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Are you under estimating your ability?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living with a chronic illness and pain can take a toll on our self esteem. It plants doubts of unworthiness and more into our brains.  There are times when we struggle to get in a shower and others where we are in so much pain we wonder if we will make it home from the grocery store.   Our illnesses have the ability to make us doubt everything about us…. but could there be times when they are lying?

Disclosure: I am NOT a medical professional and I am not issuing medical advice. This post contains some 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 for my Facebook groups.

My readers save 20% off of online therapy when they register through my link. Click here to learn more and register today.

 

Many of us went from living our lives at full speed to crawling slower than a snail within a short period of time. That itself is enough to make us doubt what we are capable of.  There may come a time when we might experience an extended portion of our lives stuck in bed, unable to do much at all.  While we are thrilled when we emerge from that time, we are also often terrified of having to discover just what we can do.

Look I get it, after spending years unable to walk, stand, or sit for five minutes I had no clue what I could do.  I was either over cautious, which frustrated me or I would go full speed ahead and often trigger another flare.  Personally, I had to follow a rule of caution.  This kept me from landing back in bed and allowed me to create some type of a physical routine.

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When I first decided to make walking part of my daily life, I had no clue what I was capable of.  In fact I often under estimated what I could do.  But I didn’t see that until I my daily ritual had become a part of my life for some time.  When I realized how far I was walking without pain or need of time to recover, I hesitated to add more.  What if I couldn’t handle it?  What if my body freaks out?  What if…… the what ifs never stopped.  Then one day I decided to slowly start increasing my expectations.  Over time my ability grew.

One of the tools that made it possible for me to stop under estimating my ability has been my fitness tracker.  In the beginning I used my Fitbit to keep me from exceeding an amount of activity that would increase my pain or trigger a flare.  Now I use it challenge myself to do more.

Is your chronic illness/pain preventing you from doing more or are you under estimating your ability because you haven’t tried to do more for a long period of time?  When you are ready to challenge yourself, start slow.  And even if you end up not needing it, plan some recovery time just in case.

The truth is you won’t know what you are capable of until you try.  I won’t call anyone from my fitness group out, but there are many of us who are afraid to commit to a higher number of steps, not because of what we are capable of doing now, but what we were capable of doing at our worst.  Don’t let the memories of a bad spell hold you back or make you think that you aren’t as capable as you are right now!  You won’t always have a five star day, but every day that you give your all will be a winning day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t travel this holiday season if……

 

 

 

 

 

Just because everyone you know is traveling home for the holidays, it doesn’t mean you have to.  Too often I see people do things they really don’t want to do or have the emotional or physical strength to do in order to please family members or to keep up appearances.  Today I want to tell you that it is okay to not be okay with traveling during the holiday season!  And here are a few reasons why!

Don’t travel this holiday season if the pain you will experience afterwards will disrupt your life.

If traveling triggers a flare from your chronic illnesses, you should rethink packing your bags.  Pleasing family shouldn’t come at the expense of not being able to function when you return home.  Traveling during the holiday season exposes you to more people and germs than if you traveled in a less busier time of year.  Winter weather also increases your chance of becoming ill.  Having a chronic illness doesn’t mean that you can’t travel at all, but rather you should travel during seasons when you experience less pain and will be exposed to fewer germs.

Disclosure: I am NOT a medical professional and I am not issuing medical advice. This post contains some 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 for my Facebook groups.

Don’t travel this holiday season if family drama makes you anxious.

Those of you who suffer from anxiety, know how debilitating it can be.  In fact if not managed well, it can literally paralyze us.  If spending time with family during the holidays increases your level of anxiety or triggers attacks, do yourself a favor and stay home! Don’t look at it as letting your obnoxious or manipulative family members win, think of it as winning by valuing your mental health.  However, I do suggest that you find a therapist to help you work through your emotions and possibly prepare you for dealing with those family members in the future should you decide to visit.  Online-Therapy.com is therapy that available when you need it and there is no need to drive across town.  My readers save 20% when they register through my link.  Click here to check them out.  Instead of putting yourself through an emotional battlefield, make plans to visit the relatives that you really want to spend time with during a time that wouldn’t warrant the whole family getting together.

 

 

Don’t travel this holiday season if you don’t want to…

Seriously, do NOT travel if you do not want to.  If the cost of travel, the wear and tear on your body, and mental exhaustion have your stomach in knots and you haven’t even booked your ticket, stop!! Again, seek therapy to find out if your fears are rational or not! Do not make a bad situation worse by forcing yourself to do something that will have a negative impact on your finances, or mental/physical health.

 

On the other hand, if traveling home for the holidays is really important to you, do it! But don’t act surprised or get upset about any additional pain you may experience or the time your body will need to recover after you return home.  Unless you are newly diagnosed, you know by now that living with a chronic illness changes everything.  You also know who a disrupted emotional state can increase and trigger flares as well.  What you decide to put your body through during the holiday season is up to you and only you are can decide what it is best.  With that said, will you be traveling this holiday season?  What steps will you be taking to reduce your odds of returning home in more pain?  Not sure?  Then check out my chronic travel trips!

Whether you choose to travel or not, I wish you a happy holiday season and a pain-free new year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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!

 

 

Protect Yourself From Trauma Triggers This Halloween

Halloween can be a difficult time for people who have suffered a past trauma.  What seems to be harmless fun for some can trigger paralyzing memories for others.
Memories of childhood abuse, rape, domestic abuse, military combat, natural disasters, and/or violent attacks may be unleashed by a number of things, many which cannot be avoided throughout the Halloween season.  Some of these triggers include, but are not limited to horror films, haunted houses, decorations, music, scents, costumes, etc.  While not all can be avoided, there are ways to protect ourselves.
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Here are a few ways to navigate around your trauma triggers:
  1. Swap horror movies with comedies or mysteries.
  2. Stay away from haunted houses or mazes.  Being terrified by scary characters that jump out and grab people may be an adrenalin rush for some, but for others it can paralyze them with fear.  Corn mazes can also trigger feelings of helplessness or of being trapped.
  3. Have a support system in place. Spend Halloween night with those who either don’t celebrate the holiday or don’t get any trick-or-treaters if costumes are one of your triggers. Go out for dinner or see a play.  If you would still like to give out candy to kids without having to greet them, leave a bowl filled with treats by your door.
  4. Engage in mindfulness practices to decrease stress throughout the holiday.  Click here for some mindfulness exercises.
  5. Seek professional help.  A mental health professional can help you work through your past issues while helping you through this trigger filled holiday season.  Don’t have time to see a therapist in person? Check out Online-Therapy.com and save 20% when you register via my link.

*Disclosure: 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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We may not be able to avoid all of our triggers throughout Halloween, but we can do our best to take control over our environment and take care of ourselves.

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