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Tag Archives: mental health

Why a Diagnosis is a Reason to Celebrate!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before receiving my first chronic illness diagnosis in 2001, I would have scoffed at the idea of celebrating anything other than hearing my doctor say that all tests came back showing nothing wrong.  However, my attitude changed quickly when one test after another showed nothing wrong when their clearly was something very wrong…….

I have celebrated each and everyone one of my diagnoses.  It wasn’t because I wanted to be sick.  Seriously, who in their right mind would want to have psoriasis, fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, degenerative disc disease, coccydynia, and a belly full of adhesions (from endometriosis and surgical scarring) that to this day are attacking her bowls and bladder? Not me!

You are probably wondering why I would even contemplate celebrating a list of conditions that aren’t curable.  I have celebrated each one, because they gave me insight to what was going on in my body. Instead of knowing something was wrong, but having no clue as to if there was something I could do different to make it better or if I was making it worse was maddening.  Knowing what I was dealing with helped me move on.

*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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having a diagnosis validated my instinct.  Like when I knew there was something severely wrong going on in my belly, yet 22 surgeons either blamed it on fibromyalgia or said it was all in my head.  Click here to read about how their ignorance and refusal to listen to me put my life in danger. Every nurse and physician in the recovery area were in shock and horrified by what my surgeon had discovered during surgery, but not me.  I was smiling ear to ear, because his findings validated everything I had been saying for two years! I wanted to go to the rooftop and shout “Who’s crazy now??!!!???!!”

Without a diagnosis, friends and family believed each and everyone of those incompetent surgeons.  They would even suggest to my face that I wanted to be sick.  Living without a diagnosis is devastating, not just physically, but it has the ability to kill relationships.  Do you know how hard it is to trust those who believed the physicians over me?  To this day, there are some relationships that will never be mended.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I could research symptoms until the cows came home and still have no idea what was going on.  Having a diagnosis to research gave me insight to what my future may look like.  It helped me accept that I had to make changes to how I lived, did things, and what I expected from my life as I grew older.  A diagnosis allowed me to let go of my old life, to make modifications to how I did things, to experiment and find ways to improve my health and lower my pain.

Having a diagnosis makes talking with others a little less frustrating.  Instead of saying I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me, I had a disease to declare! Of course nobody seems to get that my diseases are not curable, but that’s another issue.  At least I had a name of an illness that they could look up to learn more if they chose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A diagnosis made it possible to meet others who are experiencing the same thing.  While we each have our own unique struggles, it is nice to bounce ideas off of each other and sometimes we find something that helps us all.

Do I wish I had never become chronically ill?  Of course, but I am thankful for each diagnosis, because without them I wouldn’t have been able to find a way to live with my symptoms or to reduce the pain that comes with them.

Was there a time in your life that you knew something was wrong, yet all the tests came back showing nothing wrong?  How long did it take for you to be diagnosed and what was your reaction?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PEMF therapy with Oska Pulse has taken my pain management plan to a whole new level! Click here to see how it has improved my chronic life and click here to learn more about the device and how it may help you too! BTW My discount code DIVA will save you $55.00 when entered at checkout!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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28 Ways to Practice Self-Care

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s day may be just a day, but I liked to love myself all month long.  Whether you are burnt out from living with one or more chronic illnesses, a workaholic, or both, here is a list of 28 ways to make some time and to do something just for YOU!!! Pick a few or do them all!

*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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. Drink plenty of water: I know this doesn’t sound like much of a “treat”, but it is for your body! Water helps maintain balance of your body fluids, energizes muscles, and makes your skin look good!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Take a bubble bath: Fill your tub, light some candles, turn on some soothing music, and relax.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Call a friend: Carve out time to have a phone date with a friend. Hearing my besties voice at least once a month makes up for us not being able to hang out in person. Whether your friend lives nearby or out of state, a phone date is an easy way to make time for each other.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Go stargazing: Go outside and watch the stars.  If you have the energy, get out of the city.  Go where the stars shine bright.  For fun, try to spot various constellations. Click here for a guide to help you find the constellations. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Enjoy a cup of hot chocolate:  Want to know how I make my hot chocolate extra special?  I add 30mgs of CBD isolate to my cup and then I top if off with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Spend some time in the sun:  I get that not everyone lives where it is nice enough to sit outside during the month of February, but there are still ways to soak up some sunshine.  If you can’t sit outside, try siting by a window that allows the sun to pour into your home.  Open your curtains, let light into your house. Not enough?  Click here to learn more about a heat lamp that helps to improve circulation!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Start a journal: Journaling can be done in various ways.  You can use it as a way to share your life story with future generations, to release your fears or anger, to keep track of your daily wins, or to learn more about your body and behavior to possibly prevent some nasty flares.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Take a nap: Yes, I know that those of you with chronic illnesses take a lot of naps.  But when was the last time you took one just because you wanted to?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. Warm your pajamas in the dryer for a few minutes before putting them on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Get dressed up for no reason: During the years that were spent in bed and even now with working from home, I don’t really have a reason to dress up.  Every once in a while I will put on a fancy dress just to feel good about myself, even though I have no plans to leave the house.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Spend the day in your pajamas for no reason:  If you are like I was before getting my chronic pain mostly under control, you probably spend most of your days in your pajamas.  However, have you done it because you wanted to?  I find there is a huge difference in how I feel about myself when I am being forced by my illnesses to do something rather than when I choose to do the same thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12. Donate items you no longer use:  I used to decorate my home with all kinds of knickknacks and trinkets.  But after chronic pain entered my life, I didn’t have the energy to keep up with dusting or cleaning all the items I had out.  Nor did I have the energy to sort through drawers or closets trying to find what I needed.  Purging my home of what I no longer used and decluttering my space simplified my life.  It takes less time and energy to clean and I no longer have to go hunting for the items I do use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13. Exercise:  Whether it be going for a run, walk, practicing yoga, or tai chi, do something good for your body.  There are many options for doing yoga while seated.  Click here to see if this form of exercise might work for you.  If chronic pain is preventing you from exercising or you are looking for an alternative to opioids, click her to check out a drug free pain relief option that took my pain management plan to a whole new level of awesome.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14. Get a mani-pedi:  Make an appointment at your local salon/spa or do it yourself.  Having well manicured finger and toe nails always makes me feel better about myself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15. Plan a spa day:  Book yourself a day or afternoon at a spa.  Schedule a facial, massage, or both.  Can’t afford a spa day?  Invite a friend over or have one by yourself at home.  Purchase face masks, soak your feet, sip champagne, and nibble on some fruits and cheese!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16. Read a book:  When is the last time that you made time to get lost in a book?  Re-read a favorite or dive into a new one.  Click here for my recommendation!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17. Dance:  Turn up your favorite song and dance!!! I do this at least once a week.  It’s a great way to let go of physical stress, burn some calories, and an opportunity to just let myself go wild.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18. Enjoy a smoothie:  It doesn’t matter if you make it yourself or pick one up from Juice it Up, treat your body and taste buds to a delicious smoothie.  Just make sure to take the time to savor and enjoy it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19. Binge your favorite show:  Spend a day doing nothing but binge watching your favorite show.  I prefer binge watching over viewing a series once a week.  It’s like watching a long movie! Click here to get 2 weeks of Hulu FREE!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20. Make a memory jar:  Throughout the year, whenever I have a moment that makes me smile or jump with joy, I jot it down and place it in what I call my joy jar.  Then at the end of the year, I go through it and am once again reminded of the good in my life.  Click here to learn more about it and how to make your own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21. Write yourself a love letter:  It is easy to forget what we like about ourselves.  Take some time to write a letter reminding yourself of all the reasons you love you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22. Watch a comedy:  When I need to escape, I like to get lost in a comedy.  Sometimes laughter really is the best medicine.  Click here to see which comedy is my first choice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23. Make time for a hobby or try a new one:  When is the last time you enjoyed your hobby?  Maybe you gave it up or were forced to because your body wouldn’t allow you to do it anymore.  Either way, make time to resume a hobby or try something new.  Who knows, it may provide a distraction from pain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24.  Tidy up one corner of a room:  Fully cleaning a room is typically too much for the chronically ill. Instead, try doing a corner of one room today, then another tomorrow, and so on.  In time you will have tackled every corner without killing yourself and you will go to bed each night with a sense of accomplishment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25. Take a social media break:  Every once in a while I take mini social media breaks.  Sometimes it is just a day, but when I find that my social media feed is fueling my anxiety and depression I take two or more days off.  I don’t make a big deal about it, in fact I never announce it.  I just don’t open the app, post, or comment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

26. Create an uplifting playlist:  Fill your playlist with songs that make you smile, tap your toes, dance, and sing out loud!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

27. Have a good cry:  Most people would never know this about me, but I love a good cry.  I love having the house to myself, watching a sappy movie, and just letting myself bawl like a baby.  Having an occasional cry is why I am able to be as happy as I am most days.  It is liberating to release the anger and sadness that chronic illness cause.  Can’t get time alone?  Grab a Bluetooth speaker, crank some tunes, take a long shower, and let those tears flow!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

28. Unfollow toxic people on social media:  Stop following people who are always angry, picking fights, or are emotionally abusive.  You become what you are exposed to the most.  Instead, follow people who inspire and uplift you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Start the New Year with a New Attitude Towards Yourself

Dish’n with The Disabled Diva Podcast season 2 kicked off on Jan. 13, 2018.

Listen in as my co-host Shane and I discuss negative thoughts, the destructive impact they have on your life, and why we think you are a WINNER!  You will also find out how you can enter to win a copy of my new book Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join one or all of The Disabled Diva’s Facebook groups:

Dish’n with The Disabled Diva: Discuss show topics, play games, and more!

The Disabled Diva’s Alternative Chronic Pain Fighting Forum: A group for those who are either currently or thinking about fighting pain naturally and alternatively with CBD, MMJ, PEMF, diet, exercise, prayer/meditation, massage, and more…

The Disabled Diva’s Product Picks: Diva shares products that will help comfort you, improve your life, and make you smile.

Spoon Rest: Ran by The Disabled DIVAS this group is a place for the chronically ill to empower and encourage each other.

 

An Extra Fabulous New Year

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New year, new you? I bet you’re pretty fantastic just as you are, but we all have room for growth and improvement! Do you make New Year’s resolutions? I have some in mind that will make this year extra fabulous if you make them happen.

  1. Listen to your inner voice and your gut. Listen to learn and try to understand, rather than simply to reply, especially if you disagree with someone. This listening, learning, and understanding will foster healthy boundaries, growth, and stronger character and relationships.
  2. Spend more time in nature! Whether it’s going for a walk or sitting on your porch, it’s good for you! Even just remembering to open your windows/doors so you can hear the birds can add peace and joy to your day.
  3. Weed your mental garden. Give the negative forces in your life the boot. This could be negative people, your job, your negative mindset about yourself and your life, regrets, guilt, anger, letting reasons become excuses…. Surround yourself with people who lift you up and bring out the best in you. They’ll encourage you in your efforts to cultivate positivity! These can be hard changes to make, so don’t hesitate to seek the professional help of a therapist for support.
  4. Eat healthier. No, you don’t have to eat only organic or never eat a sweet treat again. (Nothing wrong with those goals, though, if they fit your needs!) Look at the bigger picture. Drink enough water. Eat “whole”, unprocessed foods made from scratch as much as possible. Limit sweets and junk food. Eat proper portions. Avoid preservatives, additives, and chemicals. Watch your sugar and salt intake. Pay attention to how your body and cognition reacts to certain foods and ingredients, and then see if you feel and think better when you eliminate the ones that you think might bother you. Talk to your doctor if you think you see a pattern.
  5. Move your body. Whether you’re able to do a heart-pounding workout or simply begin your day with stretches in bed, be intentional about moving your body every day. Playing with your kids, getting up to walk when you need to sit for long stretches, yoga, strenuous workouts, housework…. Anything that fits your needs and abilities that gets movement into your day will benefit your physical and mental health!
  6. Those last two are a huge part of my next suggestion: self-care. Take good care of your health–physical and mental. It’s so easy to put “me time” and self-care at the bottom of the pile when you’re trying to get through the daily grind. You are worth the effort and time. Set aside at least a few minutes every day to do something that recharges you and brings you joy and peace. This investment in yourself will reap lasting benefits not only for you but also everyone in your life.
  7. Laugh every day. The health benefits of laughter are many! Find something that you KNOW will get you chuckling so you have something to pull out on those glum days. For me, that’s funny goat videos on YouTube.
  8. Be kind. Give yourself and others grace, compassion, and kindness. Your kids when they’re driving you nuts, your spouse when they forget to do such-and-such yet again, that grouchy driver that flipped you off, or the negative Nellie online…. Create a ripple effect of kindness.
  9. Be uncomfortable. I’m not talking about sitting on the saggy part of your couch! Get out of your comfort zone. Consider another side of a topic that you’re passionate about. Truly learn about it; talk about it with those that hold opposing views, face-to-face if possible. Try something new, whether it’s a new food, attending an event, a hobby, taking a class, or a new way to improve your health.

 

 

 

Here’s another way to think about it. Instead of focusing on things to lose or remove from your life, think about what you want to add. More truth, kindness, growth, joy, respect, movement, sunshine, adventures, laughter, healthy choices of all sorts, positivity, contentment, learning….

What do you want to add to your life this year?

In this eBook Cynthia will help you examine your chronic life, recognize the areas that require change, and empower you to make them! Click here to download your copy today!

 

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