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Tag Archives: self help

Successful Failure

 

 

 

 

 

 

You might have heard the funny saying… “My goal was to lose 10 pounds this year. Only 15 to go!” Well, my goal in 2018 was to lose 65 pounds. 70 to go! So, did I fail? Yes. Sort of. No. Not really! Stay with me here…

The actual goal I put down on paper for 2018 was “continue to work on improving my mental and physical health” because I have come to learn that health encompasses so much more than the number on the scale. I succeeded in improving my health, through various triumphs and failures this year, even though the number on the scale isn’t what I wanted. I had those numbers in my head all year, though, so, yes, I’m disappointed. I miss being strong, physically capable, and agile, so that’s why those numbers will remain a part of my health goals. The shift is the focus and where power is given. The scale and those numbers do not rule over me.

I’ve had a lot of “non-scale victories” in my health journey in the last couple of years. A big one is that I’m still alive. When depression and other mental health struggles make you not want to keep living, that’s worth celebrating. I’m still here, and last year I made a commitment to myself to stay here.

By the way, I did lose a few pounds mid-year when I was doing “keto-ish”/low-carb. However, that way of eating started to have a negative impact on my overall health, and the pounds came back when I stopped. I learned from that experience, and anything that teaches you isn’t a failure. It’s simply learning what doesn’t work for you.

*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.

This drug-free pain relief device relieves pain and inflammation like nothing any of the divas has ever tried! Click here to check it out and don’t forget that discount code DIVA will save you $55.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last year, I did all sorts of wonderful things that are good for my health like hiking, going to the ocean many times, and laughing so hard I cried. I strove to do my best in my various roles and be a positive force in the world. I put myself first… often. That’s quite hard for me, but everyone benefits when I do. Huge victory right there!! I pushed through physical and mental obstacles and setbacks in order to accomplish everyday stuff and all the extras. During fall and winter, I set daily and monthly goals for steps and not only hit but also exceeded them. I posted regularly in social media groups all year to support others in their wellness journeys. I did pool workouts regularly in the summer. So many victories all year!

Yes, I failed to achieve weight loss last year. I take responsibility for that while also giving myself grace. I’m choosing to celebrate all my big and small victories from 2018. In so many ways, I truly was healthier at the end of 2018 than I was at the beginning. That’s a big victory for me. I’m carrying this positive energy into 2019 and will continue to work on improving all aspects of my health, including weight loss. I’m a successful failure, and I’m not ashamed about that! I hope you can look back on 2018 with tough love–giving yourself kudos and grace. Happy 2019 to all my fellow “successful failures”!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Two Things You Must Know About Planning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you have a chronic illness or not, life requires planning.  Without it all we are doing is sitting on our thumbs waiting for life to happen.  While spontaneity can be fun, it won’t help you succeed.  Speaking of succeeding, did you know that planning can help you succeed in your personal and professional life, even if you have a chronic illness like fibromyalgia or psoriatic arthritis.  To help you succeed, here are two very important things you must know about planning:

Number One: Planning can make you more reliable

This is a biggie for those of us diagnosed with a chronic disease.  Autoimmune diseases and other unpredictable illnesses are monsters that have the capability of turning the most reliable person into a complete flake.  Before becoming chronically ill, I rarely cancelled anything I committed to.  That all changed after my third chronic diagnosis.  One of the reasons I became the cancellation queen was because I was filling my calendar the way I did before becoming sick.  Another reasons is that I just said yes to everything without considering if I would have enough time or energy to actually follow through.

*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.

2019 Planner : Get Shit Done: Year 2019 – 365 Daily – 52 Week journal Planner Calendar Schedule Organizer Appointment Notebook, Monthly Planner. Click here to check it out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I resolved this issue with careful planning.  It took a few years of trial and error, mainly because I still had to come to terms with the fact that living with multiple chronic illnesses would never be the same as the life I had before, but I finally found my groove.  What I mean by that is by following the advice in my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life, I was able to plan with my symptoms and pain in mind.  For example, after living with my illnesses for as long as I had, I knew approximately how much time I needed to recover after a big outing.  I also knew that planning anything to close to that event would not end well.  So to ensure that I could attend, well as much as I could as we all know that most autoimmune diseases, chronic illnesses, and cancers can have a mind of their own, I blocked out a few days (more if I wasn’t feeling as well as I’d prefer) before the event and then anywhere from 2-7 days following the event to recover.  By doing this, I was able to plan smarter and could even explain to someone why I was declining their invite.

 

bloom daily planners 2019 Calendar Year Day Planner – Passion/Goal Organizer – Monthly and Weekly Dated Agenda Book. Click here to check it out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number Two: Plans change!

Yep, that’s right, our health status and pain levels aren’t the only things that can change without warning, our plans can too.  With that in mind, I always makes plans that include backup plans! I began this practice after I started blocking out dates on my calendar, because I became frustrated that my plans went up in smoke after I took the time to rest beforehand.  Sometimes my backup plans are actual plans. For example, if dinner plans with friends didn’t pan out, I have plans to still go out either by myself, with my husband or children, or someone from the original plans if anyone is still available.

 

The Clever Fox Planner – Undated Weekly Planner, Organizer, Calendar and Gratitude Journal to Boost Productivity, Happiness and Hit Your Goals in 2019 – Lasts 1 Year – A5 Size – Stickers Click here to check it out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By allowing enough time to prepare my body for an outing and to recover from one, I also free myself to be a bit more flexible.  If something comes up I still have room in my schedule to shift the day that I was going to go out forward or backwards a day or two.

This Changes Everything 17-Month Large Planner 2019 Click here to check it out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The best part of seeing my schedule on paper is that afterwards I am able to see how much I was able to do in the past month.  This helps with future planning.  Then of course there is that exciting moment when you discover that all the time you spent planning and listening to your body results in being able to do more than you expected!

Don’t skate through 2019 hoping everything will work out.  Instead get planning and make this your best year yet!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quit or Modify? The Choice is Yours!

 

 

 

 

 

When something becomes difficult to do, do you quit or modify how you do it?

I struggled to accept that I needed to change how I did things for the first 13 years of living with fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, endometriosis, and coccydynia.  All I wanted to do was to go on with my life the way I had and not have to figure out a new way to live.  Let’s get real, even life without a painful chronic illness can be difficult, but throw in an incurable injury or illness and it can be enough to make anyone want to throw in the towel.  My first instinct when I would discover that I was unable to do something the way I did it before becoming chronically ill was to give up.  The sad part is that if I had prepared myself to embrace change, I wouldn’t have missed out on so much during those years.

*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.

 

Online-Therapy.com, therapy when you need it and where you want it! Save 20% when you register through this link.   Click here to save now.

 

 

 

 

Quitter

I hear so many people say that they can’t do this or they had to give up that just because they couldn’t do it like they did before their illness or injury.  But when asked if they tried doing it differently, they became defensive.  They shut down by saying that we have no right to suggest anything because we don’t understand what they are going through.  My favorite excuse is that doing something differently isn’t the same.  Well, duh!!  Sorry, but seriously, I have done and said both.  How dare anyone suggest that I hadn’t given it my all before giving up, but if I were to tell the truth, they would be right.  I didn’t try hard enough and I am willing to bet that many others haven’t either.

I was a quitter.  Chronic pain had made doing everything so difficult that I couldn’t see alternative options.  Even when set in front of me, I hesitated to try them.  My illnesses had won control over my life.  Does that sound familiar? Are you instinctively saying no or dismissing new ideas because you are tired of having everything you do increase your pain level?  I refused to accept that doing things differently could be as satisfying, even though the end result would be the same.  What I didn’t realize is that by doing things differently, I would still have the same outcome in regards to the task, but I wouldn’t have had the extra pain that doing it the way I used to caused. But I was so terrified of increasing my pain, that I refused to even consider trying.

Like the gazillion posts I see daily on social media, I too was bitter and angry about having to give up doing things that I loved.  I was furious that I couldn’t exercise, go out, travel, care for my family, or work like I used to.  To avoid listening to other’s suggestions, I stopped taking their calls, answering the door, and even began taking extended social media breaks.  Yet, if I had just put my anger, resentment,  jealousy (yep, that is something many of us in the chronic community don’t want to admit, but many are or were jealous of those who can do what we used to do), and had opened my mind and ears, I might have began to realize that life can be good and be different at the same time.

Life modified

In the past 7 years I have learned that it is okay to do things differently. These lessons have made my life one that I wouldn’t trade for anything.  My hope is that it won’t take you reaching the point that I did (ready to commit suicide) to realize that change is okay.  I am not saying that you should be jumping for joy because now your chronic illnesses and pain are making you overhaul your entire life, but to not allow it to become a darkness that takes possession of your mind.

Here is a quick and far from full list of modifications that have made living with my chronic diseases easier and less painful:

  1. I began asking for help
  2. I found ways to work from home
  3. I have groceries delivered when unable to go shopping
  4. I used the mobile carts in stores when walking was painful
  5. To this day I utilize mobility aids FYI: Disneyland is just as much fun in a wheelchair or with a rollator as it is without!
  6. Do most of my shopping online (why waste energy that could be better spent at the beach or Disneyland?)
  7. Accept that my exercise goals and the form I participate in need to be flexible.
  8. Accept that exercise is not optional, but necessary!
  9. Allow my body to dictate my schedule for most days.
  10. Tried alternative and natural pain relief treatments
  11. I stopped fighting my body and began treating it like someone I loved.

There was and is nothing easy about anything I have done or currently do.  Living with one or multiple chronic illnesses is hard, but the hard work pays off!  Without modifications, I would be back where I was before, at home, alone, and in excruciating pain.  Although I would have argued this point 7 years ago, not changing how you live is the easy way. It is more painful, depressing, and aggravating, but it doesn’t require any work.  Making modifications to make living with your chronic illness and/or pain easier requires patience, persistence, and positive attitude.  Most of the modifications I made have decreased my daily pain levels as well as decreased the frequency and severity of my flares. The rest have made my life easier, which has resulted in less stress, which doesn’t increase my pain.

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!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you ready to give up or are you ready to embrace the challenge of finding a new way to live?  I have some good news for you! You are not alone! While not always easy to find, especially in the chronic community, there are others who aren’t wallowing in self-pity. I invite you to join my Facebook groups that are filled with members who like you want to thrive and not just survive.  Another resource is my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life.  It won’t cure you, but it will help you recognize areas of your life that require modification and challenge you to make those changes.  Click here to order your copy today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ten Simple Resolutions

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having trouble committing to a New Year’s resolution?

Here are ten simple resolutions that when kept, will make a big impact on your life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. I resolve to forgive myself when I 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.

*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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. I resolve to exercise daily

Everyone is able to 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, Pilates, stretching, or water aerobics.  The point is to make an effort to move your body every day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. I resolve to unfollow negative people on social media

If the people you follow on social media are the cause of unnecessary stress, anger, or sadness it is time to let them go!! Your mental health is important and if seeing negative posts is affecting your attitude it is time to do something about it.  What? You are worried about offending your friends or a family member?  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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. I resolve to accept compliments by saying thank you and nothing more

What is your response when someone tells you that you look beautiful today?  Do you say that it was the result of layers of makeup or that you just got lucky and had a good hair day?  Or do accept the compliment with a simple thank you.  Stop putting yourself down after being complimented and just say thanks!

Combined with my other pain management treatments, this drug-free pain-relief device decreases chronic pain from fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, degenerative disc disease, and more like nothing I have ever tried. Click here to learn about how it has helped me AND click here to learn more about how this device works. As always, my discount code DIVA will save you $55.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. I resolve to stop comparing myself 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 be following the same journey.  Worry about what you can do, not about being able to do what your neighbor is doing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. I resolve to make my health a priority

Take care of you! This includes mental and physical health.  Besides following your treatment protocol and pain management plan, be sure you are practicing 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.  I resolve to try new things

Are you bored with your life?  Try a new hobby or look into a career change. If your current treatment or pain management plan isn’t working, try something new.  Talk to your doctor and see what is available or talk to him/her about alternative/natural options.  Don’t give up just because everything you have tried up until now hasn’t helped or worked out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. I resolve to focus on what I can do instead of what I can’t

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 to 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 when trying to find solutions to what you can’t.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9. I 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 two positive thoughts.  You will either become accustomed to finding something positive to say and think OR you will tire of doing it and just shut up.  Either way you win!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. I resolve to find something to be thankful for each and every day

If you are not used to finding something to be thankful on a daily basis, you may find it difficult at first.  I found it helpful to journal my reasons.  By doing this I was able to look back and be reminded of the good things in my life whenever I had a tough day.

Which resolution will you choose?

Want a bonus resolution?

How about I resolve to make chronic pain my bitch???!!!!

Click here if you are ready to begin dominating your chronic life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twelve Ways to Improve Your Chronic Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twelve Ways to Improve Your Chronic Life

Every year I see hundreds if not thousands of posts on social media from people with chronic illnesses wishing for a better new year.  Their wishes for less pain, more energy, and for an easier life are not unreasonable.  The problem is that they are just that, wishes……..   Today I am going to share 12 ways to make them a reality.

*Disclosure: I am NOT a medical professional and am NOT issuing medical advice.  I am sharing my opinions, thoughts, and experiences. You should always confer with a medical professional when considering changes to your medical or pain management plan.  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.  Identify dietary triggers

You may have heard about keto, paleo, low fodmap, and other diets, but there is not a one size fits all diet that helps reduce pain from your particular chronic illness.  You may not need to cut out an entire food group, instead you may find that it is a certain ingredient or additive that you need to avoid.  I tried and failed to experience relief from multiple diets.  What helped me find my triggers was to journal what I ate and drank and compared that information to how I was feeling.  You can find details about how I did this in my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life.

2. Move your body

I know being told to exercise is the last thing you want to hear, but as I have learned, lack of movement only increases chronic pain in my hips and spine.  Movement really is necessary.  Now before you close this tab, hear me out….. I am in no way suggesting that you begin with intense workouts at the gym or going for 5 mile walks every day.  What I am suggesting is that you find ways to move your body that doesn’t increase your pain.  Before I was able to walk for miles, I had to start with what I was able to do, which at that time was one or two five minute walks a day.  There is nothing wrong with having to do seated yoga, tai chi, or simple stretches.  Click here to discover another fun way to incorporate movement into your life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Listen to your body

Do you feel like you spend all of your time recovering from every activity or outing?  Listening to your body could decrease that time.  Rest when your body wants to rest.  Unless you have to keep a set schedule, nap and sleep when your body demands.  Pace yourself by breaking large tasks down into sets of smaller amounts of time.

 

 

 

 

 

4. Utilize mobility aids

If walking or standing for extended periods of time are forcing you to stay home instead of going out, it is time to start using a mobility aid.  Seriously, get over yourself and do something your body will thank you for.  Click here to read about what helped me get past the stigma of using a mobility aid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.  Ask for help

Put your pride aside and ask for assistance!!! Stop assuming that people know your needs.  Just as difficult as it is for our friends and family members to understand our complex chronic illnesses, it is just as difficult to know how to help us.  Most don’t want to insult us, while others truly have no clue, so do everyone a favor and speak up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Plan with your chronic illness/pain in mind

Always consider your chronic illness and pain when scheduling appointments, outings, and social events.  I like to think of mine as invisible traveling companions.  Click here to see how this mindset helps me plan, prepare, and enjoy traveling with my chronic illnesses.

7. Stop living your old life

If you haven’t made changes to how you live your life, it is time to do it!  I know you want to show your chronic illness who is in charge and that you are hopeful that you’ll be cured in the near future, but let’s get real, it is NOT going to happen.  I too want a cure, but not making changes to how I lived until that day comes would be a huge mistake.  The only thing living my life the way I did before becoming chronically ill only resulted in more pain and less time enjoying life.  Putting my pride aside and making changes decreased my pain level and allows me to spend most of my time seeking adventure.  Need help recognizing the changes you need to make?  Check out my eBook to figure out what they are and be challenged to made them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Stop comparing yourself to others

How often do you find yourself comparing your life to others?  STOP!!! There is no comparison.  Even if you are comparing yourself with people who have the same chronic illness, there is no comparison.  Another person you may not have realized that you are comparing yourself to is the old you….. Life changes whether you like it or not, get over it, adjust, and move on.

9. Try something new

For twelve years I did everything the same and for twelve years the quality of my life plummeted. It wasn’t until I allowed myself to try new ways to combat chronic pain that I finally experienced a lower level of pain.  By permitting myself to do things differently than I did in the past I opened the door to a new and better life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Don’t give up

I see too many people give up after they discover that they are unable to do something the same way that they did before becoming chronically ill.  Stop it!!! Don’t give up! Get creative and find new ways to do what you love.  Need help?  Click here!

11. Embrace the tools available

There are so many different tools and devices to make our lives easier.  Stop resisting them and put them to use.  Whether it be a mobility aid or assistive devices to make getting around your home safer, be thankful that they are available to use.

 

 

12. Take care of your mental health

Living with a chronic illness or in constant physical pain takes a toll on your mind as well as your body. I am no stranger to therapy and highly recommend seeing a therapist if you are struggling.  Our illnesses and pain often trigger bouts of anxiety and depression.  Let us not forget the fact that we need to mourn our old life and figure out a future that includes our illnesses/pain. The good news is that you don’t have to do it on your own. If pain or lack of insurance coverage is keeping you from seeing a therapist, you may be interested in Online-Therapy.comOnline-Therapy.com is a service that gives you more access to a therapist for less than what it would cost under many insurance plans.  Caring for your emotional health is the most important thing you can do to improve your life.

 

Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life

book cover web

Make Pain Your Bitch

Has your chronic illness stolen the life you had? 

Have you put your dreams on hold?

Does having to spend days, weeks, or months recovering from an outing make you feel like a prisoner in your own home/body?

Are you ready to make pain your bitch?

What are you waiting for?

In my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life  I share the areas of my life that I needed to take ownership over and the changes that had to be made.  My book won’t cure you, but it will help you recognize what changes you need to make. Throughout the book I prompt you to examine your life, then I challenge you to make changes.

I haven’t been healed. Fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, and endometriosis are NOT curable.  However, my daily pain continues to decrease, as does how often I flare, and the severity of my flares.  I have gone from leaving the house once or twice a month in a wheelchair and having to ride lying down in the back seat, because of pain that was so intense I couldn’t sit, stand, or walk for more than 5 minutes without wanting to pass out from it to living the life I live now.  What is that life?  I no longer need a wheelchair! I still use a walker for all day outings, but how often I need to use it continues to decrease.  I can drive myself anywhere I want!! I am no longer a prisoner of pain!! These improvements were unexpected.  They also weren’t necessary for me to begin living passionately and purposefully as I began thriving long before I regained my physical independence and you can too!

Chronic illnesses are not death sentences.  There is hope and it is possible to live a fulfilling and pleasurable life with less pain.  I began winning my battle with chronic pain six years ago and continue to improve. With that said, all of my physical improvements could disappear tomorrow and I would still love my life.  Why? Because I have learned to live passionately and purposefully no matter what my body throws at me.  I have learned to work with my diseases, instead of constantly battling them.

Do you want to dominate your chronic life?

Click here to download your copy today!

Share this post with your friends and family so we can all live purposefully and passionately despite our chronic pain!

 

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