How to Keep A Positive Mindset Despite Health Setbacks!

How to Keep A Positive Mindset Despite Health Setbacks!
This past week was a real do-sy when it comes to setbacks- 

I have chronic migraines but my head does not like the months of Feb-May! It’s like clockwork. My chronic migraines go from annoying to a level of “I want to curse someone out”. That’s pretty fun when you care for lovely folks for a living. 

Then to add to the fun I also deal with a condition called mast cell activation syndrome- and my most aggravating symptoms lately has to do with my breathing. This  past weekend while at the mall with my kiddos I decided to try a new tea (I usually get nervous trying new things because I never know if I will tolerate it) Well I’ve done pretty well lately since my new medication regimen has kept my symptoms fairly stable- keyword “fairly” within 10 minutes of drinking said tea I felt the all to familiar feeling of my lungs closing. Luckily my regimen keeps me from going into full anaphylaxis but I did have to run and use my inhaler a few times to open up my airways- something I have not had to do in awhile-

But that wasn’t the worst day of the week- 

Friday I went to the salon to get my hair done. I walked in with a feeling of dread. I have had a love/hate relationship with my hair for the last several years. My hair has been doing amazing for the last 3 years. It has felt thick and healthy and has been growing really well. About 4 weeks ago I felt the shift. When I started to comb it I noticed more and more hair coming out and the texture changing. I was hoping I was just imagining it but over the next few weeks the hair loss was very obvious.

  • So when I went into the salon, I knew I would have to cut a significant amount off-AGAIN! 
  • It didn’t make the moment any easier and as tears started to build up- I had to tell myself some things- and I will tell you the same if you are going through some health challenges or setbacks.
  • You are allowed to feel all the emotions in this moment
  • This moment does not define you
  • Better days WILL come-
Some things I do is:

  • Listen to my favorite music- music is food for the soul
  • Read my favorite book-nothing like “escapism” to list my mood and take the mind off current circumstances.
  • Stay away from the news and media- I find news can increase anxiety and during times of a setback, you want to keep your focus on the most positive things you can find- so no NEWS!
  • Try to connect with your “positive” people- this may not be family and that’s okay. The online support community has come a long ways over the years. Try to find a group that is focused on positivity-If you need one- I will post the link to mine Here
  • Use uplifting essential oils- citrus oils like orange, and lemon and bergamot are very uplifting and helpful in times of a setback. My favorites are here
Health challenges and setbacks will come-and then they will go! 

Find what works for YOU to keep in a positive mood!

 



Through Sickness and in Health

When I got married years ago we stated the words “through sickness and in health” to one another. I think when you say those words or think about those words you are not envisioning chronic illness. I know for me I thought about things like Cancer or recovery from a major accident- You know those sudden changes in health that can lead to a devastating diagnosis. I never, myself considered what would happen if one of us were diagnosed with a condition that would affect our lives together-forever.


 I was diagnosed with my first autoimmune disease when our youngest child was still an infant. I started experiencing severe symptoms during my last two pregnancies but thought what I was going through was just normal preggo stuff. So when the doctor told me I had Rheumatoid arthritis- my first thought was “ Isn’t that an old person’s disease” I couldn’t believe it. That day in that office changed my life forever. 


I have since been diagnosed with additional conditions and experienced side effects from medications to treat those conditions. Its been a rollercoaster of a journey for sure but the one thought that lingers sometimes is would my husband still say yes- if he had known we would be dealing with all of this.


Now don’t get me wrong- my husband is the most supportive person out there. He is loving and understanding-but even I know this has been a lot. My diagnosis has affected every aspect of our marriage. I am often tired, or dealing with a migraine, or something- something is always coming up despite my best efforts some days. Because of his position he is often my sounding board. When I am frustrated or angry or tired , I often vent to him about it.


Does this sound familiar to any of you?????


I want to share some things that we have done to survive this crazy life!!!


Communication-this may sound cliche and basic but I promise you it has been the most important thing for us during this journey!  


When I am not feeling well I let him know- 

When I am feeling great I let him know (he usually can tell before I tell him)

When I am frustrated I let him know

When I am feeling hopeful I let him know


Then point is- it is really easy to isolate when you are going through this journey. I try to be as open and honest as possible. 


He does the same-or if he is not coming to me outright-I try to make sure and check in with him often about how he is feeling. How his day went at work, what frustrations he is dealing with.


It is also easy to be so focused on what we are feeling that we don’t do these important check ins with our loved one. I know- its hard when its a constant battle to feel good.


Date Nights- I think it is even more important for us to have date nights that typically married couples. It is hard enough sometimes being married and dealing with the normal stressors that come along but when chronic illness is involved I think its imperative. Now date night doesn’t have to be an all out event.

 It can be having a special dinner delivered, or a ride in the car, or a movie-Just having that alone time is the important part.


Hobby- Having a mutual hobby can be fun and a good distraction. We have a few in our home. We are big fans of natural living and making things so between the two- we stay busy.


I would love to hear what is working for you and your spouse or partner?


If you are interested more in Natural Living- I have a great little class on how to use essential oils for self care-lots of tips and tricks are included Yes! Send me the Info


Living with Chronic Illness in the Midst of a Pandemic

Having chronic illness presents unique daily challenges. One day I can feel great and the next week it can be hard to want to do anything. The unpredictable nature makes it tough to truly make plans because I just never know exactly how I am going to feel. Like many others in my situation I usually just push through and do the best I can each and every day and rest on my days off.

When the pandemic began I have to admit I was afraid. Being an immunocompromised healthcare worker that worked in a walk in clinic was terrifying. The media was not helping things at all-every channel I turned too seemed to be announcing doomsday.

Not only was I afraid , many around me were either scared or angry. Emotions have definitely been on edge and being a provider people were sharing  those concerns with me daily.

I have always considered myself overly compassionate and empathetic. So experiencing my own concerns along with those I came in contact with was definitely tough. 

Stress is a trigger for my own illnesses and during this time I have had a worsening of symptoms. Self-care had to be a priority. 

I would like to share some things I have found helpful to my healing during this time in hopes it may help you as well.


Turn OFF the news- I do not think I have to explain why I recommend you just turn off the news at this time. I will just leave you with the thought if it doesn’t promote joy or peace or calm then change the channel.

Speaking of TV-lately I have chosen shows and movies that promote calm. I say this as a person that usually chooses crime shows or action films-but during this time I have watched shows you would find on the Hallmark Channel. You know shows that would give you the ‘warm and fuzzies”.

Rest- before the pandemic life was so rushed. The one thing this pandemic as allowed me to do is appreciate the ability to slow down and rest when I need to. Listening to your body is so important

Express your cares and concerns- I know for me it was very hurtful to hear from people I knew statements like “ Well the virus is really only deadly to those that are old or that have some underlying condition” totally forgetting that they are speaking about me when they are so nonchalantly stating that. 

Find your Joy-During this time I discovered just how much I love my puppy, Luna. She has been such a JOY to me and so therapeutic. I have also enjoyed gardening at a local community garden. Music has always been a love- I discovered a new artist during this time that I just love love love! 
Find your joy.

Grounding- I love to diffuse oils and listen to music to quiet my mind. Other times I love to kick of my shoes and walk around in my barefoot in my backyard while looking at the beautiful trees. Yet other times I like to listen to others using their singing bowls ( I have one and am still learning how to use it) It’s important to take time and quiet your mind from those racing thoughts.
These are just a few tips of things I have done to manage during this crazy and beautiful and chaotic time. Just know that this too shall pass!