Just Keep Going!

Tina Butt

Yep, I’ve been missing for a little while. I needed to get some of my thoughts together and adjust my life a bit.

Having a chronic illness has taught me that it’s important to keep going.

When life gets you down and you have a lot on your mind, sitting still and thinking can actually work against you.

If you follow my Blog or social media posts you know that I educate on stress and inflammation affecting the mind and body.

Finding balance in life can be frustrating and even disappointing at times.

Through my personal health struggles I have been forced to learn a few tips to keep myself going. Heck yeah times have gotten hard, sad, and lonely. I could have very easily quit trying and gave in to a very STUPID illness that does not make sense to me. But……..that is not how I do things. It did take some negative thoughts to get me back on track in a more positive way, but I did not give up.

I would like to share a few tips that I used(and am still using every day) that work for me. No these may not be appropriate for you, but they may also be very appropriate for what you are going through.

  1. I realized that what I was doing wasn’t working! I had to change things up. I needed to shift gears as they say. My “positive thinking” was getting me nowhere. So, I allow myself to get mad, angry, pissed, jealous and embarrassed. I no longer hide my feelings. I let them out. I verbalize them if someone actually asks how I am feeling or how I am doing(this is rare) or I journal! Every time I have a feeling that is negative, I write it down. Then move on. Once the feeling is expressed, I quit thinking about it. This helps with developing the habit of rumination which leads to or worsens depressive symptoms.
  2. I quit pushing people away. I needed to figure out WHY I was doing this. I had several reasons(for another Blog), but I realized that I needed people around me. My personality looks for FUN, laughter and other happy people. By surrounding myself with the people who make me laugh and happy again, I started to loosen up a bit and enjoy life again. I needed to figure out ways to do the things I enjoy safely and as free from symptoms as possible. I’m still working on this! But hey, things don’t happen over night.
  3. I found a hobby! For the longest time my vision and fatigue made it very difficult to read and craft so I quit doing some of the things I enjoyed doing. I used to love working out, that has now become a chore instead of fun and fulfilling. I enjoyed walking and playing sports with my daughter, but that got too difficult to do for fear of her seeing that I was not feeling well……..EXCUSES! That’s what I was making. Instead of finding a new way, I made an excuse for why I was not able to do the things I enjoyed in the same way as I used to. Now, I adjust myself to do those same things that I used to do. Now, I do them differently but they get done and I ENJOY doing them!
  4. Consistant STRESS management! This is the one thing that I feel I have mastered. I put a lot of my daily energy into managing stressors as they arise throughout the day. Sometimes I even plan ahead “in case” there is going to be a situation that may cause stress, I come up with a plan. I practice regular breathing exercises that instantly calm me and lower my heartrate. I have set strict boundaries for myself and verbalize them to who they pertain to. I listen to my body and pay VERY close attention to what it needs. I have regular(daily) rest periods that are for ME and I do not feel guilt or explain myself. Self care has become a priority!

When I think about having a shitty chronic illness, I am starting to understand WHY me! Why not me? I am the same as YOU and everyone else. I have learned very negative behaviors and never learned how to manage life’s stressors. I just let them build up and wreak havoc on my mind and body. In reality, I allowed life to beat me up. Now I have to take control! By me taking control over my own life, I will not allow an illness to control me! This is the most important thing in life and I realize that it may have taken me all these years, but it’s not too late. It’s not too late for you either!

What are some of the things you have done to cope with your chronic health issues? Share in the comment section!

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