New Year’s Day is upon us and it’s traditionally a time when we all start to think about what we want our fresh beginnings to look like. A turning of a page, and the possibility of blank pages.
As we start the first page of our new year, be sure to put your best foot forward. If you suffer from chronic illness, it may be time to rethink the negative things that are holding you back.
File this under “things we know are sabotaging ourselves, but we do it anyway”. That harmful habit can be anything big or small. Maybe you have gastroparesis and you’re finding yourself eating something you know is going to cause a flare, but it’s so good! Yeah, that’s a tough one.
Maybe you have POTS and you know you need to increase your salt intake, but you’ve not made it a priority. NormaLyte is clinically proven to manage symptoms of POTS and would be a great way to make sure you’re getting your daily intake of sodium. PURE has over 800mg of sodium and none of the extras like dyes, preservatives, or artificial sweeteners. It was made for people with POTS, and it would be a great way to turn that harmful habit around.
Whatever the harmful habit may be for you, make a resolution to leave it in the past. Find a way to overcome it.
Could your harmful habit be continuing a relationship with someone toxic in your life? It doesn’t mean that person is a bad person, but maybe they’re not well suited to you. They bring out the worst in you for whatever reason. The gaslighting (hello, to some of the medical doctors!), or the mean comments. Whatever the reason for the toxicity, it’s time to leave those people in the dust and live a happier life.
This article talks about healthy ways to cut toxic people out if that’s something you need to do.
NEGATIVE SELF TALK
If you’re in your head always telling yourself that you are less than… you will be less than (at least to you). If you’re being the toxic person to yourself it’s time to give that up for good. One way to turn the toxic train around is to practice words of affirmations. Mornings are great for me when doing this. When I’m showering I say them to myself. “I am loved. I am kind. I am bold. I am resilient. I let things go. Today is going to be a great day.” This website has a great list of affirmations you can say to yourself to avoid negative talk.
Repetition is key. After a while you’ll subconsciously start believing the things you’ve been saying to yourself. And your attitude will follow. It may feel a little awkward at first, but push through. It’s worth it.
LIVING IN THE PAST
Reminiscing can be a good thing, but it’s not a place you should stay. Living for the future will allow you to keep in mind that you have something to live for. A future. Brooding over past decisions or lived experiences can be detrimental to your health.
Especially if you suffer from a chronic illness, living in the past can cause you to feel depressed. The constant comparisons to who you are now versus who you were then. You’re a warrior now, you were a soldier then.
Read this guide to help you learn how to let go of the past and start living for the future.
TRYING TO DO IT ALL BY YOURSELF
I’m guilty. Anyone else? Sometimes it’s just easier to be the person that takes care of everything. There’s less instruction to give and you’ll be able to get it done yourself quicker anyway. Stop.
Ask for help. Tell the others that you need them to pitch in with the dishes because it takes too much out of you. Ask someone to fold the laundry for you. Whatever it is that you’re taking on all by yourself, either a physical task or an emotional one, reach out. Building a community is so important for day to day lives, and often people want to help but don’t know how.
COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS
Social comparison is hardwired into us. It’s a way for us to determine how we are doing in life, but when you’re talking about upward social comparison, it can lead to dissatisfaction. Upward social comparison happens when you’re comparing yourself to someone who is better off than we are. In a culture of social media that has us seeing others at their best, we can sometimes forget that what we are seeing is often the highlight reel.
If you’re someone who suffers from a chronic illness, be careful of comparisons. You may have the same disease as someone else, but that doesn’t mean your diseases or comorbidities are the same. Once you realize that, it will help you move through it.
A great way to overcome general dissatisfaction is to focus on gratitude. What are you the most grateful for? The support system around you, the doctors who are finally listening to you, or is there a win at work or with a friend? Be grateful and thankful for what you do have.
I still remember that time in the 3rd grade when I dumped water on that boy's head because he was being a jerk. Did he deserve it? Yes. Do I regret it? Also, yes. Here’s the important thing. That was so long ago, I can’t hold onto it. I’m not going to allow it to live rent free in my head.
Regrets can be so much bigger. Maybe your regret is not finding a doctor sooner. Maybe it has something to do with family and missed opportunities. Whatever the regret is, find a way to forge forward. Accept what happened (forgive yourself). Learn from the mistake. Then look forward to the future.