More and more people are being affected in their daily life with health issues. Some are things like allergies or sinus issues regularly due to pollen or seasonal changes and others have major illnesses like Multiple Sclerosis or Cancer. It’s important to realize that you can’t change things when you are hit by a cold or something more serious. The best way to deal with it is to accept it and to work around it if at all possible.
In my own family there have been some illnesses that have hit our little world and made a major impact upon it. My husband has Multiple Sclerosis (MS), an illness that changes for him day to day. I have a few of my own health concerns such as diabetes, hypothyroidism and though I’m working towards becoming healthy, these changes can take time.
There are days that fatigue is so great that I cannot seem to focus for more than a couple hours on the things I need to get done to work towards my goals. I tend to press on anyway and do as much as I can and try to stay positive in the process. Is it difficult? Absolutely, but I don’t let it become an excuse. You can’t change some things and there are days that perhaps I cannot accomplish as much as I want but I do attempt it no matter what.
Here are some steps I take to help with getting things on my list done when health issues hit me.
1. Accept what you can’t change. If you are someone with a major health issue, it’s time to accept what you have and figure out how to work around it. You can’t change it so why focus on what you can’t do, when you can focus on what you can instead.
2. Positive attitude is key. When you get up each day you need to make a choice to have a positive attitude no matter how you are feeling. You are blessed with being able to wake up and live another day, spend time with those you love and make the most of your day. Make a choice to be positive, no matter how you are feeling. If you need a little help being positive then read affirmations to help you.
3. Keep a daily journal. Make time each day to write down your thoughts in a journal. Talk about how you are feeling, what things you really want to accomplish and why it’s important to you, ideas on dreams and goals and how to best go about them and most importantly, be honest with yourself with how you are truly feeling health wise. Are you struggling? Is this a better day? It’s important to go back and see how you were feeling, what you had to overcome and see how far you have come later on.
4. Set deadlines on your goals. The only way to truly make a dream happen is to turn it into a goal and put a deadline on it. Otherwise, it’s just a dream that you think about all the time because you want it to happen but you don’t make it happen. With a deadline it gives you a date to work towards. It makes you push through those days that you aren’t feeling all that great but you want to succeed by taking action towards that goal anyway.
5. Be realistic. Set your goal and if you have a really bad health day don’t beat yourself up because you didn’t do anything towards that goal. Realize you have to listen to your body, adapt when it is screaming at you on any given day and do things you need to for your health. Work towards your goals most definitely but realize also that you might not be able to do as much as you thought and instead of working four hours you may only work one. You still made progress and you haven’t given up.
6. Make dates with yourself. When you are dealing with health issues there are times you need to take some time to relax and rest. You could relax and have your favorite cup of tea or coffee, a hot shower or a soak in the tub may help soothe your body, reading a book that can refuel your soul, going to lunch and a movie with a friend, get up and move a bit – take a walk, stretch, go for a swim, go to a book store and pick up a few things that interest you and find a seat and enjoy what you have found or even take a nap. When you don’t feel well something that takes more energy or enthusiasm might be out of the question but doing something small for you could help make all the difference in your overall attitude and ability to relax.
7. Review each quarter. Every three months get out your journal and review what you have overcome and how much you have gotten done. Being able to review that you are making progress despite the health struggles can help fuel you to continue on.
8. Take charge of your health. This one I admit is a bit more work on your part but it’s worth it. Don’t settle for the drugs your doctor is willing to give you. Do some research of your own and see if there are alternative things you can do to help your health situation and make it better. You might could utilize essential oils, a few changes in your daily eating, adding a daily vitamin or vitamin C, a healthy smoothie to get in all your nutrients you need each day and so on. Some medications that I have received from my doctor have made me worse than when I wasn’t taking them at all. You have to evaluate what is best for you and your body. Some treatment plans if you are honest with yourself aren’t improving your life but making it more challenging. If that’s the case then research everything you can on the Internet about your health problems and what your doctor has diagnosed you with. Find out as much as you can and make some changes yourself to see if you can improve things with small changes. Be skeptical of just any old thing on the Internet because some things are really snake oil and you want to avoid them.
9. Find joy in the little things. When you are having health issues every day you have to seek out joy and happiness in the small things around you. Seeing your spouse and children, listening to them laugh or play, going for a walk that day, listening to your favorite music, lighting a candle with a scent you love, having a meal together and a simple conversation with a loved one. It’s up to you to notice these simple things and realize they make you happy and feel your heart with joy.
10. Never give up. You will encounter days that you just wish to stay in the bed and give up on doing anything. I understand this and have been there a few times myself. Days like this you need to take a day of rest and listen to your body because it’s trying to tell you that you have been going at a pace that is too much the last week or two. You might have felt a little better so pushed yourself to get more done in all areas of your life. That’s great until this particular day hits you and you wish to give up. The trick here is to admit you worked a little to hard, you need a little rest and you will do what you can tomorrow, but you won’t stop. Instead of doing four major tasks a day focus now on three and see if you can have less days like this one in the future. Adjust your lists and time so that you might be able to be a little more consistent with what you can do instead of what you can’t.
People overall are fighting more diseases than ever before, diabetes, MS, cancer, fibromyalgia, auto immune diseases, chronic fatigue, thyroid issues, digestive issues, hormone imbalances and more. It starts taking a toll on your body when you ignore the symptoms and keep pushing yourself each day without taking care of those needs also. In order to be all you can be you need to take back your health and that is a daily goal you must work on. Doing research, making small changes so you know if it’s working or not, listening to your body, taking time to rest, finding joy in the little things, writing in a journal the good and bad moments and reviewing what is working and what isn’t are all important for success with your health so you can achieve your dreams and goals.
As a healthy person listen to your body and when you have a repeat symptom of something it’s time to get a check up and find out what that symptom could mean. It’s always better to find out if there is a problem before something major breaks and sets you back. Being told you have high blood pressure or you are borderline diabetic after a checkup, allows you to prevent things from getting worse and start making changes now to give you a better daily life. It is far better to do that than to hear bad news from your doctor and then your world crashes until you figure out how best to fight and work through it. If you are healthy then once a year go get a checkup and to remember make it around your birthday. Do this for your eyes and your body. You will be glad that you did.
My hope is these tips helped you with ways you can still accomplish your goals and dreams while dealing with an illness. If you know someone also dealing with some illness and struggling please share this with him or her. I’d love to hear your comments on how you get through those bad days or how getting a checkup allowed you to make a change to improve your overall health for the better.
Have a blessed day!