Dealing with chronic illness is eye opener is many ways. It’s been five years I was diagnosed with Hashimoto and every day since then has been a new lesson in itself. Be it physically, mentally or emotionally – there are new surprises awaiting me every morning. Some good, some bad but all important nevertheless.
So today, I would like to share five things I learnt in these five years which helped me heal in more than one ways with a hope that it helps you heal.
Listen to your body – It is important to listen to every signal your body sends you. If you are in pain, rest. If you cannot walk, rest. If you are uneasy relax. Never push yourself to do things your body refuses to comply with. Your only exerting yourself beyond permissible limits which in turn can harm you more. Have patience, have faith and most importantly remember being strong is not only physically, at times it is also about mental strength.
There was a time when I could barely walk or eat a proper meal of 3 rotis and sabji. Today because of this habit of being a patient listener I am thankfully able to eat two square meals a day and also exercise for 15 minutes daily. Maybe when I started respecting my body, it started respecting me in return.
Write – Note every single observation. Someone hurt you? Note that down. Your stomach acting up? Note that down. You might be able to notice a trend in your habits, be it eating habits or otherwise. All of these act as triggers, physically or emotionally and noting down helps you notice a particular pattern which can further aid you in avoiding such things or people who impact your health negatively.
Today after five years, I can safely say I can put my finger exact on the issue and I know how my body will react. It helped my panic and anxiety attacks, apart from helping my strengthen my gut which weirdly was connected to my stress.
Control – Control your mind, your thoughts, worries, apprehensions and fears. Most of the times the problem is not as big as it looks to be. But the impact it has on your health is always worse than what you can think of. Meditate, walk, do yoga, read, paint, listen to music or simply be with people who help you see the lighter side of life.
I know it is easier said than done, but the key is to never force yourself. If you try to stop your mind from going in a particular direction that is what it will do at the first opportune moment. So don’t push yourself rather try to find out what helps you calm down. For me, it is music and dance. I love taking long walks in the park (not brisk walking, just normal strolls because that is what my body can take at the moment!)
Alter – Alter your life style to suit your current bodily demands.
My body responds decently to light workouts at home which last not more than 20-25 minutes. The day I feel all charged up and work out for more than that time my body turns sore and by evening it has swelling rendering me unable to even lift a finger. So I have changed my workout schedule to only 15 minutes daily,nothing more and nothing less. That ways it is not tired and I can do it every day without a break. Those small strolls also help.
Delete – Delete every single thing that threatens to harm your mental, physical, emotional or psychological well being.
I started by removing toxic people from my life and went onto actively cut off from people who had nothing good to bring along in my life. Life is too short to be apologetic about everything and live in constant stress. We all deserve a peaceful life and this is just a small step towards it.
It is human nature to take everything that we have got easily for granted like our body and our loved ones. We learn to value things only when we have paid a heavy price for them and maybe this is a second chance I have been given to reclaim my health to lead a happy and healthy life.
Are there any tips which you have been learnt due to your battles with chronic illness that you would like to share with me?