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Writing from personal experience I know that it is possible for chronic illness to become so prevalent in our daily life that we start to associate the illness with our identity.
BE CONFIDENT IN THIS TRUTH …. CHRONIC ILLNESS DOES NOT DEFINE YOU.
Health issues can be overwhelming and even all-consuming but you are so much more than a disease and your life has a great purpose and a higher calling.
The five wellness strategies outlined below are to help you change your perspective and focus on the positive even when faced with the challenges of a chronic illness. I want you to the be the best version of you possible. Please know that my intention is in no way to make light of physical or mental illness. I have been told that one of my gifts is to make people feel welcome but maybe I took that a bit too far when it came to illness. My physical body is the fortunate host of three auto-immune diseases that can be crippling and painful. We all have our own battles on this journey of life.
My job here today is only to guide you towards a content, happy, purposeful, and abundant life as you discover your own personal path to wellness. You can live a happier, heart-centered, mindful and balanced life today!
Wellness is crucial in living a higher quality of life. The definition of wellness as defined by The World Health Organization defines wellness is “…a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” The National Wellness Institute has this to say about wellness, “a conscious, self-directed and evolving process of achieving full potential.” I couldn’t have said it better!
Please do not compare yourself, and your battles against someone else or how they appear to handle theirs either better or worse than you. You do not know what another person has been dealt with unless you walk in their shoes. Wellness is not about who is the sickest, like some kind of ‘I have it way worse than that person’…. always empathize with others, be understanding but don’t measure and analyze!
Find peace in the knowledge that “everything is as it should be” – Adrien Mishler, and strive towards a life so filled with a sense of love and purpose that goodness overflows from you and spills out onto people who connect with your life journey. Be mindful of your words and how you talk about your physical and mental wellness.
Admit the illness might not go away anytime soon. Admit this to yourself and to those close to you, having someone to talk to about it is so important. When you admit the illness is possibly lifelong, only then can you take further steps to manage, deal with, and overcome it. And by overcome I do not mean to infer that the illness is healed or cured. There are many mental and physical illnesses that are not curable, many of which are also invisible to the people around you.
Ask yourself, what if….’what if this is lifelong’, ‘what if there are painful days ahead’, ‘what if I never get a diagnosis for this (whatever ‘this’ is for you) ?’ What is the worst case scenario. This may sound like a pessimistic approach, however, in my experience, asking these difficult questions will aid you in facing the issue realistically and propel you forward with purpose and conviction to find your path to wellness.
Take care of your mind and your body. The illness that resides in your physical body also desires to control your mental wellness. Seek assistance and guidance from people you love and/or trust: a counsellor, a pastor, your physician a naturopath, nutritionist, friend, spouse. The who in this step is different for each person but the important thing not to face it alone.
Seek medical advice, and do the research to learn whether diet, exercise, yoga, nutritional supplements, medications, massage therapy or other alternative treatments may be helpful. For many of us, alternative health methods are the only relief. For instance, in the past ten years, each medication a specialist prescribed for me has either resulted in an allergic reaction or a severe autoimmune response; therefore I source out alternative measures.
Alternative meaning different, something you haven’t yet tried. It may be the equivalent of committing to a regular exercise plan, a yoga practice, daily meditation, eating a healthier diet, or simply taking the time for a much needed therapeutic massage. Write down steps you can take and give them a try.
Whatever works for you, remember to talk, talk, and talk some more. Don’t keep the pain inside and try to do this alone. Share what you are going thru with others, and ask them for honest support and most of all, love.
I believe that a daily exercise practice including stretches and yoga can benefit all of us. Here are three beginner stretches you can try >> Stretching for Your Body, Mind and Soul. If you are ready to start a yoga routine, then check out this post >>Yoga, Relax Your Muscles, Mind and Unwind.
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Share your story with others thru writing and speaking about it. In sharing your story you focus outwards and connect with others, this shift in focus will help you see the positive in every day and all that you go thru. What you have gone thru, are still going thru, and what you might go thru in the future, is the story someone else needs to hear. Everything in life happens for a reason (the good and the not so good, and the downright horrible), it might even be to help someone else, and let them know they are not alone, that you totally understand what they are going thru because you have been there.
Practice gratitude. Write down three things you are grateful for every morning. Look for the small miracles that will otherwise go unnoticed, especially on the days when your health is at it’s worst. This can be something as simple as stretching before you get out of bed, the fresh feeling right after stepping out of the shower, or a new day to start over. The more you look for the abundance and goodness in your life, the better your life will be!
May today be the beginning of your path to happiness, wellness, and a heart-centered life. May peace and love be with you wherever you go.
Here’s a Pin for your Pinterest board!