I chose the featured photo today because the little boy looks SO much like my grandson. The resemblance is uncanny. (giggle)
I have a question for all my chronically ill followers out there… “How exhausted are you?” Do you find that the things you used to do easily, have somehow become a large hassle for you?
One of the reasons we are so exhausted is because our bodies are under stress. When we’re stressed our bodies are literally under attack.
It is a well-known fact that Chronic illness and stress don’t mix. In fact, stress can put us right into a flare. And we know that a flare (even from a small upset), can affect us for weeks, months, and sometimes years. So, it is our responsibility to take ourselves out of situations that we know will be stressful. This is easier said than done, is it not?
“Being diagnosed with a long-term health condition can be frightening and disorienting. Once you move beyond the initial shock of your diagnosis, it’s helpful to learn how to cope with the daily stresses of living with your illness.
Everyone is susceptible to the effects of stress. However, living with a long-term condition can make you particularly vulnerable. In addition to the everyday challenges that most people face, chronic illness adds new layers of stressors. For example, you may need to:
- cope with pain or discomfort from your symptoms
- take steps to manage your condition and practice self-care
- adjust to new limitations that your condition puts on your life
- manage increased financial pressures
- cope with feelings of frustration, confusion, or isolation”
Healthline, by Robin Madell
Everyone’s stressors are different. But, I want to share some of my mine, and the ways in which I’m learning to rest, and distress. In return, it is my hope, that you will share with me some ways in which you find peace.
My stressors & my action plans:
Facebook: I personally don’t think that FB is being used in the manner that it was created for. Have you ever thought that? What was once a fun outlet to visit with friends and family, is now bombarded with the following:
- Quotes: Trust me when I say that I’m BEYOND guilty of this. I LOVE quotes… and for the last 10 years I have distributed daily quotes on my FB page. Yup, I’m one of “those people”. That was until recently. One morning I woke up and started scrolling through my news feed and noticed that every quote I saw posted… was met with an eye-roll from yours truly. Not because they aren’t amazing quotes that were said/written by people that I have the utmost respect for. But, because I realized that I have heard all these quotes a million, zillion times. Ok, maybe not a million zillion… but you get my point. This could possibly be because I’m older? I don’t know. Anyway, at that time, I decided I wasn’t ever going to post another quote as long as I lived. That lasted about two weeks. But personally? The only “quotes” I want to see nowadays are the ones that are written in my journal. The quotes that are directing “me personally” to try to become a better person. Most likely this will change, but for now it’s a stressor. (Lol, who would have ever thought a beautiful quote would stress me out?)
- Sales: I’m not talking about our local sale sites. I’m talking about the thousands of “coaches” out there who are trying to sell you their products. I was also guilty of this, big time. I’ve sold many things in my lifetime… but lately? Every post I’m seeing in my feed are from so called experts (coaches) that are trying to sell me their products. I guess above anything else, it really grinds me that I went to school and became certified as a Life Coach, which is a field that is now being questioned due to people (who never went to school), saying they’re coaches. Therefore, the people who are truly seeking a certified Life Coach are very weary that they will be subject to a sales pitch.
- Messenger: I’m sure that girls do this also, but how many of you get umpteen messages from men who are trying to flirt with you? I love the feature (on Messenger) where you can press down on the thread and click “delete conversation” without ever even looking at the message. Do these men not look at your marital status before messaging you? It’s really quite sickening. And, if you’re one of these ppl, shame on you. Look at the persons marital status before you message them. And I believe that if you’re a married woman/man, you shouldn’t be talking to another men/woman; period. And vice-versa. That’s just my belief, do with it what you will.
- Retaliation: Bickering, defriending, arguing, judgement, etc… the ways in which people hurt the people they once loved. It physically hurts me… even when it’s someone I hardly know. It’s just one way that FB has really changed through the years.
13Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the LORD forgave you. Colossians 3:13
I understand that this is easier said than done, but I do feel that arguments should be done face to face, and in a loving manner.
That being said, there ARE two features on FB I do still love. Which are:
- The local selling sites: I love these because they are like going to garage sales without ever leaving your home. Awesome in my book.
- Also, the event page. I love to see what things are coming up in my area, that I may enjoy going to (if I’m not too sick to attend).
My FB action plan: I’ve deleted FB off of my phone. The reason I did this is because I get zero notifications, therefore I’m not tempted to even look at FB. This allows me to distress. Because I’m finally learning that if I feel stressed about something, regardless of how minor it is… I need to just walk away from it. This may or may not be helpful to you. Obviously if FB brings you pleasure than just ignore this section. Lol. (Ps. This blog automatically post on all my social media sites).
- Another stressor? NOT listening to my body: This took me a year and a half to overcome. I’m either really dense or really good at my denial techniques. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem saying “no” to things I don’t want to do. I learned that lesson the hard way in my 20’s. Burning both ends of the stick was an understatement in those days. However, the issue I’ve had the last couple years, was saying YES to all the things I love to do. All the things I was once able to do, and no longer can. (cry). THIS is the area where I literally needed someone to bop me over the head. I mean, how many times does God have to tell me to slow down before I’ll listen to him? (sigh).
Action plan: Prioritizing and listening to my body. For instance, … I no longer make plans over the weekend. The reason? I give myself my injections on Fridays anywhere between 2:00 and 4:00 PM. I now know that as soon as I inject myself it will only take about a half hour before my body starts to weaken. I get shaky, and tired. I then retire to bed and get clammy, cold, then hot… repeat. This goes on for about an hour… before drifting off to sleep. It’s clockwork now.
- There would have been a time, when I would have tried doing my normal routine. This would knock my body out of the ballpark, and my immune system would crash. Therefore, instead of having just a couple days of a weakened immune system… I would end up bedridden for a month.
- I’ve now learned that if I’m tired, I rest. If a nap is needed, I take one. If I make plans with friends and/or family, I tell them upfront that I may have to cancel. When I do have to cancel… I no longer feel guilty. Because guilt is just another word for stress. I’ve also learned that if dishes pile up, the floor needs to be vacuumed, or our laundry pile looks like Mt. Everest, to LET. IT. GO. My health comes first. By Monday I’m usually feeling pretty darn good. I may still be weak, but I’m more than capable of cleaning and making our home pretty again.
- I prioritize for the important things in my life and no longer waste time on things that are unimportant. On top of my list are my four adorable grandkids! There is nothing I love more than being with them. I can no longer watch more than one at a time. But I try to get one of them weekly. This leads to some wonderful quality time with each of them. It’s the highlight of my week.
- Family and friends… another list topper. I try to enjoy them when I’m feeling healthy enough. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt like myself. But I feel my body healing every day, and this is making a big difference in my family life. I still can’t be with them as often as I’d like, but I try as hard as I can because they’re so important to me.
- And I’m most certainly not forgetting hubs, Hubs, HUBS. (my life)
My point of tonight’s blog post is that I understand just how real your exhaustion is, and I’m hoping you’ll learn from my mistakes. I literally have to do things the hard way to finally get the “right way” pounded into my thick skull. But once the light-bulb goes off… I remain steadfastly dedicated to keeping it “plugged in”.
Not listening to the needs of our body will only make our chronic illness worse. And we need to take note of the things that are causing us stress, because stress will literally attack our immune systems. It’s time to take control of our life, and the activities that we choose to do throughout the week. We need to slow down, and we need to give ourselves permission to rest and recoup, so that we don’t make ourselves even sicker. I’m praying we all have a blessed, peaceful sleep. That the angels that are flying around us, are soothing us, and healing us as we rest. I pray that when we awaken tomorrow we will feel refreshed and renewed.
God bless each and every one of you.