I am going to share these mood-elevating, perspective-altering tips that are guaranteed to make a difference to your day…
Dealing with chronic pain is like going on the most gut-wrenching ride within a theme park; it throws you through some hoops and drags you through some dark tunnels. Sometimes you feel supercharged for whatever comes. Other times, you find yourself deflated; with little or no hope that things will improve. Have you found yourself feeling the latter?
If so, then you have come to the right place. I’m going to share these mood-elevating, perspective-altering tips that are guaranteed to make a difference to your day. I usually do these things whenever I feel depleted; they have worked for me every time.
1) Acknowledge & Vent It Out:
That’s right warriors. Name and shame what is dragging you down. Acknowledge your feelings – call them out. This may seem random, but it is vital to highlight your feelings. I say this because you can’t address or tackle something that you haven’t acknowledged. Acknowledgement triggers off the process of getting past your feelings. Once you have done this, you can now continue the rest of the process. Let us personify ‘feelings’ or ’emotions’ for a minute. People can easily find themselves trapped by their emotions – especially when they choose to ignore the elephant in the room that is their feelings. This can cause your feelings to remain as guests that have overstayed their welcome; which can eventually end up controlling you rather than you controlling THEM. Some feelings aren’t meant to be entertained or accommodated for such a long time. I speak this from my own personal experience. Get them out, so you can finally KICK THEM OUT.
2) Encourage Yourself:
This is an area where people struggle. Terribly. Although that is understandable, this is a necessity for anybody’s survival. This is where our resilience needs to kick in. I find that the more you do this, the more it will become a reflex for you. Naturally, you can be the most positive person in the world and you will still have those days where you cannot encourage yourself.
So how can
you achieve this? By reminding yourself of the trials you have overcome in the past. Warrior, don’t neglect the fact that you are a warrior; that means you’ve been fighting and surviving! If you cannot recall anything you have survived, I am reminding you right now that you have survived life. You have survived everything that has been thrown at you – yet you’re still here. Hold on to that. Another major part of encouraging yourself also includes highlighting the fact that things will change. Life guarantees change. It WILL come. But it can be hard to believe this when your circumstances have looked the same for so long. It gets really easy to lose hope and doubt this. So I challenge you to do the complicated thing; believe it will change. Because they will. Reading this will help;
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.
3) Rest Yourself:
This is a subject I recently highlighted in my last post Take Time Out! I cannot stress enough to you just how vital it is for you to rest. TAKE A NAP! I am so serious…the human race has the tendency to behave erratically when they are tired. Ever been really hacked off about something, but found that same thing didn’t bother you much once slept on it? That’s because sleeping/resting can act as a natural reset button for your brain. Lack of rest can cause us to judge things irrationally. Take a rest and see how you feel when you get up. It won’t solve all of your problems, but it’ll clear your mind. Having a clear mind will help you with the next step.
4) Surround Yourself With Optimism:
When you have a clear mind, the materials, media, and company you expose yourself to can determine how you feel for the rest of the day. Now would be the perfect time to watch something that is ideally inspirational or encouraging. I urge you to be aware of what kind of messages you choose to digest at this time. If you fill your mind with negative or unsubstantial resources – guess what will circulate in your mind? Think of it this way – just like they always say “you are what you eat”…you also are what you read, watch, listen to and converse about. Feed your soul with something good which will impact the way you think warriors.
5) Redirect Your Thoughts:
Now, this where the work begins. It is likely that the thoughts you had before will attempt to return. They usually sound something like “it won’t be long before you have another emotional slump”, or maybe “I’m still in pain and that’ll never change”. I urge you to either push them away, negate them or redirect your thoughts altogether. There’s that saying; “you can’t stop a bird from landing on your head, but you can stop it from building a nest”. Take this example & don’t be hard on yourself – because you can’t control those initial thoughts from entering your mind. However, you can control what you choose to do with them. I often find it easy to negate these thoughts by pulling on gratitude; what things I am grateful for in my life that are going well. Sometimes it’s hard to think of things per se, but then I just take a moment to acknowledge that I am alive and able to function. It might not be to the same degree of others. Heck, it might not even be to the degree that I used to – but I’m still functioning, regardless.
So now that I’ve shared these tips with you – put them to good use! I am hoping they will aid you during those down, difficult days. Put these points up somewhere in your house where you can see them. They will serve as a great reminder for when those days come.
Are there any tips you would add to this? Comment below and let us know! Don’t forget to share this article so it can help others who need it!
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Until next time,
So the question for today’s #PainWarriorTalks is how do you cope with your flare days? What helps you? Share with us 🙂
You are entitled to have a rest, don’t deprive yourself of something that is
detrimental to your wellbeing…
I haven’t posted a #PainWarriorPepTalk in a while! I am hoping you have recently had some better days (emotionally mentally) & some pain-free days also!
I haven’t posted much lately as I had the summer holidays away from work. Unfortunately, the new school year has commenced. Alas, I am classroom-bound again for this academic year *cue sad violin music*.
Before the holidays started, I had originally planned to get a lot of work done. Truth be told, I didn’t get much done at all! I was regretful once the end of the holidays approached. I felt like I had failed myself. However, my perspective changed once I reflected on what I did get to do over the summer; I spent quality time with my family and close friends. I don’t usually get to spend much time with my people during the academic year. This is usually because I am pressed for time, or don’t always feel well enough whenever it’s the weekend or a holiday from work. When I realised this, it had hit me that maybe I was being too hard on myself: as a person who deals with a chronic illness, I juggle two jobs (most of us spoonies struggle to deal with one!). Before the holidays, my body was already acting up and I felt run down. I needed the summer holidays to rest, recuperate and regenerate my energy. It was ludicrous to plan to use my time on holiday FROM work, to DO work! I’m not a newbie warrior – I know better than that.
So why am I sharing this with you? To remind you that it is OKAY to rest. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. There needs to be time for everything; including a time for working AND a time to rest. But make sure you don’t neglect the latter. Resting enables you to regenerate the energy you will need to get your next task or goal completed.
Now one can easily think “I already know this…”, but don’t consider this pep talk to be a new lesson – consider it to be a revision session.
We already know spoonie life entails our bodies constantly being under attack. You can’t control every aspect of what your illness does to you. However, you can control how much rest you allow yourself to have.
If we take the Spoon Theory into account, it is essential for us to recuperate and regain our spoons. We stifle our chances of having four/five spoons if we are always pushing ourselves on one spoon. This will result in us crashing in a way that is so disastrous, it will take longer to recuperate. Longer than it would have if we had just rested prior to our bodies feeling run down.
For those of you aren’t sure what the Spoon Theory is, the best way I can explain it follows;
The Spoon Theory is usually used by those who suffer from chronic illnesses or have disabilities. This theory was originally penned by Christine Miserandino: it uses metaphorical spoons in a way that can be likened to a meter. This meter measures how much energy an individual has to engage in tasks for that day. The quantity of spoons the individual has (0-5) indicates how much energy they possess. 0 spoons mean the individual has absolutely no strength to function: it’s a dreadful day. 5 spoons mean the individual is feeling quite powered & able to function to the best of their ability. Keep in mind that a person having 5 spoons doesn’t necessarily mean that they aren’t experiencing any pain at all. I have had many 5 spoons days where I am able to go to work and function to the best of my abilities – with the pain still present.
Which brings me back to the point: You are entitled to have a rest. Don’t deprive yourself of something that is detrimental to your wellbeing. Also, stop making yourself feel guilty or stressed whenever you do take time out to rest. If you spend the whole time doing this, you won’t even feel rested when it is over. Thus you will only be returning, feeling just as rubbish – if not worse than you already felt before you had your break.
Take time out and make every effort to enjoy it. Do whatever makes you feel peaceful & tranquil. Whether that is sleeping, reading, watching television, rolling on the floor (providing that it doesn’t use up your spoons) whatever works for you! When you do, own it. Be good to yourself. Your body is already fighting you on everything else as it is. Your work, job or family aren’t going anywhere and they’ll be there when you have finished your break!
When was the last time you took time out for a break? Leave a comment and talk to me!
Wishing you well warriors! Until next time,
For today’s #PainWarriorTalks…can you tell if a flare is about to happen? What are the signs for you? Let us know us know in the comment section 😊