I hope that these tips will help you to look forward to your day out in the sunshine!
So we are in the midst of that season where skin is cooking on this side of the hemisphere. As the summer holidays have just started, some of you may be planning to go on vacation to warmer places. Others may be experiencing heatwaves. Either way, soaring temperatures can be difficult to cope with when you suffer with migraines! Unfortunately, some chronic illnesses come packaged with migraines and headaches – so this can be beneficial to those of you who have to deal with them.
As a warrior who deals with chronic migraine, I have often been stuck in the thick of the heat. Especially on public transport; no fresh air, no air conditioning and no way out of it without a migraine being triggered. As the summers have come and gone, I have found certain tricks have helped me to cope with such atmospheres.
So, here are some tips to help y0u endure the heat and possibly even escape a migraine attack;
1) Bring a spritz bottle filled with water:
Spritzing water on your face is one of the immediate ways to cool down when overwhelmed with heat. This has been a game changer for me during humid weather. Focus on spraying your face, the back of your neck and even your feet. I usually do this & it has worked wonders for me.
If you want to buy your own bottle and fill it up with your own water, I recommend you buy a small travel bottle. Alternatively, you can also buy Evian Face Spray or even Magicool face and body cooler from amazon or your local pharmacy.
2) Get your head gear ready:
Dear warriors, if you have a sensitivity to light due to migraines, then I urge you please bring a hat with you. I had to find this out the hard way. You may wear glasses that help to tackle that, but having a hat, cap or visor acts as that extra layer to your shield.
Also, it would benefit all people to wear their head gear to avoid sunstroke or headaches/migrianes from direct sunlight drumming on their scalps or foreheads.
3) Wear loose clothing & watch your fabrics:
Many people tend to be tempted to wear the lightest, skimpiest thing they can find during summer. On the contrary, you will benefit more from wearing loose clothing as it’ll allow ventilation around your body. Tight clothing means warm air will get trapped in those tight gaps between your skin & the clothes – so it really doesn’t do us any favours in the long run. Also, you’ll want to pay special attention to what kind of material you’re wearing. Stay away from viscoses (which are easier to come across in the stores particularly during summer) and flock towards clothes that are made from cotton and linen (light linen). I recently traveled to Jamaica and found that wearing those materials served me well.
4) Drink MORE water than you usually do:
We all know we should stay hydrated during hot weather. That’s a given. However, I encourage you to drink more water than you usually do on a daily basis if you’re going out in hot weather. I usually drink 3 litres of water everyday to avoid dehydration triggering a migraine. But whenever I’m in a warm climate, I have to increase my water consumption to more than what I’m used to. The human body will sweat more on a hot day; losing more water. Thus, drinking more water strikes the balance that helps you manage the heat rather than have the heat manage you.
5) Seek the waters! Rivers, Coasts, etc.
Unfortunately this is heavily based on cirumstances. But if you have a choice in where you are going, I encourage you to seek out somehwere coastal or even where there is a river nearby. These places usually supply a breeze which will naturally cool you and offer you some ventilation. So if y0u are planning a day out with your loved ones, suggest going on a beach trip! *wink wink*
6) Let a handheld/mini fan do the work:
Warriors, I heavily recommend that you get a personal, mini electric fan that you can carry in your bag. I have recently invested in one & found it to be handy. Now I’m not talking about the small ones with the little foam wings that spin around, I’m talking about the newer ones that has the appearance of traditional oscillating home fans, but the miniature versions of them. Get one that is rechargeable and is durable. Also seek one that is foldable so it can stand on a table by itself. Here is the link to the fan I purchased from John Lewis;
As an extra tip – spritz your face first and then point your fan at your face straight afterwards. That’s the turbo version of cooling yourself!
7) Plan ahead:
Plan your outfit (regarding the materials) and the bag to carry everything your going to need – including the spritz bottle, fan, medication, hat and any other aids that you utisilise on a daily basis. This will help you to feel prepared and ready for whatever is thrown at you when you step out into that battlefield…or shall I say desert?
Now that I’ve shared these tips warriors, utilise them! Take each day as it comes and I hope that these tips will help you to look forward to your day out in the sunshine!
If you have any other tips that work for you, share them with us and comment below warriors!
So warriors, I ask you – what have you been believing about yourself and your life that needs to be challenged and changed?
This is officially my first blog post of 2019! This year has already flown by quickly – I can’t believe we’re in the beginning of February already!
I am hoping many of you have started of 2019 well, have set your goals and started to execute them already. If you haven’t; it’s all good! I’m hoping you will consider doing this after you’ve read this post.
When a new year comes around, it is very common for most people to spend it doing the following: trying to get our lives in order; making readjustments in our finances, our relationships and health. We set our goals, and then let the rest of the year flow on. Now it’s great that we do this, but my question is – how much of that time do we spend adjusting our perspectives and mindsets?
Walk with me as I dig into this…
The goals we usually desire to achieve are oriented around the areas that I listed previously; our careers, health and relationships. But here is the thing – our goals are essentially impacted by our mindsets and perspectives on life. There is no escaping this. So considering those internal thoughts and beliefs have such an important impact, why is it that we never take the time to review how we see and process things in our lives?
Having a bad year can determine one’s expectations for the following year. Some people may have an atom of excitement; hoping the year will be even better than it’s predecessor. But some may not even have a shred of optimism or feel inspirited for the year to come as life has beaten them down terribly. Their experiences have caused them to lose hope.
Now, we will go through those seasons in life when we lose hope – in sickness and in health. Unfortunately, dealing with a chronic illness or chronic pain can leave you in an emotional and mental state that is crippling. Knowing this, it’s easy to understand how somebody can simply carry this mindset with them into their next year.
As for me…
Over the last few months, I have taken out a lot of time to review my life and perspectives on everything. I dug deep spiritually, mentally and emotionally; God uncovered some things about me that didn’t look good. I started to realise that I carried more anxiety than joy and more fear than I did peace. I was in the position where I had lost hope and zeal for my future. The last few years were filled with so many trials and tribulations, that dealing with chronic migraine was the hand that suffocated my ability to bounce back in genuine hope. I had started to just accept and settle with the notion that I was sick – and that was the way I was going to remain. My mouth was saying all the right things, but in my heart, I started to doubt that things would ever actually get better. It just seemed like I couldn’t catch a break. I had gotten so used to seeing darkness all the time, that this was the new thing I started to expect for my future. From my perspective, life had only declined over the last 5 years and therefore probably wouldn’t improve. At all. These feelings didn’t develop overnight, but after years of struggling with being in chronic pain. The tricky part about all of this is, these feelings within my heart were so subtly embedded, that it took revelation from GOD to realise that this was how I felt.
We can think we’re being real with ourselves, but not realise there are some cases of emotional baggage that we have hidden so deep within us; we don’t even realise they’re there.
But God. Through venting to him in prayer, and hearing great messages in church, I started to remember the things that I had known all along; that I had a lot to look forward to; that my current circumstances were just that: current circumstances. I was reminded that my life won’t always be this way. It came back to my recollection that seasons change. That where I am now isn’t where I was 5 years ago – therefore where I am now isn’t where I’ll be in the next 5 years.
After this reminder, I asked for God to show me how to have peace and contentment with my life once more. I started to accept and believe God’s promise to me again – that my healing will come and my chronic migraine will eventually pass. After all, it says in the bible that “what is impossible to man is more than possible with God”. However, I had to believe first to get this process started. If I refused to believe this, then I have closed to door to this being able to happen.
The importance of belief…
Here’s the thing; when we truly believe something, it transfers from our heads to our hearts and vice versa. What we believe ultimately comes out through our words and our actions. What you believe about yourself and your life does ultimately have an impact on who you will become. I’ve highlighted this concept before, especially about self-fulfilling prophecy in some of my previous posts.
Keep in mind that this also works in reverse. Your actions and your speech can also influence what you believe about yourself and your life.
Why our actions and speech matter…
Well as I’ve mentioned in the past, as a man thinks (in his heart), then so is he! Forget we are what we eat – we are what we believe! Our perspectives in life are under our control and it’s up to us to adjust them. This kind of stuff doesn’t happen overnight, but if we are active and consistent in monitoring our thoughts about ourselves and everything around us, then we can be en route to having a life that is filled with more joy than sorrow as chronic illness/pain sufferers! We can become the goal diggers who achieve anything that we focus on. But we have to make up our minds to make it happen first.
Let me give an example…
Let’s use a fictional person – Adam. Adam wants to be an author, but is struggling with doubts that he will be successful. This hinders him; causing him to procrastinate on writing anything. Because he hasn’t written any books, he can’t publish anything. One cannot publish something that is yet to be written. Adam’s thoughts of failure are essentially at the root of his success not taking place.
Having the belief that something can and will work out for you is where everything starts. If Adam holds on to the thoughts that he can achieve his dreams and follows it through with action (writing his material), the the possibilities to what he can achieve are endless. But if he chooses to hold on to the doubts and focuses on those more – then he closes the door; blocking his own success from coming to him, period.
So warriors, I ask you – what have you been believing about yourself and your life that needs to be challenged and changed? What would you like to achieve or see happen, but are doubtful about?
I could give you a long, cliche list of motivational sayings, but instead I’m going to leave you with something that resonated with me when I needed it the most. This is something I still draw on whenever I need it…
There was a season in my life when the time was coming for me to transition from a part-time (but consistent) job, to an agency job which didn’t guarantee me with consistency, but would have an open door to more money and more hours. I wasn’t entirely sure whether I should take the leap of faith into the agency lifestyle, so I sought out advice from my mum. I remember saying to her, “but what if it doesn’t work out?”.
My mum simply responded to me, “what if it does?”.
Her response hit me like a ton of bricks. I was so focused on things going wrong, that I didn’t take the time to consider what it could be like if things did work out! It sounds so simple, but when you’ve become conditioned to the mentality that “things never work out for you”, you totally ignore the possibility of something going well for you for a change. After weighing it up in my mind, the joy and freedom that I envisioned was so strong that I had to give it a try. Of course, I also waited for confirmation for God before I jumped into it also. So before you say it, I’m not encouraging you all to make mad, unprecedented decisions without applying wisdom. However, I am encouraging you to not allow fear of failure to prevent you from trying altogether.
So what’s the point?
Warriors, I share all of this with you to encourage you all to make a conscious effort to work on your perspectives this year. Life can get so much better for all of us regardless of whether we are sick or well. But I have come to learn that life getting better for us isn’t always dependant on our circumstances. Especially for those of us who are dealing with chronic illnesses and pain.
Don’t believe me?
Why is it that there are people in the world who have everything a person could ever dream of; health, money, great career, family, friends – and yet they have no peace or satisfaction with life? This is because the issues they are facing are internal. When it comes to dealing with issues that are internal, the external things cannot and will not always fix it. Sometimes this can come down to their perspectives, the way they view their lives.
Isn’t it interesting how the person who has good health can be just as dissatisfied with life as the person who doesn’t have good health? Again – it’s about perspectives!
This is why we must seek to change the way we view and process things on the inside of us. Once we make an effort to seek the beauty and goodness in life, we will find it. Once we find it, the external will then be impacted and changed to us because our perspectives have changed on the external (as a result). Through God, I am able to have the right perspectives that are allowing me to enjoy my life again, even as a person that is dealing with chronic migraine.
So warriors, if you want to have a more positive perspective on life (yes I used the p word!), then it all starts with our speech and thoughts about ourselves and our lives. That is where it all starts, then it goes on to evolve. But let’s make sure everything is in alignment with each other. Don’t think something great about yourself but then speak something out of your mouth that contradicts that same thought. You can’t grow anything good from contradiction and confusion about yourself.
Set your goals, make them happen and see a great change come about in your life this year warriors.
“As a man thinks, so is he”
The choice is yours, but choose yourself over your sickness this year. That doesn’t get to dictate everything over your life – including your goals. That’s on you.
Until next time warriors,
If you found this post reached out to you, please share this with others and click the links below or on the right side of this page to follow on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest!
I’m going to share a list of gift ideas – they are guaranteed to be a hit for that beloved friend or family member who has a chronic illness!
Season’s Greetings Everyone!
Christmas carols, festive movies, eating masses of food and spending time with your family – what isn’t there to love about Christmas?
As the most cherished season fastly approaches, people find themselves going round in circles or even procrastinating on buying presents. We all know that one person who is an absolute NIGHTMARE to buy for! (My mum. Shh, you didn’t read that!🤫).
Buying presents for any individual can be tricky; essentially, you want to get them something that will be appreciated and utilised. So, I’m going to share a list of gift ideas – they are guaranteed to be a hit for that beloved friend or family member who has a chronic illness!
1)Electric Blanket or Heat Pad
A much appreciated gift that can help to alleviate the pain. This can be particularly helpful if the recipient deals with muscle/joint pains or a condition that alters their body temperature.
2) Cold Compress Bag or Cold Compress Holder
This will be useful for people who suffer with pains like migraines. When it comes to chronic pain – both extremes can work depending on the sufferer. Either we apply something cold or something hot to the area that is in pain. Consider buying one and even customising it for your recipient!
3) Planner or Diary
One of the many struggles of somebody with a chronic illness – appointments, appointments, appointments! Family outings, meetings, checkups you name it! From neurologists to ophthalmologists, we have dates that we are likely to forget (especially if we have a chronic illness that affects our cognitive abilities/memory!)
4) Comfortable Pyjamas
Unfortunately, some spoonies are bed or home bound for most of the day. If this is the case for that person you have in mind, then I can guarantee you, they will APPRECIATE bed/home clothing more than the average person! Make an effort to find a set that is plush and comfortable to wear. They will put this to good use – whether at home or at hospital during a flare up!
5) Something Inspirational
Living with a chronic illness comes with its struggles. Most people are aware of the physical adversity that a sufferer faces. Unfortunately, many are unaware of the toll it takes on a person mentally. Dealing with an illness can wear down at a person’s spirit; they need something that will encourage them to keep fighting. Something that will empower them to live life to the fullest. So if you want to take this route, you can get them a movie, album or even a book. Maybe even a piece of art that is inspirational. There are no limits when it comes to inspiration.
6) Essential Oils / Diffuser or Oil Burner
What a blessing it is to have oils that can be therapeutic and helpful to those with chronic pain. This can be done either by applying it to one’s body, or even by burning it through a diffuser/oil burner. Do some research on which essential oil would be useful according to what illness or symptoms the recipient has.
One thing that I have seen is the consensus is that Netflix is KING to people with chronic illnesses – whether it’s a sick day or a low energy day, Netflix is guaranteed to be put to use!
8) Gift Vouchers (useable online)
For that warrior who is unable to leave their house, this will always be accepted without any argument. This allows your recipient to have their shopping come to them!
9) Water Colours / Water Colour Book
There is something about painting that is therapeutic to the soul. Many people with chronic illnesses have picked up a paint brush and found a fondness for it!
10) Your Time
Someone with a chronic illness can easily feel isolated and like they are missing out on life. Especially if they rarely get to go out with friends or family, or have to cancel plans frequently. Try to visit your loved one or maybe even take them out for the day. Make plans and make them happen. Your presence is the best present you can give!
So I hope these ideas have helped or at least sparked off the right gift idea for you. To those who have a chronic illness, I encourage you to share and repost this post so that your loved ones have ideas of what to buy for you! Is there anything else you would add to this list? Comment and let us know!
Wishing you all a fantastic, festive Christmas and keep an eye out for the next Blogmas post to come!
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!
For today’s #PainWarriorTalks…some chronic illnesses are said to be hereditary or likely to run in the family – does anybody have a family member who suffers with a chronic illness as well? It doesn’t have to be the same as what you have either. Let us know us know in the comment section 😊