New Year, New Perspectives?

So warriors, I ask you – what have you been believing about yourself and your life that needs to be challenged and changed?

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Greetings Warriors!

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”

Proverbs 23:7

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,

Tasha M

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Chronic Christmas Gift Ideas: Wishlist

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.

7) Netflix

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!

Until next time,

Tasha M

@PainWarriorCode


5 tips for when you feel overwhelmed with pain.

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.

5 tips for when you feel overwhelmed with pain infographic.png

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.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

 

 

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.

Warrior, don't neglect the fact that you are a warrior; that means you've been fighting and surviving!

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,

Tasha M

@PainWarriorCode