managing chronic illness

Managing Chronic Illness in 5 Steps

I wanted to call this post “How to Be Okay With Modified Life… Because Your Body Won’t Let You Do Much Else” but that isn’t SEO sexy or Google worthy. But when it comes to managing chronic illness, getting okay with your new life is the most important thing you can do, especially as you age.

What is it about the number 40 that turns off your body’s ability to lose weight? You try exercise, you try a few diets but nothing seems to work and all your left with is stubborn weight and a new found taste for cardboard like foods.

Same thing happened to me when I was that age. I tried for over a year to lose weight but nothing was happening. Then I found something that worked and it made me feel so good that I never wanted to stop.

Over the next 9 years, fitness became a way of life for me. It was an integral part of my well-being protocol and I couldn’t imagine living without it. So when my physical health started to deteriorate, I knew I had to take another look at what I was doing.

I’m not gonna lie, this has sucked, but I will say without a doubt, finding new ways of living life to its fullest has kept my sanity.

Do the hard thing:

Take a look at your new life and decide what you want out of it. Will you change your perspective from “woe is me” to “why not me”?

Believe me, I get it. It’s so hard not to feel sorry for yourself when your body doesn’t move or do what you think it should. But sister, let me be honest with you. If you don’t change your attitude, your illness will consume you.

Develop a wellness vision:

If you could wave a magic wand over your life and live a good life with your illness, what would that look like? Write out that vision as though you’re telling a story that has already come true. Give it legs. Paint a picture in your mind and get your senses involved. What do you see? How do you feel?

It may sound something like this: I am a 52 year old woman who has a strong zest for life. I have balance between doing the things I love and the limitations of my disease. I have embraced those limitations and found ways around them. I live each day to the best of my ability with a grateful heart.

Decide when you want that vision to come true. Will it be 3 months from now? A year? Five years? The timing doesn’t matter as much as having a vision you can believe in.

Make a plan to get there:

It’s all well and good to have this beautiful vision but if you don’t put in the work, you won’t get there. Decide on what you need to do to make it happen.

If you want to have a wellness vision similar to the one listed above, a goal of yours might be related to mindset. You can’t have a strong zest for life if all you’re filled with is pee and vinegar. Decide what you need to do to have an attitude adjustment.

Here’s an example: I start my day by journaling 3 things I’m grateful for. As I go about my day, I search for things that make me smile, even if just for a second.

Above all else, pray:

There is nothing that will get you through difficulty as much as prayer will. Praying brings you into a deeper relationship with God. And when you have that kind of relationship with Him, you’ll know your purpose and how to get there.

Maybe you’re thinking there is no way you can pray to a God that allows such suffering. Or maybe you think you’re doing a fine job managing chronic illness all on your own. I’m here to tell you that I would never have survived the things that have happened in my life without Him.

There is something to be said for having a glimmer of hope to hold onto. The harder you hold onto it, the stronger it gets. And the stronger it gets, the more it takes over and floods those dark places with His light.

Managing chronic illness can be such a dark, lonely place. Sweet sister, you were not meant to live this life alone. So get about your Father’s business. Release everything you’re feeling at His feet. He is so much stronger than your illness. Let Him help you through.

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