I know not all of us lupies are female. Nevertheless, the majority is.
As a woman, I tend to take care of others despite how I am feeling. As a professional, I have been independent and decisive for years, which makes it hard to ask for help. This is not a helpful daily combination when I need to avoid flares.
We all know that our muscle and body pain, emotional struggles, medication side-effects, and drop-dead fatigue days are real, but unfortunately, these symptoms are all invisible to the human eyes. That’s why I believe we are the ones in charge of setting the boundaries, saying what’s enough for today and take a break to care for ourselves. People around me cannot read my mind, so it is my responsibility to step up and say it.
It’s easy to get burnout, and it is a dangerous route. We all have been there.
When I am feeling active and energetic, I often fall prey to the mistake of doing more than I should and crash the next couple of days.
Defining What Works
During one of the cycles of not-feeling-that-great, I decided to write down things that can help me, so I asked a few questions to myself.
What are aspects of my routine that I can control to live my life more attentively, be able to put things under perspective, and be self-aware of where my thoughts and body are taking me?
Less is More
- Sometimes I wake up with an infinite list of things I want to do. Guess what: I rarely can finish all of them and immediately get frustrated. So, being reasonable and prioritizing what is essential for me is key to my wellbeing and happiness. My health has to win.
- Make time to take a deep breath and reset your positivity. Our state of mind creates the reality we live in. Science has confirmed that having an optimistic attitude is an effective medication. It’s hard to believe things will improve, but imagine in your mind that tomorrow will be better than today. Look for a handful of small things that you are grateful for: a yummy dish, a friend, a warm blanket, or a hot bath.
- Plan nurturing breaks during the day to do an activity that gives you pleasure. For me, I love learning, so reading a good book is one of my favorite go-to things. When I am too tired, I read an inspirational page, listen to an audiobook, or my favorite playlist. There are great options out there to take our minds to a better place.
- Do not ignore how you are feeling. It’s OK to have a bad day – or a few in a row, even when others cannot see it.
- Take time to breathe and click the reset button when you have to. Breathing is such a fantastic tool to realign our minds to our bodies and bring us to the present moment. Living a life that includes work, husband, kids, and also taking care of a home is overwhelming even for people who are 100% healthy.
Try something new
- Have the energy to try something new? If so, grab this opportunity with both hands.
- Set a limit for your screen time. Turn off your social media life for a few days. Spending too much time looking at your portable devices and social media sites is not healthy for ourselves. It can be stressful and make us feel more lonely and depressed. Instead, look for ways to find positive energy in the present world. Connect with people that make you feel good and enjoy Nature’s beauty.
I know we all hate when non-lupus people start prescribing what we should do, and how we should feel. My go-to list of three things is something that helps me feel stronger and walk forward despite my illness. It works for me.
Hopefully, you will feel inspired to create your own list, find your path, and be your best friend ever!