When you experience chronic pain and health issues, it is difficult not to let the frustration, anger, and “why me?” situations get the best of you. If you have experienced something similar, you likely know exactly what I am talking about.
I have spent the better half of my almost three years of chronic pain and unexplained health issues asking the “why me?” question over and over. Do you know what I have learned? Asking this question does not help the situation one bit. Instead, it keeps the thoughts of negativity at the center of my mind. And those negative thoughts certainly are not helping me to feel any better physically or mentally.
Now that I recognize this, I have been working hard to turn those thoughts around. Am I always perfectly positive? Heck no! I still have my feeling sorry for myself moments. But I am happy to say that my thoughts have become a lot more positive just in the past several months. I cannot pin-point exactly how or why, but I think it has a lot to do with educating myself and being kinder and gentler to my body.
As we are right in the heart of the time for being thankful and surrounding ourselves with love, I thought it was only fitting to share how I am being more positive, more proactive, and treating my body how it deserves to be treated. It turns out that a little bit of self-love goes a long way towards feeling better!
1. I spend at least 20 minutes each day reading a book for fun.
2. I get at least eight to nine hours of sleep almost every single night.
3. I drink at least 80 ounces of water per day (often 90-100).
4. I am proactive about my health and go to all recommended annual physician appointments.
5. I go on 30 to 45 minute walks at least three to four times per week.
6. I go completely make-up free at least one day on the weekend to give my skin a break.
7. On the other hand, I try to dress up and put on make-up one day on the weekend because I always feel better when I do.
8. I supplement for my health with things like probiotics, digestive enzymes, and cod liver oil.
10. I meal prep on the weekends to set myself up for a healthy week of eats and to reduce stress during the work week.
11. I ensure that I incorporate fiance, family, and friend time into every week.
12. I try to fill my plate with more vegetables than anything else (meat, fruit, etc.) as often as possible.
13. I eat all of the healthy fats!
14. I acknowledge when feelings of sadness, depression, and frustration regarding my health occur, and recognize that these feelings are “normal” and “okay” and not “bad.”
15. I eat snacks! I know there are a million arguments for why one should eat snacks and why one shouldn’t, but for me, snacking works best.
16. I do my best to be off of my computer by 8:30 p.m. each night.
17. I limit my alcohol intake to the occasional cider or glass of wine.
18. I follow a Paleo diet, and I genuinely enjoy what I cook and eat. I seriously do not miss bread or cheese.
19. I recognize that things on my “to do” list can wait.
20. I say “no” more often. I am learning to be okay with not doing it all.
21. I am doing better at being patient with my body. I realize that good health does not happen overnight, and that it is something I must continually work for.
22. I incorporate plenty of guilty pleasures into my life (reality TV, blog reading, etc.).
23. Lately I have been doing my best to focus on all of the positive things that my body can do instead of the negative things it cannot do.
24. This is a newer one for me, but I have been leaving my cell phone away from my bed at night in order to get a more restful sleep.
25. I take a deep breath (or sometimes 20).
I make the choice about whether or not I am upset and mad at how my body behaves. And regardless of how my body responds, I definitely cannot and should not be upset about the way I treat it. I am nice to my body. I work hard to do what is best for my body and to bring it good health. That is all I can do.
And with that, I am grateful for what I do have.
What do you do every day/week/month that is an act of kindness toward your body?