living with lupus, day by day, moment by moment

When you are sick everyday, healing must happen everyday.  As someone with a chronic illness, I do not follow the linear path of sickness, recovery and healing.  Like Groundhog Day, I relive my illness every morning when I get up.  So how can you recover and heal when you are constantly sick? 

I have learned to declutter my daily life to make room for th practice of healing my body and mind.  When you examine your days, you will notice that there is an activity or two that is unnecessary for your well being.  Get rid of them and incorporate some routines that helps you heal.  While medicine is there to heal our disease, we need other tools to heal our mind and body that are being wrought by the disease(s).  Here are a few things I do:

  • Practice gratitude: It is tough when you are always sick to not fall into a place of darkness.  To get yourself out, or even better, to prevent yourself from going there, try to practice gratitude in whatever form works for you.  I have a hard time getting up in the morning because I feel so sick.  It used to make me so angry and sad to start the day like this, so I decided to start the morning calming down and thinking of three things I am grateful for. They can be the same three things, small things, big things…anything! This morning, I was grateful to hear the giggling of my son as he played a game with my husband; I was grateful that I did not vomit last night and I was grateful that I woke up before 11am! 
  • Be mindful: whether you engage in meditation or not, taking a moment to be mindful is great practice to become more centered.  To be in the moment, to understand what is happening around you and to be cognizant.  This practice gives me calmess over the day’s activities.
  • Engage in physical activity: Moving your body has many benefit.  And while it’s hard to move when you are suffering from fatigue, pain and sickness, if you can find a reason to move everyday, it will help you heal.  For me, I like to engage in restorative yoga, to walk and cook when I can.  Even stretching in bed is all I can manage sometimes but I find it helps.
  • Eat well-balanced meals: eating well balanced meals and choosing healthy options helps with your digestion and increases your energy.  Keeping your body as healthy as you can helps to ride out the next flare.
  • Cultivate a hobby: to spend some time doing something you love helps you feel a sense of achievement.  I used to love tennis and photography but I cannot do them anymore.  While I miss them, I now love to garden and cook whenever I can.  It helps take my mind off my illness and brings me lots of joy when I pick a fresh vegetable and make a dish my family and friends can enjoy.
  • Rest: always listen to your body’, when you at on the mend, rest is best! 
  • Laugh: laughter is the best medicine (free and without side effects) releasing all those wonderful endorphins! So try to find something to laugh about everyday.  My toddler son supplies me with endless moments of laughter, but sometimes I turn to an episode of Inside Amy Schumer for my fix.

What are some of the ways you practice healing?

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