Bob Marley made it sound so easy, but feeling happy no matter your situation forms a challenge for most of us. It’s hard to be bursting with joy when you’re exhausted and in pain, or when you’re struggling with money troubles and heartache.
Over the past decades, countless of popular psychology books and articles have shown us that there are things we can do to influence our level of happiness. Although our genes and life circumstances definitely play a role too, we can all take steps to get happier.
Of course, that’s great news. And recommended habits like practicing gratitude, moving your body regularly, spending time in nature and building strong relationships all prove to boost your emotional wellbeing. But is the pursuit of happiness actually making us feel better?
We all have days when we don’t feel happy with our body. Who hasn’t felt conscious about their appearance?
But body acceptance becomes a lot more challenging when it’s not cellulite or pimple you’re concerned about, but scars, serious skin conditions and deformities. Even though you have nothing to be ashamed about, its hard not to worry about what other people will think about your ostomy bag or your extreme swollen ‘Prednison face’.
Plus, how do you accept your own body when it doesn’t work properly? When it causes you pain and heartache every day?
There’s no easy answer, and the road to body acceptance will look different for everybody. But there are some common themes when it comes to loving the skin you’re in.
First of all, stop comparing yourself to others. You’ll never have their exact body. If reading fashion and health magazines or following certain people online gets you down, remove that negativity from your life. Diversify your social media feed; there are so many inspiring spoonies out there rocking their walking aids, insulin pumps and portable catheters!
What’s more, be mindful of your internal dialogue. You wouldn’t constantly put your best friend down with snarky comments, right? So why would you talk to yourself in such a way?
Finally, try to see yourself as a whole person instead of a body with certain physical features and (dis)abilities. You’re so much more than that! Take pride in your smile, your inner strength and the way you cook a mean lasagna.
Hopefully these 12 body acceptance quotes will inspire you to start feeling more comfortable in your own skin.
Being diagnosed with a chronic illness can feel like a life sentence. After all, the word ‘chronic’ by definition refers to a continuing event; something that occurs again and again for a long time; or something that’s always present.
The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention defines chronic illness as a health condition that lasts one year or more, requires ongoing medical attention and/or limits your daily functioning. Generally, people with chronic illnesses like arthritis, COPD, epilepsy and kidney disease cannot be cured by medication, only manage their daily symptoms.
Does that imply that having a chronic illness means you can never recover again?
It seems that right now everyone is adjusting to a new normal. Whether that be living with a chronic illness, experiencing anxiety due to the global pandemic we are in, or losing a loved one – it’s crucial to recognize these changes and adapt to them in a healthy way.
Here are 6 ways to make the most of any situation you’re going through right now and how to adapt in these trying times.
“A dream is a wish your heart makes.” – Walt Disney
Remember when you were young, you’d fantasize about all the things you would do when you were grown up: becoming a doctor or a rockstar, traveling the world, getting married and having kids.
Some of those dreams may be shattered when you get diagnosed with chronic illness.
Suddenly, the life you’d envisioned for yourself is gone. Sometimes there’s little chance of your dreams ever becoming reality. I mean, how can you finish your studies, work a demanding job or raise a family when just getting through the day is a huge challenge?
It’s a heartbreaking feeling to have your deepest desires go unmet. When there’s a gap between what you’d do if only your body would cooperate and what you can actually do, you may experience an inner conflict between accepting your new reality and still trying to shoot for the moon.
Because even the sickest of us still have goals and dreams we wish to fulfill. Living means more than simply surviving. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, when our basic needs like food, shelter and safety are met, we all long to belong and be loved, to cultivate self-esteem and self-respect, and finally to reach self-actualisation. We want to give meaning to our lives, even in the most harrowing circumstances.
But when you’re chronically ill and struggle to do the simplest things, pursuing your dreams and achieving your goals is not as easy as “you can do anything as long as you want it badly enough“. Of course determination, hard work and commitment are key, and there are plenty of stories out there of people accomplishing greatness despite their limitations. But sometimes all the persistence in the world just isn’t enough – at least not right now.
Despite my reservations about some motivational slogans, I’m a fierce believer in hope and going after your dreams. Whether you want to finish your studies, find a loving partner or pursue your passions, here are some realistic ideas to help you set and reach new goals when you have a chronic illness.
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