So you’ve decided that this will be the year that you’ll gradually get healthier.
You probably have an idea in mind how you’d like things to turn out: running your first race, feeling fabulous in your bikini next summer or exude a Zen-like calm in the midst of chaos. If you have a chronic illness, you may simply dream of having less pain, more energy and being able to pick up your favourite hobby again. But where do you begin to make this happen?
Here are two questions to ask yourself when you start creating your action plan to get healthier.
You’ve probably seen the articles about why self-care isn’t selfish and the lists of activities you can do to look after yourself. The stories invoke images of massages and spa days, sipping vibrant veggie juices in trendy yoga outfits and snugging up with a blanket and a book in front of the fireplace.
But when you’re energy and mobility are limited, self-care becomes a lot less glamorous than the picture painted in magazines and lifestyle blogs. Chronic illness can turn even the most basic forms of self-care, like taking a shower and cooking a meal, into a challenge.
At the same time, our health care systems put a growing emphasis on individuals taking control over their own health and actively managing their illness. We’re expected to eat healthily, exercise, get enough sleep and think positively, or seek professional help whenever we can’t.
Of course that’s a good thing. It’s your body and your life, and ultimately you’re the one who has to take action to make the most of whatever situation you’re given. But how can you do that when you feel sick, exhausted and in pain?
Let’s look into what it really means to practice self-care with chronic illness.
An important part of my identity is a fearless warrior that can handle (or can look like one who handles) everything in life. Good and bad. So I’m letting you in on a huge secret right now: I’ve been struggling with a chronic illness for nine years, and I’ve been struggling to accept this struggle.
I have EGPA (Churg-Strauss Syndrome), a rare auto-immune disease that attacks first and foremost the lungs, causing intense asthma symptoms, but then gradually causes all kinds of other problems in the body.
Of the many medication options, I’ve tried a few, and they’ve worked just fine, until now. With a recent heart involvement, the medical team decided to proceed to a chemo kind of drug for a more effective treatment. I feared the treatment as well as the signs of degrading health state I am in.
Why I choose to read a book about recovery
I could only think it is another milestone down the unlucky road. I was back to the old, pessimistic mental state. I was still not over the fact I’m sick forever. And I still wanted my old life back, and I would go as far as to throw a tantrum over it like a child.
I also knew this was not OK and I needed somebody (or something) to have my back when reality strikes. I needed to change the perspective.
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”
Hippocrates may have spoken these wise words over 2000 years ago, but they are still true today. Eating healthily can boost your immunity, energy levels and overall wellbeing. And when you’re sick, a balanced diet provides the building blocks your body needs to recover, fight off nasty bugs or battle more serious diseases.
The only trouble is: when you’re feeling miserable, slaving away in the kitchen to cook a MasterChef-worthy meal is probably the last thing on your mind. So how can you get the health-boosting perks without the pain?
Say hello to low-effort, nutritious staple meals.
There’s no such thing as a miracle diet for every illness, but nutrient-rich meals that are easy to prep when you’re sick, tired and in pain can be lifesavers in many ways. Have a look at these 25 recovery-boosting recipes to start rebuilding your health today.
Because September is the new January, ‘How to Create Your Own Action Plan for Recovery‘ is available at a 33% discount this month! The 200-page ebook contains in-depth ideas on 4 essential elements of the recovery process: Restoration – how to truly relax your body and mind to support the natural healing process; Replenishing – … Read more >