What do you do when you are having a hard day? Do you find yourself more emotional, snapping at everyone, crying frequently, using more tobacco or alcohol, eating more comfort foods? The ups and downs are a normal part of living with a chronic health condition. The challenge is to not allow the bad days to promote behaviors that can worsen your health or your relationships. Some days symptoms are more prevalent than others, those are the days to listen to your body and take it easy. Not every day is a record-setting day.
On the bad days consider:
- What good things are happening in my life?
- Is the situation really as bad as I perceive it?
- What can I try to make things better?
- Who can I talk to who will understand?
- What is most important for me right now?
Bad days cause us to re-evaluate what is important on this day. What can I do without having symptoms? Can I limit what I had planned to do. Accept the limitations, and don’t ruminate on what you can’t get done. Listen to your bodies needs. Does it need a healthy meal, a rest, a light walk, meditation, a listening ear? Who is your support person? A spouse, a clergy, another person who lives with chronic illness, a support group, social media sites? Admitting limitations to family and asking for help are difficult for many but unless you verbalize your needs no one knows or is likely to give you the support you need. It is ok to cry to grieve, let it out then let it go. Move on from the frustrations and emotional grief. It will come back, and when it does acknowledge it and move on again.
- Listen to music
- Write a letter
- Take a light walk
- Do something that makes you feel good
- Focus on what truly matters
- Envision a better tomorrow
- Do deep breathing, relaxation or meditation exercises
- Start over
- Call a friend