Happy March! By now many of you may be following through with your resolutions, or, like me, are struggling to stick to all of them! Did you resolve to reclaim your health in 2013? I’d like to share with you five foundations you can incorporate into your daily life to start the transformation from Lupus Survivor to Lupus Thriver.
I’ve learned so much during the struggles and triumphs of my journey with Lupus, and I truly hope to empower you to take control of your journey as well. Read on!
1. The Right Food – Are you really eating as well as you think you are?
That doughnut or last-minute fast food stop can lead to indigestion or worsen your sleepiness. We’ve all been there, and though you may be starving, you can end up reaching for the worst possible food!
Once a week, take the time to buy foods you love, make time to cook, or even indulge in a tasty treat. Our bodies are complex - easily triggered by the wrong foods, beverages. Our bodies have been through enough drama, so making sure we are giving it the best fuel will not only allow it to run better, but we’ll also feel better, too.
2. A Positive Attitude – More powerful than you think!
We are bombarded by much negative talk about this disease, whether it’s from your doctors, family, the web, or from you: kidney issues, the fear of dialysis, not being able to function. Biopsies, kidney transplants, countless medications and their side effects. So try infusing the positive realization of what is possible into your daily thoughts. What if everything you hear and read only confirms that wellness and vitality are inevitable?
Wow, did you feel that? That nudge. The push to wholeheartedly believe what is seemingly impossible. Everyday, all day, I must infuse positive thoughts to seep into my cells - the intense love for this body of mine. Louise Hay has written amazing books on affirmations. But you can’t just SPEAK affirmations, they need to be FELT. Say them with feeling - your cells won’t know the difference if you are just saying you are healthy or in fact are healthy.
This is Hay’s affirmation for lupus: “I speak up for myself freely and easily. I claim my own power. I love and approve of myself.” For kidney issues, “Only good comes from each experience. I am perfect, whole and complete. I choose to be healthy and free. All is well in my world.”
3. Self-care – It’s all about choosing to care for YOU!
I used to be one of those lupus sufferers that cursed my body, the pain, the weight, the hair loss, the loss of my beauty. What did that serve? Would you ever curse your best friend or a beloved pet? But then why do we so often speak such horrid things about our bodies? I’ve come to love every single thing about this body of mine. And with this embracing, my body’s response has been anything short of remarkable.
What can you do today to show your body love? Here is a short list of some of the decadent things I choose to do for my body:
•Warm bath with essential oils of lavender and bath salts
•Manicure and pedicure with a 10 minute chair massage.
•Hot yoga or restorative yoga class
•Baking fresh gluten free muffins for breakfast
•Daily meditations with 12 gratitudes
•Green smoothies every morning
•Beautiful scented candles lit all the time around my home
4. Relaxation – Even 10 minutes a day will do!
I know what you’re saying, “How can I relax with 3 kids and a job and …?” Our bodies are in a constant battle which eventually takes its toll. We need our rest. If you sleep too much or not enough, take a 30 minute power nap if you can. Stop in and get a 10 minute back rub. Indulge a little. Your body needs it. It cries for it. Don’t ignore her. Overdoing it puts stress on your adrenals, secreting cortisol which contributes to aging and puts you at higher risk for coronary events. You can even take 10 deep belly breathes with eyes closed once a day. How’s that for starters?
5. Creating Advocacy – A vital part of your journey
None of us can go through any health issue alone. Who is on your side? Someone who is there for you when you need a shoulder, a ride, a mani-pedi buddy, a laugh, maybe even a tasty cosmo. Have you tried support groups? You must know that you do not feel anything that we all haven’t felt before. I know all too well about the countless (endless?) tears. But I reached out for my biggest cheerleaders - my friends, family, and colleagues. I’ve tried doing it all alone, that alpha female (me) which works well in business but not so well for my body.
So there you have it, 5 little gems to jumpstart your new year with. I look forward to hearing what you have done for your body today or this past weekend – let me know! Also, who is in your circle of support? Who do you want to add to your team as a cheerleader, and why?
Until next time, Margaret Romero, NP-C