Being chronically ill has the ability to wreak havoc on your lifestyle, self-esteem, confidence, friendships, and relationships. And what can make chronic illness so incredibly difficult is fear. Fear of healing. Fear of not healing. Fear of lack of control. Fear of settling for relationships we wouldn't have otherwise chosen if we were healthy. Fear of making a wrong decision about our medical care. Fear of detox as it is so uncomfortable. Fear of never being able to have the life we would choose if we were healthy. Fear of stepping out in faith of our comfort zones that ironically, aren't even comfortable.
I'm not asking you to banish fear entirely and skip off into the sunset of wellness. That's not the way the human body and mind work! So, let's get realistic with ourselves in how we're framing our perspectives as they relate to fear.
How to banish fear in the face of chronic illness... in 5 simple steps:
1. Do just one thing differently today. Examples include: waking up at a completely different time in the morning than you usually do, eating something entirely new for breakfast that you've never tried, going out for a walk alone (if you always walk with someone), choosing a new route to walk your dog, calling someone you rarely call, saying something you never say to a loved one. I hope you are getting the idea that simply doing something different is by no means going to eliminate the fear, but trust that this is a baby step in the right direction.
2. Make a decision today. What specifically have you been pondering for weeks? Decisions on a medication? Wondering if you should leave the relationship that is making you more ill? Debating which doctor to listen to? I'm asking you to make a decision today (now, in fact!) and go with it. Do not change your mind for seven solid days.
Let's say that you know your relationship is taxing your adrenals and you've debated getting out for a long time. Get out for 7 days, stop all contact, and then see how you feel. Can't decide what mediation to take? Make a decision and go with that decision for a week. For those 7 days, support your own decision by going with it, not stressing about it and (here's the key) following through with it. If, after that time period, you feel entirely differently, deal with that then. For now? Seven days. Decide now.
3. Exercise today. Move your legs, and stretch your arms. If you're stuck in bed and not able to exercise, turn on some upbeat music, get off social media, quit googling your health and STOP commiserating with others about your symptoms.
4. Put your goals and dreams right in front of you on a vision board. Write out a plan and follow through, baby step by baby step. Think about your vision: close your eyes and put yourself in that healthy body, traveling to Paris, laughing with friends, conversing with that amazing man, etc. Focus on your vision and allow yourself to be happy. Do not focus on the fear of never achieving it, just focus on being there already.
5. Get out of your house and do a brand new activity that you are scared to do. I'll share something I am afraid of. I am terrified of kayaking. Why? Because I am scared that once I'm on the water, I'll get vertigo and not be able to get back to shore fast enough. Do you know how ridiculous my fear looks to even me when I write it down as I just did? Do you know how quickly I could get back to shore? 10 minutes, tops. I am going kayaking. What are you going to do?
We all have to stop letting fear rattle us and be the driver of our thoughts and actions. I hope you give it a try and keep me posted!