Last week I went on a tirade about stress and what I think the possible stressors are currently in my life. If nothing in that post resonated with you, I encourage you to do a little research of your own. The literature is there. “Stress can be a trigger.” Ok. Great. But where’s the literature on how to “limit stress” or how to cope with stress? *crickets* This week I’d like to talk about overcoming stress.
(Un)fortunately stress is an unavoidable part of life. Me personally, I don’t see nothing wrong, with a little stress sometimes *R Kelly voice* (too soon?) But too much stress is a recipe for disaster. So how do you balance limiting stress while not stunting your growth as a person? Here are some suggestions I have:
Coping with the Stress
- Listen Linda. Before you bite my head off, acceptance does not equal approval. You can accept that you have an autoimmune disease without having to like it. Just “accept the things you can not change”.
- Focus on things you can control
- I can’t control my symptoms, when they will hit or how strong it will hit. I CAN control my attitude, what activities I take part in, my food consumptions, my self-care regimen. Have “courage to change the things that you can”. A little discipline is helpful too.
- Practice Gratitude
- There is always something to be thankful for, even in the darkest of times. If your job is stressing you out, try being thankful that you at least have a job. During stressful times try to think of 3 things you are thankful for. It will transition your mind from it’s negative state to a positive more pleasant state.
- Get to know your limitations
- Document doing different things and what affects it has on you. It will take a little time but once you’ve mastered your capabilities you’ll be able to build a lifestyle that accommodates your MG.
- Build understanding
- Having a rare disease is scary. Don’t be afraid to ask questions during your doctor appointments. Do your own research. Allow your family and friends to come to some of your appointments so they can also gain more knowledge and ask questions. They may be more receptive to information coming from a medical professional.
- Talk to someone. Sometimes just getting if off your chest can alleviate some stress if its been building up for a while. Talk to family/friends. Find a support group. Maybe even consider finding a therapist. You’ll be amazed at the power of communication.
- Find a new hobby
- Find something that allows you to get lost in the activity and take your mind off of our woes. There are tons of hobbies: Reading, writing, drawing, sewing, painting, yoga, bird watching, knitting, photography, exercising etc.
- My favorite form of stress relief. Turn on Netflix and find a good sitcom to binge watch. Call that friend who always makes you laugh. I truly believe that laughter heals.
- Find some time and a way to decompress. Get a massage. Listen to music. I love to light my aromatherapy stress relief candle and get into the tub with a bath bomb. I know y’all get tired of me mentioning those candles. I swear I don’t work for Bath n Body works. They honestly work for me
There is no easy button for stress. One of the things I miss most about my pre-MG days was nonchalantness. I mean there was rarely anything that could ruffle my feathers. My goal is to get back to that point. Moving forward anything person of thing that tips my scale from serenity to stress is getting cut. Not literally. (Well.. depending on the circumstance.)
How do you cope with stress?