Life comes with “when it rains, it pours” stressors. That is just part of life. During chronic illness those times are especially hard to handle much less juggle. What if we used those times as a test kit? I am talking about passing our own kind of stress test, LIFE. Day-in day-out life can be some of the best stress testing you can do, especially testing your level of chronic illness.
Chronic illness brings with it great limitations. The years of illness can teach us much about patience with ourselves. The simplest of tasks seem monumental. Getting out of the bed just to walk to the bathroom feels like it takes the endurance of running a marathon.
You know, you have been there, done that. You know how crazy hard everything is just to manage the daily grind of chronic illness.
Then life happens. Stressors pop up and we simply cannot ignore all of them.
Part of the healing journey is about noticing how your body deals with stressors. I talk all the time about reducing stress for your health and wellbeing. Yet, all stressors cannot be avoided.
So let’s use those times of unavoidable stressors to self-test our levels of chronic illness. They are going to happen anyway, so let’s put them to good use.
We are all different people with different diseases, illnesses, tolerances, diets, chemical make-up, genes, preferences, and histories. There are no “rules” that work for everyone.
Chronic illness is a perfect time to learn to intimately listen to your unique body that connects with your mind and emotions. Listening to your body will help you move through illness and out the other side into health!!
Use Stressors As A Home Stress Test
Since life is going to happen anyway, might as well use these unavoidable crazy stressors to see where you are on your chronic illness journey.
The best way to explain this is to use my last month as an example. I won’t bore you with all the details, only two. Plumber issues and computer issues both lasting 4 full weeks, nonstop. Adding those two biggies to other nutty stuff and then the usual stuff and it all got to be HUMONGOUS stuff.
Stuff happens. How our bodies are handling it is the Home Stress Test.
Like I said, I won’t bore you with the details.
What I would like for you to do is think about your body and how stressed it gets during more stressful times. How does it react? If it still sends you spiraling into despair and hiding in bed in exhaustion and pain, then your body still needs you to take it slow.
Yet, if you have the stressors come up and you are handling it a bit better and the stress is not sucking life out of you, then it just might be time for a party.
Notice what is going on with your body. How else are you going to take responsibility for your own stress level??
Stress needs to be declared the number one killer of all time. It keeps us ill and we just simply have to get a grip on it.
I Passed The Home Stress Test
I did great. I paced myself through these two major stressors, that both lasted 4 weeks, so that I could monitor my physical limitations. A year ago, I was still having to call a time-out, crawl in bed and emerge when my body caught up. Not this time. I was able to keep up with the stress, keep up with the multitude of phone calls, hours of tech support, and deal with the ongoing plumbing issues, on top of doing daily life.
I truly had a ball realizing how much better I am able to handle unavoidable stress. Party time!!!
I did not begin to tell you all the crazy wild things that happened this last month. I am actually trying hard to let stuff go and not rehash it so I can get on with getting on. I am choosing to LAUGH at myself and the problems so I can move forward in the calmest manner possible — keeping my stress level in check. Having way too much fun celebrating this one…
Your Stress Test
You can easily do these stress tests to see where you are with your health. Life comes with so many stressors that you will find yourself in these kinds of situations. Use them to see where your overall health is.
When the load of illness and the physical and emotional stresses are holding you down, REST. It just might not yet be your time to roll. The years of resting I had to do seemed unreasonable, but that is what it took. Resting, eating healthy meals, keeping up with my healing protocol, then doing It all over again the next day, and the next and the next. It can take a wild amount of time but it is worth it to walk out of the other end of it.
Gently push yourself when stressful times come up and see how you do. Remember, baby steps is HUGE progress on a chronic illness journey. When it is too much, crawl back in bed and smile because you made a baby step by realizing your limitations.
So much of this is in the mind. NO, your illness is NOT in your mind, it is real. I am talking about how you deal with the physical. When you can identify progress, instead of the continued frustrations of illness, you have arrived!!
HEALTH COACH DISCLAIMER: Health/Wellness coaching is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition. It is not intended to substitute for the advice, treatment and/or diagnosis of a qualified licensed professional. Trained and certified Health Coaches may not make any medical diagnoses, claims and/or substitute for your personal physician’s care. As your health/wellness coach I do not provide a second opinion or in any way attempt to alter the treatment plans or therapeutic goals/recommendations of your personal physician. It is my role to partner with you to provide ongoing support and accountability as you create an action plan to meet and maintain your health goals.