“Don’t let chronic health challenges get you down in the New Year! 3 Easy Tips to create a happier and healthier you.”
Here we go again. Another New Year and I’m besieged with emails and tweets telling me how I can maximize my resolutions, start fresh, finally get it right. What makes them think that a turn of the calendar page changes anything? The only thing these messages inspire me to do is to hit delete.
It’s not that I don’t want to improve – however I can make it happen – managing my health and my thoughts about it. I’m a sponge for fresh ideas that I might apply to old problems. I’ve seen how trying something new sometimes shakes things up enough to move me from a stuck place. But the message that it’s simple and should happen now because it’s a new calendar year leaves me cold (and who needs that living in Northeast U.S.?) I’ve struggled with my body and all it’s parts that don’t work right for over 36 years, regardless of the day of the week. It’s an ongoing never-ending hunt to improve my health and my mood about my health to stay as healthy and positive as possible, whatever that means on any given day.
Improving your situation or something about you can be possible but it’s never a straight line from start to finish. And now matter what anyone promises, there isn’t a 3 step recipe– crack the eggs, whip them up, pour into hot pan. Too many variables make it a trial and error process. Try things on, dip your feet in, see what happens. I’ve found the hardest part is holding on to the resilience to keep trying again, a challenge in itself.
It could be that living with difficult and unpredictable health has made me a skeptic of the quick fix. Certainly the chronicity has taught me that there are some things you can change and hopefully improve and there are some that you can’t. I’ve wasted a lot of time and only become more unhappy when I’ve failed to identify clearly what is and isn’t possible. At the end of each day, the real challenge is to figure out how to live with and make peace with what can’t be changed.
Many years ago, a client said to me, “I don’t have multiple sclerosis. I live with it.” The idea that I’m living with rather than being it was powerful for me. Try it and see if that helps make it less consuming. Another thing to work on.
Maybe January 1 motivates you more than any other day and you’re off and running with new ideas. Not me. But what matters is that you are doing something and taking charge where you can. Once you’ve experienced how your tenacity pays off, it can motivate you the next time you find yourself slipping into the difficult places.
Oh, and my new years wishes for you? I wish for you as happy and healthy a year as is possible!