More Sleep and Rest
When you can sleep, do it! Take any opportunity — even if it is a cat nap — to recharge.
Say No to Anything You Cannot Handle
If you don’t want to do something or know you really shouldn’t take on a task, do not say yes to make everyone happy but you. Know your limits, take care of you and say no when you need to.
Check Your Perspective
Much of what keeps me up at night (besides insomnia) is worry over things I cannot change. It is at this time I need to remember what is important, stop beating myself up for the things I feel I should have accomplished and let go of stressing over things I cannot do anything about.
Ask yourself, is what you are allowing to stress you out worth it? I mean really worth it. Does it matter like your life, your family, the things and people that really mean the most to you? If not, let the stress go.
Accept That Lupus Is a Roller Coaster Ride
Life, in general, is a ride. With lupus there are extra intense moments, unexpected challenges and seemingly dangerous loopy-loops. Let go of some of your need to control things because with lupus, you often can’t. You cannot always control all of the stops, bumps and freefalls that occur.
Go with it and realize that in the end, it will probably be OK — maybe not what you hoped for, but with lupus, what is?
Yes, it is hard at times to feel grateful when it seems your entire life has been taken over by this disease. But I feel there is always something to be grateful for and I try and focus on those things; my amazing children, my loving husband who is my rock through all of this mess, my home and my work.
I believe that gratitude each day can help wash away some of the stress. I suggest creating a gratitude board — a basic memo board where each day you can tack up a post-it that states something you are grateful for.
There is power in seeing a weeks’ worth of gratitude written down before you and collected on this board. It is uplifting and sets your mind back on track to what is important.
Try Yoga or Reiki
I am a Reiki practitioner and a newbie to something called “gentle recovery yoga,” which is easy on the body and joints but still helps you stretch, relax and feel more at peace.
Reiki is the ancient Japanese healing method of using universal energy (energy that is all around us) to relax and heal the body. Many yoga studios have practitioners that offer sessions, as do some chiropractors. Will either of these methods cure you? No. Will it help you release stress? Yes.
Get a Massage
There is no denying that a massage for lupus can relieve stress and is great for sore muscles as long as it is not too intense. I have not been able to splurge on one for several years, but my husband is always willing to rub my sore muscles each evening and that does wonders for releasing the day’s stress.
Join me on my journey of overcoming stress and all the negative impact it has on our bodies as we battle lupus. Commit to letting it go (at least more often than you currently do) and try creating a gratitude board for a week. Letting go of even a little of your stress will have a positive impact on your health!