Have you ever just wanted to hit the reset button on life? I’m pretty sure we all have at some point or another. There have been many times in my life when I’ve been so overwhelmed that I wished I could just hit a reset button on life and start over.
I’d love to hit the reset button and go back to the “before” time and see if I could find a way to avoid a life with chronic illness. Or better yet, just hit the reset button so that I could stay where I am but be free of health issues. Wouldn’t we all love that? Sadly, there is not reset button; there are some things we just can’t undo. I’m stuck with these illnesses, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t aspects of my life that I can’t hit a reset button on. There are ways I can start over right where I’m at.
1. Accept reality – I can stop fighting what is real. I can stop wishing for the fantasy reset and I can start looking around at my life and looking for the good in it. When we accept life as it is, things suddenly feel a lot better. Sure, the health issues will remain but we can feel a lot better about them. Constantly fighting a diagnosis or spinning your wheels trying to fix what can’t be changed does no good and just leaves you anxious, confused, and angry.
This also means accepting the emotions I am feeling and allowing myself to feel them. Often there are bad days or down days and it’s easy to fight them. But, much like a flare, when I fight the negatives feelings it just means that they last longer. If I just allow myself to feel them, accept the reality of how I feel, and work through it and with it, then they will pass and I can move on to better feelings.
2. Love yourself and be kind to yourself – There’s an old adage that no one else can love you if you don’t love yourself. I believe it’s true. However, I wonder if perhaps it’s not that others can’t love me if I don’t love myself but that I don’t see their love of me if I don’t love myself. They still love me, but instead of seeing their actions as acts of love I see them as defiance, or aggression, or distress. I see all the negative sides of their actions rather than seeing their positive intentions. When I do this I’m doing myself a disservice (and them as well). I have to stop looking for the bad in their actions and in that way love myself. I have to be kind to myself which means remembering my limits and finding the small ways to show myself the love that I would show others, or expect others to show me.Remember to be kind to yourself, for if you can't treat yourself well how you can expect others to do so? Click To Tweet
3. Remember that most things are temporary – “this too shall pass” is hard to hold onto when you live with chronic illness. And, while by definition your chronic illness isn’t going away, most things that you encounter will pass, they will be temporary. The bad times, the bad moods – they can all be worked through. If someone says some terrible thing to you that makes it clear that they don’t understand what you are going through remember that it’s temporary. If possible, remove yourself from those negative people to ensure that their negative effect on you is only temporary. If you can’t, do your best to set boundaries so that they can impact you as little as possible.
4. Find a reason to be grateful – there is always a reason that we can be grateful. There is a roof over our head (even if it’s leaking), there is someone willing to help (even if it’s not exactly the help we’d like), there is Netflix to keep us occupied when we don’t have the energy to do anything else, there’s a hummingbird outside the window, even if it’s too hot to go outside or we don’t have the energy. There are always small things and when we focus on the small things, the things we can be grateful for and find reasons for happiness, happiness will come. The next time you are feeling really terrible look around and write down three things you have to be thankful for.Look around - now quick name 3 things you can be grateful for in this moment. Click To Tweet
5. Simplify Life – About two years ago I drastically simplified life. I sold just about everything (including my house) and moved into a 400sf RV. Even if you can’t sell all your things and simplify in that way, there are other ways that you can simplify life. Whether it’s committing to less and thus shortening your to do list, removing clutter from your home, or even removing people who create negativity and add stress to your life.
What other ways can you think of to allow yourself the reset that you need?