Tips for prioritizing your needs

Once we learn our fate with the news of a chronic health condition diagnosis, we may feel overwhelmed with emotions. There is a process of facing enormous lifestyle changes we must make and what seems like a never-ending amount of medical information to consume. Unfortunately, any new diagnosis can fill you with a tremendous level of uncertainty and may make you feel less confident in your ability to acknowledge and react to what your body needs. This can still be complicated after living with a chronic condition for years.

When living with a chronic condition, it can feel like your relationship with your body has been interrupted, and it can take time to relearn ways to listen and react to your body’s signals. It is crucial to keep in my, that self-care is a skill that requires continuous practice. This could be something as simple as practicing treating yourself with kindness, without feeling guilty. It can also mean practicing asking others for assistance when you realize there is too much on your already full plate.

When living with a chronic condition it is important to understand, that we must focus on our needs and realize it is NOT selfish. When you are inclined to take care of others, this can be difficult to do, but it is a necessity. We may already know whatever condition we must endure may not have a cure and understand it is something we will face every day for the rest of our lives. The following tips are ways we can learn to prioritize our needs while living with a chronic health condition:

1. Maintain boundaries to decrease stress. Honestly, work and finances are the main stresses in life, but I also stress about the well-being of the people I care about. A few things I have started doing to reduce stress are, I am not working overtime or allowing anyone at work or anywhere else to cause me unnecessary stress. Working overtime is great for extra money, but I decided my mental health is more important than a few extra dollars😊!

2. Accept and respect your limitations. I tend to feel guilty if I am unable to do something for someone else and force another to do what I would typically take care of. It almost feels impossible to accept when I am unable to do everything. Although I have lived with Multiple Sclerosis for well over twenty years, I am still learning to accept my limitations and not push myself too hard and overdo it. Sometimes I think I need to retrain my brain and know I need to take each day, one at a time.

Truthfully, some people will be understanding and respectful of our limitations, but you will always come across those that will not be understanding. Never allow those that will not understand to push you past your limitations and be inspired and appreciative by those that are😊! No other person can determine what is best for you because YOU are the only one who truly knows!

3. Ignore any and all judgments from others. People are always going to be quick to pass judgment, but they seldom knowledge of what they speak. I have always said, “Most people say a lot, without saying a thing!” Sadly, judgments even when coming from ignorance, can still be extremely hurtful. Living with a chronic condition is challenging enough without negativity from others that cannot comprehend the difficulties involved.

4. Never forget that making your needs a priority is being logical and not selfish. I tend to believe that by making my needs important, I am being selfish because I always put everyone else’s needs more important than anything else, including my own. Please do not think the way I do in this regard because it is not the best way.

I am sure there are several other things we can do to make our health issues. If you know of anything else, I would be very interested in learning about it because all tips will be helpful to everyone. Life with a chronic health condition is difficult, but it is not the end of the world, and it could always be worst.

Thank you for visiting my site today. I hope what I have shared has been beneficial to you and it helps you deal with chronic illness in a better way. I look forward to reading your comments and any other advice that helps you. I will respond to all comments as quickly as I can. Please never forget that I am always sending you LOTS of love, comfort, support, and MANY positive vibes!

Always, Alyssa

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