“I’ve decided 2020 is going to be the year of Terri” I half-jokingly said to my husband. I was only partially joking because I was thinking about how much I needed to re-commit to myself and my self-care.
Although I’m doing well and my flares are fewer and less-severe in general, I haven’t been as proactive as I should be in taking care of myself. This is in part due to the fact that I commit to things and then am afraid to do the things I know will help in the long run. I’m afraid they’ll temporarily increase my pain and I won’t be able to keep some commitment I’ve made.
I’ve decided that this year, I have to do things differently. I want to concentrate on doing the things I know are going to help me, not only with my fibromyalgia symptoms, but my health in general.
That may mean saying “no” to some things I’ve always done. It may also mean doing some new things and saying “yes” to some new opportunities.
Things I’m Saying NO To:
Some of the things I’ll be saying NO to are:
- Things that I don’t enjoy, but do because I feel I “should” do them. We probably all have those things that we do only because we feel they’re expected of us, or feel we “should” do. Sometimes those things are necessary; for instance, when we need to take care of a family member, etc., but sometimes, we have just gotten into the habit of doing them.
- Anything that has the potential to keep me from doing the things I need to do for my health. I spend a lot of time saying, “I don’t want to do this right now because I have to do _____________ and if I have a flare, I might not be able to.” This year, I have to make my wellness a priority.
- Feeling guilty because I need to give up some things. I’ve always been involved in community activities, whether in my church or other volunteer activities, and I’ve often felt guilty because I can’t do the things I used to do for others. As I mentioned in Letting Go of Guilt When You Live with Chronic Pain, we shouldn’t feel guilty for something we have no control over.
Things I’m Saying YES To:
- Recommitting to my HOPE plan. Especially over the last couple of months, I’ve let this slide. It’s time to get back to a healthy diet, optimism, prayer and meditation, and exercise. These are the things that help me thrive in spite of the Fibro and improve my overall wellness.
- Doing more things that I enjoy. Sometimes I spend so much time doing all the stuff I need to do that I forget to include some things I enjoy doing. Having some things that we enjoy doing can bring joy to our lives and improve our outlook.
These are just a few things I’m doing to ensure I can be as well as possible. Fibromyalgia is a chronic illness, and it’s most likely here to stay, but I can do things to lessen its impact on my life.
It’s important to me that I’m as well as possible in order to be there for my family and contribute in some way to my fellow human beings. Right now, the best way I can do that is to concentrate on myself and what I need to do to feel better, get stronger, and improve my overall health.
Are You Ready to Make This the Year of YOU?
Have you ever felt this way? Have you ever realized that things had to change if you were ever going to make long-term improvements? If so, why not join me and make this the “year of YOU.” So often, we put other people and obligations ahead of ourselves. That’s not a bad thing, but at some point, we have to realize that if we don’t take care of ourselves, we can’t take care of others.
I’m not suggesting that we become selfish, or that we shirk our responsibilities. What I am suggesting is that instead of relegating ourselves and our Fibromyalgia Care Plan to the bottom of our list, we make taking care of ourselves a priority.
What do you need to do to feel better and positively impact your health long-term?
What things will you say NO to this year? More importantly, what will you say YES to in order to make this the year of YOU? Please share!