It’s that time of the year again. The streets are eerily quiet and full of abandoned party hats. The sales are on, and up until February, I’ll be finding glitter in the creases of my elbows and between my toes. And among this festive hangover is the perennial question: “Do you have any resolutions?”
Most people fail at keeping their New Year’s resolutions. Yet in the spirit of growing and moving forward, I have decided to come up with a few promises to myself. Life with a chronic disease such as endometriosis makes it quite easy to resent the daily grind. We naturally see our disease as something that holds us back.
While resolutions can be seen as forms of self-improvement, they are also ways of tricking my mind into thinking that even at the worst of times, there is always something I can do. Coming up with a new plan or approach can help us to remember that no matter our chronic disease, we are moving forward.
For example, I’ve been considering pole dancing. I see your face, reader! No, I am not contemplating pursuing a new career, but I need to work on my upper body strength and my flexibility. My joints have taken a massive hit in the last year (hello, London Marathon), and this could be an excuse to better myself … by hanging from a pole and very possibly falling flat on my face.
However, being upside down is not everyone’s idea of fun. So what to do in the new year that doesn’t involve hurting oneself?
A new approach to food can kick-start better health.
I have a love-hate relationship with the subject of dietary changes. We all know of someone who quit one food group and their life changed. Yet many of us have yet to see the rewards of quitting our most guilty pleasures. This is why January is a good excuse to try to make some changes, if only temporary. Causes like Veganuary are not only cool for the environment, they also can turn into fun experiments if you persuade your friends to go down the plant-based path for a bit.
Learning a random new skill just for the fun of it can reenergize our brain.
Maybe it’s a new language, a bit of calligraphy, or anything creative. Learning a new skill awakens the brain and forces us to think differently. Moreover, it can turn into a daily practice that is completely outside of our illness.
Committing to caring for our mental health is crucial.
Whether it is finding a therapist, downloading an app to meditate daily, or exploring the idea of a life coach, this is the best form of self-care for anyone living with a chronic disease. Making our mental health a priority takes effort and a lot of courage, but it can mean the start of a lot of good. I jumped early on this resolution and got myself a life coach. I’m working on making my dreams come true in 2020, and hopefully this will translate into a calmer and more contented life.
Whatever we decide to do, when making resolutions it’s important to choose ones that will feel good. We shouldn’t be forcing ourselves, but pursuing something we want to do simply because we deserve to feel better.
Note: Endometriosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Endometriosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to endometriosis.