Due to the recent diagnosis of Rheumatic Fever and perhaps some other autoimmune disease, all while being on bed rest, I have felt isolated and as if I haven’t been living up to my potential. I’ve been stuck home, have lost friends due to chronic illness, and thought maybe my life would forever lack excitement. I decided I refuse to accept that for myself. Adventure or excitement can be found in any situation, if you have an open mind and heart. For example, I struggle with walking and am sometimes wheelchair bound. At first, being a 24 year old in a wheel chair felt shameful and humiliating. I came to terms with it in time, realizing that while some things are out of my control, other things most certainly are. I found solace through the little things. No matter where you are in life, do NOT give up, find what makes your heart ignite, and what puts a smile on your face. Here’s some suggestions I have for finding some spark in life when it feels dull.
- Find a new hobby. I have recently started painting. I tried drawing and it didn’t particularly interest me, but it was still engaging to try something different. Painting on the other hand, I have fallen in love with and it has given me the drive to improve. Plus, this is an activity I can do during a flare.
- Read a book or writing style out of your comfort zone. I typically stick to fantasy styles or non-fiction books. Apparently I either like to escape reality or dive right into it. Anyway, I tried a thriller book once and found it refreshing to try something new. It may not be my go-to genre, but I’m glad I gave it a try.
- Make a collage of things you love or things that inspire you. Hang it up somewhere to serve as a reminder of your passions. In my office on the back of the door there are photos of loved ones, clips from magazines, a poster, even a candy wrapper. Get creative and have fun.
- If you’re able, try a new hiking location or go somewhere near water. I find that being by water calms me, and new hiking trails not only get in some steps for the day, but the new scenery is refreshing.
- Create a bucket list and try to cross off something at least once a month. Experiences are more fulfilling than material possessions in my opinion. I have a bucket list entirely dedicated to overcoming certain anxiety triggers. Each one crossed off feels empowering, even the simplest ones like hugging a clown. I find clowns terrifying thanks to movie portrayals.
- Practice self love and appreciate yourself and your body. I look back on the years I spent tormenting my body with a destructive eating disorder and ask myself why? Should I live a long life, will it matter how skinny I was? Or will the contents of my heart and the insight I’ve gained define my beauty? I choose the latter.
Sending love as always,