As we grow, our abilities naturally shift and change. Remember being a kid and fumbling with those once confusing shoelaces? They now get finessed into a knot without much thought.
The same evolution happens when you’re diagnosed with an autoimmune disease.
For example, when I found out I had Celiac disease in 2009, I had to overhaul my diet to eliminate gluten, a protein commonly found in several grains. Early on, I fumbled often with what to eat. Today, I still eat bread and cupcakes, they’re just not the same brands or recipes I enjoyed as a teenager. I’ve learned how to eat the foods I want, in a new way.
If you’re absorbing a new autoimmune diagnosis, know that you can still do everything you did before — just differently.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind.
Can you do the activity partially?
Sometimes it’s best to pick the most satisfying or rewarding moments of an event and focus your limited energy on being present for those.
Go to the championship game, not the weekly practices.
Visit the exhibit at the fair that you love most and skip the rest.
Attend the wedding reception and watch the ceremony video later.
Pick and choose where you want to spend your precious limited energy, then fully let yourself enjoy the moment.
Can someone assist with the task?
The most difficult change I’ve faced since collecting a few autoimmune conditions is asking for help. Whether you have someone in your household lend a hand, or you use outside service, it all adds up to giving you more time to take care of yourself and the tasks that only you can do.
I have no problem hiring out my lawn care and getting groceries delivered. Having someone else help with those mundane tasks lets me have more energy for the things that mean most to me, like walking the dog or cooking a meal with the hubby.
Can you better prepare yourself?
When your body is constantly at war with itself, you’re exhausted. I’ve found the best way to mitigate severe periods of fatigue is by planning ahead. You’ll eventually figure out which activities or chores are most draining for you so you can gauge your need for rest.
Start by balancing things 1:1. If you have to do one hour of yardwork, plan for an hour of rest and relaxation directly after completing the task. Be kind to your body and remember that it needs extra TLC when managing an autoimmune disease.
Until next time,
PS: Wonder what I’m up to today? Visit me on Facebook at Cupcakes and Yoga Pants!
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