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Once more, I am participating in A Chronic Voice’s monthly linkup

Prompts: Dedicating, Establishing, Breaking, Strengthening, Allowing

Like many new years I have experienced, 2019 finds me hopeful but tired, and wanting to use this ‘new year’ energy to improve myself and my life.  This just is a good time for self-reflection, growth, and creating new and better habits for ourselves.

I have been dedicating much of my energy since the New Year started to caring for myself, establishing better self-care habits, breaking the unhelpful habits I have developed the past few months, and allowing myself the opportunity to evaluate what I need now and in this upcoming year.  

Physical Health

A big focus of mine currently is breaking through the health issues I have been coping with for the past few months, above and beyond my actual disabling condition, Functional Neurological Disorder(FND).  

Since I fell ill in October, my immune system has remained overactive. I’ve had a couple of episodes of severe breathing issues(which resolved after an hour or two each time) and other allergy symptoms without a discernable cause.

I saw the allergist yesterday(an appointment I likely should have made a month or so ago, but didn’t have the emotional energy for), and while he had no diagnosis or strong idea of causality to offer me, he did provide me with a new inhaler that may help, and advised me to increase the daily dose of my allergy medication.

 I am re-establishing my connection and trust with him, and getting support in managing the itching, congestion, and random short-term rashes that have accompanied the last several months!

The New Year can be a useful time to start over!

I also, this month, am having my first mammogram(I can’t believe I’m turning 40 later this month!), and I unfortunately also need a culposcopy – both of these are now scheduled for next week.  All of these probably should have occurred in December, but I just didn’t have the emotional wherewithal to cope with it, so I didn’t.

Now it is time to work on strengthening myself to handle this new year, and build my best possible self back up again.  

Healthier Habits

Now that the holidays and both their stresses and pleasures have passed, it’s time for me to rededicate myself to the healthy habits and patterns I had created for myself, but let slip due to being sick.  

I personally use the Fabulous app to help me develop and maintain my habits, and over the past couple of years have participated in a lot of their health-related journeys.  After spending November and December ignoring those alarms, I’m looking them back over, tweaking them, and working to improve my energy and time management.

Days without a schedule are just so easily lost altogether to TV or games or just not being focused that I make sure that my ‘default’ is to follow the habits I’m trying to grow so that I do have that drive and push to keep dedicating myself to building my blog and business, and to keep myself as healthy as possible.

I do this by having a set of rituals that step-by-step get me from waking up to eating a healthy breakfast to being able to sit down and do some truly focused work!  I fold healthy eating, gratitude exercises, taking my medication, and a little bit of cleanup/space organizing into my morning, as well as the PT exercises that I need to do(currently I’m working on pelvic floor control and debating if I need to go back to the exercises I learned in the MoRe program).  

I am rediscovering my new normal again and seeing what else I can do for myself.  These routines can smoothly transition into straight up working on my projects, though I have been managing appointments the past couple of days – Wednesday, I spent much of the day making phone calls and scheduling things, as well as doing a makeup session with my therapist, and Thursday, I saw the allergist.  Today is the first day I can wholly dedicate to my self-care and working(which is why this post is a little later than usual). I hope to be able to completely lay out my plans and goals for 2019 within the week, which will help me have and maintain personal and work targets each week.

Mental and emotional health

I have already established a lot of good habits to help me maintain mental and emotional equilibrium, but being sick has also thrown them into disorder.  I have an exceptionally hard time maintaining a meditation practice when congested, let alone the coughing and such that I had been doing in November. Also, as I mentioned, the holidays are a challenging time for me emotionally, and I need to push a bit to make sure I don’t slide into a depression.  

New year’s is a natural time to give yourself that extra push towards healthiness

Now that the holiday season has passed, I can focus once more on rebuilding the habits, instead of just trying to keep it together.  

I have been starting my day with gratitude exercises for a while now (I have a list of things in my life that I’m grateful for, and reread it most days, adding to the list at least a few times a week), and that feels right.  I’m working now on establishing a good bedtime and sleep routine for myself, as I have been staying up late, playing games until I fall asleep, and not reading before bed.

My plan now is to focus on sleep and relaxation after we feed the cats(between 10 and 11), and take some reading time as well as running a sleep/relaxation meditation as my last activity of the night.  

My conversion/movement symptoms have been very severe lately, including when I try to meditate(allowing myself to relax often includes unexpected movements), so I know I need to get back in the meditation habit.  

I’m also hoping to work on a class on mindfulness that I picked up last year, and complete a free online course in Mindfulness-based stress reduction.  Finally, I signed up for a free course through The Greater Good society on happiness – it’s about 8 weeks long and I’m looking forward to getting better self-understanding through it!

Work and purpose

I am also very focused on strengthening my skills in writing, running my blog, and creating my business!  I tend to be a bit overly ambitious in my planning, and then be disappointed in myself for not managing to complete my unrealistic expectations.  I do feel really excited about all the things I want to do this year(mainly this blog and Hours Well Spent, my web app concept), and so I am working on creating more achievable goals for myself while maintaining a sense of challenge and purpose to what I am doing.  

I am focusing on making progress on my goals daily without feeling overwhelmed by what I need to do.  I need to keep allowing myself to rest when I need it while ensuring that I make some progress(even if it’s tiny) every day.  It is going to be a challenge to keep it all balanced, but I am not looking to give up on my goals, or stop taking care of myself.  I do have a strong sense of purpose and am so glad that I’m getting the opportunities I need to make my dreams happen!

Maintaining the balance

So for now, my big goal is to keep growing as a person, becoming and staying as healthy as possible, while I continue to write and grow my blog and web app.  I’m going to talk more about all of these as the time comes, but for now, I want you to know that I am doing my best to break down my own self-created barriers while developing the best possible habits and routines for myself!  I’m hoping that the exercises and self-care practices I am redeveloping will help my immune system calm down so I can have an easier time on a day-to-day basis.

I hope you are also able to look upon your year and use it to help yourself create your best possible 2019!

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  1. Hello again Allison

    It’s wonderful to see you participating in another Link-Up Party. I agree with your need to allow yourself to rest when it’s needed; it’s something that I am also going to try and work on during the year. It’s such a difficult balance to get right, striving for progress but at the same time allowing ourselves to rest and recover when it’s needed.

    Good luck with achieving your goals for 2019!

    All the best

    Rhiann x

    1. Rhiann – thank you so much!
      Wishing you the best as well – it is indeed a challenging balance to manage!

      best wishes to you as well!

  2. Thanks for joining us again, Alison! Good to know what you’re up to as a fellow person with chronic illness 🙂 Wishing you all the best with the routines…they are indeed crucial in maintaining our health…but can fall to the wayside in a heartbeat. Have a great 2019!

    1. I know, it’s so easy to lose the self-care habits – one of the most essential things, but so easy to drop!
      I wish you a great 2019 as well!

  3. I’m glad to read your positive post! After the holidays, I feel the same as you, trying to dedicating myself to healthier eating and living. I wish you the best 🙂

  4. Hi, Alison! I enjoyed reading your answers to this month’s prompts. Your photo with the googly eyes looking down at you gave me a chuckle. thanks for sharing.

    1. Kathy,
      Thank you for reading! I love that tree and really wanted a good opportunity to showcase it!
      Thanks again!

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