Everyone is talking about the cold weather today, but for me, it struck a couple of weeks ago. My usually healthy, vibrant, active and cooperative body transformed into a cold, tight, contracted, painful mess, my migraines started to return, my energy plummeted, and my mood declined.
My fibromyalgia is generally so well managed that it barely affects my life, at least in summer, so whilst this latest flare was utterly predictable (cold, damp, windy weather is a key trigger for me), it still took me by surprise. And to be honest, feelings of frustration, impatience, anger and self-pity started to emerge.
Luckily, experience has taught me over and over again just how much power I have to create the best possible health, even if it fluctuates. So I dipped into my toolbox, implemented my tried and tested winter self-care plan, and within a few days I was able to turn things around and get myself back on track.
It takes a little effort, it takes a little time, but having a sense of control and some good options to make life easier for myself makes it so much easier to bear. It means I have to structure my routines a little differently, substitute some activities for others that are more nurturing just now, be more attentive to my moods and emotions. I need to eat a little differently, move a little differently, think a little differently. And I need a whole lot more self-compassion to get through the next few months.
Do I feel as good now as I do in summer? Honestly, no I don’t. But I am happy, I can function, and most importantly, I know that it is within my power to move through this as well as possible. Do I now function better in a flare than I used to? Absolutely. Are my flares less often, and less severe? Absolutely. Have I been able to significantly reduce the impact this ongoing health condition has on me? Absolutely.
I work with a number of clients with ongoing health conditions, supporting them to explore, develop and implement a self care plan that allows them to live as well as possible through whatever challenges they may be experiencing. If this sounds like something you are interested in, you can book in with me for a counselling session (or series of sessions) at Lotus in Wollongong, and find out how you can really make a difference in your quality of life.