Be Kind to Yourself

It has snowed for the past two days! Sitting at my desk, drinking my hot chocolate writing this blog post after playing in the snow for awhile!

Happy Monday and HAPPY FEBRUARY!!πŸ’— February is one of my favourite months of the year because it brings so much love and thoughtfulness. If you head over to my Instagram page @saraeliseblog, you will see a couple Monday inspirational pictures that I wanted to frame our minds to in the beginning of the day. I intend on making Mondays more motivational/inspirational/upbeat on my feed and incorporate that positive energy right here in my blog posts. I feel that is important for us, especially when most of us are either working from home or do not feel safe being outside of your house, to find happiness in the everyday things that we may have taken for granted at one time. I know for myself, I truly took many things for granted leading up to the pandemic. However, this past year has given us all the unique opportunity to reevaluate our own lives and look inward to identify what (…or who) works for us and what no longer serves us.

Over the past year, I have faced challenges and triumphs in various aspects of my life, as I’m sure we all have. Whenever I felt a setback happening, I would start to downward spiral and starting pinning myself for all of the things that could’ve led up to that point regardless of the circumstances. I’ll give you an example. About a month ago, I was advised by my doctor to wean off a prescription medicine I had been on ever since my gastrointestinal disorder diagnoses in July. Eagerly awaiting this moment, I followed his orders and went on with my days and didn’t think much of it. Until one evening, I started to have an uncontrollable set of the shakes, my abdominal spasms had returned, a glooming headache was fully in motion, and I couldn’t breathe easily so I reached for my inhaler to regulate my breath. I felt defeated, instantly having flashbacks of what had happened back in the summer of last year. I started running through my head to see if I had eaten something out of the ordinary that day, went back and tracked the amount of water I drank to ensure I wasn’t dehydrated, checked my pill case to check that I hadn’t forgotten one. When I realized that my “checklist” had all been completed, I started to think to myself how am I not strong enough to handle the pain, perhaps my pain tolerance had weakened. Was it all in my head? I listened to the doctor and couldn’t understand why I was having a considerable episode in the middle of the night when no one was awake to even help. Granted, what could they really do in that scenario, other than trying to comfort me? So let’s review the characteristics I pinned on myself that night for an episode that I clearly could not solve quickly… weak, frail, complainer, and confused. I felt that I shouldn’t bother others by waking them up telling them something was wrong or even continue to find answers because I chalked it up to “my body just not being able to handle it”. Let me be clear, this is an example of what NOT to do.

The next day, I immediately called my doctor to recount what had happened the night before. He told me to go back on the medicine I had previously stopped taking because clearly, my symptoms weren’t clearing up in the timeframe that was intended. Again, those thoughts of not being able to handle what was going on with my body, started to creep back in. I stopped myself and realized that I had allowed negative thoughts in my own head to wreak havoc therefore I kept those thoughts circulating within me. That’s when I knew I couldn’t continue to feed myself negativity. How can one expect kindness from others, if they are not kind to themself? I went back through the chain of events in my head and thought how attentive I was to myself for ensuring my checklist was thoroughly examined the night before. How I was courageous enough to pick up the phone and advocate for myself to the doctor (for those of you with chronic conditions, you know what I mean on this). Finally, how kind I was to myself for realizing that I didn’t always have to find a reason to place the blame on myself. This was a turning point for me because in the weeks that passed after this incident, I found myself actively switching those negative thoughts that would creep in, with possible positive attributes. It’s all about mindset and perhaps that’s the hardest part to comprehend, for me at least.

Reframing my thoughts in negative situations or situations that are out of my control has been an area that I have struggled with before but have found myself improving more everyday. I have found that negative daily thoughts cloud my judgement which is not healthy. To counteract this, I have made a conscious effort to think through my thoughts internally to see if they are subconsciously hurting me. This may look like if I have another unfortunate painful night, I recognize the pain I’m in, proactively record/identify what is wrong, and believe in myself that my strength and grace will carry me through. Being kind to yourself may seem simple at face value, but once you dig deeper you might find there is still so much more kindness left to give yourself. If you have some trouble finding it… I would be happy to help or offer any advice I can!

Thanks for reading! Happy Monday friends, let’s crush this week πŸ™‚

— Sara πŸ’‹

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