It’s easy to say we are all human, therefore, connected. But really – in sickness and health – even sans the wedding ceremony – we are!
A young professional in Milan, Italy is struggling with mental health just like your friend in Spokane, Washington.
The struggle to find a specialist for your condition can be just as challenging in San Antonio, Texas as in Dublin, Ireland.
As dawn approaches or the sun officially departs for today, our health, experiences, thoughts, perseverance, and much more span the globe, connecting us.
As we say farewell to 2022 (it sure sped by for me) and a new year on the horizon, I hope the focus, mindset and goals of good health remain paramount for everyone.
I find it important to be assured that whatever communities you mindfully choose to be a part of build you up. I hope you feel proud about who you are, the decisions you made this year, and the direction you choose your health to go in the next year.
Cherish these final moments of 2022. Celebrate the big and small moments. Take a breath, a moment for yourself, exhale the stress – inhale the gratitude.
Time is fragile, precious, and dictates much of our lives and the decisions we make. Isn’t it reassuring that time brings us together?
If you are feeling alone this time of year – know that this community is always here for you. If you are feeling sluggish – know that you aren’t the only one. If you are feeling hopeful – cheers to that. Whatever adjective you choose today, tomorrow, and so on – it’s relatable and okay. Nothing stays the same.
A quote I stumbled upon in early fall stood out and resonated with me.
“I will never have this version of me again. Let me slow down and be with her – always evolving.” -Rupi Kaur
Take a moment for yourself, sip the hot tea, binge a book, take a nap, turn off the phone, chat with a friend. Whatever YOU need – this is a reminder to take your “me” time.
Many things can wait – even though our technology driven, go go go society can serve as a conflicting message. Remember when I touched on boundaries and why implementing them in my life led to improved health?
You may not think from the outside, surface level, that you are connected to the individual three up in line at the café, your pod-mate on that international flight, or your coworker who seems uneasy and fidgety. We really are though. We all experience the same emotions, fleeting at times, of course in different scenarios, in different physical bodies. We all know the feelings of grief, love, despair, change, fear, …
Let this reminder of time connecting us serve as a nudge to start that conversation, console a neighbor, or smile at a stranger.
When you evaluate the core values, feelings, emotions and human-ness of it all – it becomes unavoidable to deny our connectedness.
Upon my annual period of reflection, I’d like to share three mainstays of 2022.
These good practices are my sure-fire recipe for a better relationship with myself, my loved ones, and for my overall health and wellbeing.
Communication: Clear but kind is my motto. We can’t read each other’s minds, so best practice is to share what you’re feeling, what you’re thinking, and ask them the same. There’s no shame in how you’re feeling or if there’s a lack of feeling. It’s human to be human. I can’t reinforce enough that however you feel – is okay. Please sidestep people who criticize you for your emotions. Personal note: Communication can always have hiccups; just go into it level-headed, patient, and explain concisely – i.e. have a plan.
Live with intention: It requires you to truly know yourself, what you want, and what you have to give. This can take time. It’s work. None of us wake up every day and say, “Aha – this is the direction for each sector of my life.” It sometimes is more trial and error… As a friend shared, “Attention does not equate to intention.” When you live with intention, you don’t hold on to things just to “have” them. My reflection: If you feel like you’re spinning your wheels, but not going anywhere – it is time to evaluate why that is. Are you taking action? Is your action not being welcomed by a doctor or?
Release fear: One of the toughest internal struggles can be releasing fear. Fear can halt us before we even get to the starting gate. Fear of seeing a doctor who may be able to treat your medical condition could be holding you back, shortening your life, or creating other cyclic fear scenarios. By releasing fear, you allow the what-ifs to become cheers of accomplishment, motivation and clear headedness to proceed, and living life without parameters. Fear and its link to stress is worth noting. Stress, as many experts shared with us this year, has the ability to navigate our health for us.
Real life example: I had to step out of my comfort zone this year and make some tough healthcare choices. This again required “interviewing” doctors. Why? I’ve read and heard many real-life experiences of individuals this year that detailed their health going off the rails, complications abounding, dealing with unexpected twists and turns. It is tough to digest. One thing for sure is that asking those tough questions up front can be useful. This gives me peace of mind. I want to know what Plan A, B, and C are. Surprises are part of life, and they can be both beautiful and confusing, but going in with a game plan settles my mind, my internal system, and quiets the fear that inevitably sneaks in.
If you’re putting band-aids on your health, nervous to ask a doctor a vital question, or if you tend to gloss over small things (which we know end up counting just as much as the big things), I hope you listen to your gut, identify the fear and release it, and take a powerful step forward to communicate what is on your mind. Be it uprooting the safety net, or saying yes to a medication that is getting favorable reviews in clinical trials, I want you to feel confident and fearless as you enter the new year of 2023.
Pivot as you must. You’ve got a support system here. Trust yourself. You have so much on the line and you are worth it.
Please stay safe as we close out this year and embark on 2023. I look forward to connecting with you again in January. And thank you for joining me on this journey.
Coming next: Patient with ME/CFS likens it to “getting leprosy back in the 1800s; you’re sort of shipped off to an island and never seen again”