Favourite Fridays! My 3 Favourite Quotes…

nhbpm_daycount-08

 

Welcome to the eighth day of the National Health Blog Post Month Challenge hosted by WEGO Health.  Every day during the month of November I will be writing a new blog post related to health and living with a chronic illness based upon given prompts provided by WEGO Health.

Today’s prompt reads:

Favourite Fridays.  Make a list of 3 favourite quotes

I absolutely adore this prompt as I am a lover of positive quotations; they are uplifting and a lovely reminder of what good there is still in the world when illness seems to get in the way of enjoying life.  In fact, I am such a lover of such positive quotes that I have started my own positivity board in my bedroom which has some positive quotes, which I love.  So, what are my 3 favourite quotes?

My Top 3 favourite quotes:

images-3

images

imgres-3

 

 

 

And here is my 'Positivity Board'
And here is my ‘Positivity Board’

 

 

What are your favourite quotes?  Fee free to comment below…

“I think I can” and “I know I can” – Life with Illness causes doubts and a battle to remain positive

nhbpm_daycount-02

Welcome to the second day of the National Health Blog Post Month hosted by WEGO Health.  Every day during the month of November I will be writing a new blog post related to health and living with a chronic illness based upon given prompts provided by WEGO Health.

Today’s prompt reads:

Little Engine Post: Write 3 lines that start with “I think I can…” and then write 3 lines that start with “I know I can…”

Living with a chronic illness is not a life choice but instead becomes a lifestyle; high heels and a little black dress is replaced with a comfortable pair of slippers and a pyjamas.  Not only does it become a lifestyle but also changes the way you not only see yourself but also the way you view the world.  It affects self-confidence, and once in areas of your life you were entirely confident in, now fills you with self-doubt.  So, sentences which started with “I can…” can sometimes turn into “I think I can…” or sadly sometimes “I can’t…”.

imgres-3

 

I think I can remain positive despite chronic illness.  Yes, this is still one thing that I know I can do yet.  Living with illness is like riding a rollercoaster; there are plenty of ups and downs.  One day you are able to remain upbeat and positive despite all the things that we have to live with but the next day that upbeat and positive attitude disintegrates into a puddle of depression and low self-worth.

I think I can cope with the dizziness.  But sadly the dizziness is starting to get the better of me and my coping strategies that once worked so well is now not doing its job and is making me miserable as well as leaving me in tears nearly everyday.  Everyday feels like an upbeat battle; feeling like a war instead of simply being able to enjoy the day and all the positive things that happen.

I think I can write a list of all the things I like about myself.  It sounds like an easy question, right?  However, during all the times I have been asked to do this exercise, I have had a lot of trouble to write the list of everything I like about myself;  however give me a list of all the things that I don’t like about myself and I can write quite the list!

But what about what I know I can do?

imgres-2

 

Well, I know that I can push myself with a successful outcome.  This week I found out exactly this.  I have missed several weeks of the weekly group that I attend because of illness and particularly the dizziness that I have been struggling with, however this week saw the annual Halloween Party and wanted to attend despite the severe dizziness.  On the day I really wasn’t feeling well and the dizziness was still very bad so really had to push myself; and I did and I managed to not only stay there but actually enjoy myself!  Even celebrating a win at Bingo as well!

I know I can use and stay in the wheelchair.  This used to be big problem for me because of the dizziness in which I live.  A concern of mine was that although I really need one due to the weakness and severe trembling in my legs I would never get used to it, and be able to stay in one for very long, despite the real need for it.  However, not only have I been using the wheelchair for sometime now but can also stay in the chair for some hours despite the dizziness.  I now am going to more places and able to stay out for longer.

I know I can rely and gain a lot of support from a wide network of friends.  Twitter has been a real lifeline for me, as I have met a lot of wonderful people and make a number of lifelong friendships along the way.  The support I receive from others when I am going through a bad time is truly overwhelming and I am thankful for each and every one of my new friends.

Keep Calm…and Stay Positive

As most of you know, that due to the unknown cause of my neurological condition is starting to get me down.  It is frustrating and disheartening when the doctors are unable to give you the answers that you so desperately crave.  It is simple – being undiagnosed is dejecting and can causes psychological symptoms such as depression.  All we crave is a diagnosis – a name for the cause of all that we go through on a daily basis.  A name that confirms that we are not crazy or that the symptoms are all in our head.

Due to the weakness in my legs as well as the severe dizziness and fatigue that I experience due to my undiagnosed condition, I am often unable to get out of my bed and so confined to my bed for days at a time.  Staring at the same four walls of my bedroom; a place where I spend a lot of my time anyway is not a positive experience.  It is often a painful reminder of my predicament; a predicament that I am an undiagnosed chronically ill patient.  Being confined to my bed, leads to feeling of loneliness and isolation – how many times when experiencing severe symptoms have thought you were the only person to be going through this experience?  Is that a yes I hear?  Me too.

However, Voltaire once stated “I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health”.  A truly inspirational quote, and one that is supported by research – there is a lot of evidence that suggests that being positive makes you feel less stressed; has a positive influence on your immune system and has a huge influence on your overall well-being.

But how can we still remain positive when living with a chronic illness, which has such a negative influence on all areas of our lives?

Well, for me I have started to assemble a ‘positivity board’.  A board with cards, postcards, or letters that are both positive and in turn makes me feel more positive and happy despite being bed-bound or dealing with unpleasant.

The board is no way finished but at the moment includes a couple of cards that I found in a local art gallery that includes positive quotes, for example “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take; but the number of moments that take our breath away” and my personal favourite “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain.”  Also, on my board is a gorgeous card that was sent to me by a dear friend which has some really lovely words both outside and inside the card which I shall treasure and which brightened my day when I received it – a time when I really needed it.

I also found a couple of butterfly clips which I found in a local shop which I bought just to brighten the board and because of my love of butterflies.

Try making a board for yourself and fill it with all the things that make you happy or makes you feel a little more positive despite whatever circumstances that you often find it hard to cope with, or one which has a negative impact on your life.

Stay Calm…and make a positivity board!

photo

 

 

If you come across any cards that has any positive quotes or perhaps with a lovely picture of a butterfly or sunflower or anything else positive, let me know in the comments section and help fill my positivity board!

 

Thanks everyone! xx

To dream of the future…

As most of you know, each Wednesday, I attend a group called ‘Life 4 Living Pontypridd.’  The group is a social one, which promotes positivity and friendship among its members.   The focus of the group is to promote people’s strengths and enjoy life despite one’s own personal circumstances.  One such way, to promote a positive outlook, we have been asked to devise a ‘Bucket List’ – a wish-list that one would like to achieve before they ‘kick the bucket’, or in other words die!

 

 

images-1

 

 

It is thought that the phrase derives from the Middle Ages, when execution by hanging, consisted of a noose being tied around the neck whole standing on an overturned bucket.  When the said bucket was kicked away, the victim would hang until dead, hence the phrase “kicking the bucket”.  The term has recently been popularised, by a film starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson, of the same name, about two terminally ill men meeting at a hospital, and devises a wish-list of to-do’s before dying, which they attempt to complete together on a road trip.

 

 

The film 'The Bucket List' has popularised the idea of creating such lists of things to do before you die!
The film ‘The Bucket List’ has popularised the idea of creating such lists of things to do before you die!

 

 

Initially, the idea of a such a list sounds morbid and depressing; seems to be planning the end of your life, instead of living life whilst we still have it.  It suggests a “check-off the boxes” approach to life; sitting round waiting to die.   However, isn’t the phrase more to do with living than dying?  Wouldn’t completing items on such a list make life more meaningful and memorable.  Those memories, are not only positive and meaningful for the terminally ill person, but will also live on after they have gone, by those left behind who were also part of the experience.

Now, the condition with which I live, is obviously is not terminal, and more than likely be around for many more years to come.  In this case, the phrase ‘Bucket List’ is misleading.  How many of you, have such wish-lists?  Would your imminent death, really the main motivational factor in creating one?  The majority of people, I am sure would say no.  Perhaps, it is important, however, for people with chronic illnesses to create such lists in order to accomplish personal ambitions, before the illness prevents them from doing so.  Perhaps, by creating such lists, would provide those with chronic illness with experiences that they can look forward to, whilst they are dealing with horrible, debilitating symptoms, and through treatments that can feel worse than the condition itself.  Whilst studying Psychology at University, I learnt about the importance of goal-setting.  Such goals can motivate us to accomplish items on such wish-lists; and furthermore the most motivating goals are those which are hard and specific, although it does need to be coupled with steps to achieving said goal, but writing a ‘bucket-list’ is the critical first-step.

One of the things, that is on my personal ‘bucket list’ is to someday visit Italy, and I am pleased to say, that my parents and I have booked a cruise for next year and one of the countries we will be visiting is Italy!!  Of course, there is much trepidation on my part surrounding the trip, especially giving the deterioration in my symptoms.  However, it has also given me something to look forward to in the future; even on the days where I have been confined to my bed due to uncooperative legs, it has given me something to smile about and aim for.  It has given me something to think about other than illness, and hospital appointments.

It has really put a pep in my step!

 

 

 

What would you add to your Bucket List?
What would you add to your Bucket List?

 

 

What are your thoughts regarding ‘bucket-lists’?  Are you for or against?  What would you put on your bucket-list?  As ever, I would love to hear your thoughts, so feel free to comment below!

On the 9th Day of Christmas…

537682_526142347405549_63970774_n

 

Welcome again readers, to another post for the ’12 Days of Christmas’ in which I divulge all the things that I am ‘chronically’ thankful for despite living with a chronic illness.

On the ‘9 Day of Christmas’ I was thankful for…a painting!  Again, I am not a huge fan of art, and do not really have a favourite painting, but funnily enough I did fall in love with a painting which I saw whilst out on an outing with my personal assistant, and is by a local artist Sylvia Hughes Williams.

 

dreanscapes2main

 

I just love the incorporation of the inspiring quote with the gorgeous picture of the butterfly.  The quote reads:

“Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over…it became a butterfly”

 

I read this quote a while ago, and caught my eye, as not only because I love butterflies, but also I love the positivity of this quote.  In relation to living with a chronic illness, it reminds us that just because we have limitations due to whatever illness we may be living with does not mean our lives our over but instead something positive can come out with such illnesses…these positives may only be small but they still make life worth living.

So, as soon as I saw this picture, I really found myself resonating with the quote and the print itself, and at some point during the year I hope to even buy the print and place it in my bedroom, and can look at it on those bad days, and remind myself of the positives in life…because there are so many.

And for that I am ‘chronically’ thankful!

WEGO Health Advocating for Another Carnival: Quote, end Quote

Welcome to the sixth day of the WEGO Health Advocating for Another Carnival Blog! And thank you for all your support and kind messages thus far.  Today’s prompt reads as follows:

Let someone else’s wise words inspire you.  Find a quote that moves you in some way then free write about i.  Don’t stop writing for 15-20 minutes.  Now post! 

 

The quote I have chosen for this prompt is:

 

I found this quote whilst browsing on Pinterest on a day where I was feeling particularly bad, lying in bed, bored and feeling utterly miserable due to the severity of my symptoms – than I found this and it just spoke to me almost immediately.

Anyone reading this who is also battling a chronic illness everyday knows how it can often get you really down mentally, as well as suffering physically.  It can be so easily to just give up, and just stay in bed, rolling up in a ball and giving up on life.  But although this seems like the best option, it isn’t going to solve anything.  Even though it can be very tough sometimes, we have little choice but to battle on and live the best life that we possibly can and to find our own happiness.  After all, studies within the field of positive psychology have shown that those patients who are happy and are positive in their outlook report less severity of symptoms and are often more physically well than those who are negative in their outlook.

And the quote also fits in nicely with the idea of a ‘gratitude diary’ that was suggested by a social worker who runs a local group which I attend weekly.  The idea of a gratitude diary is to write between 3 and 5 things (or more if you wish) that you were grateful for and what makes you appreciate life – it could be anything from speaking to a friend on the phone, or going out for coffee with a friend to simply grateful for still being alive!  It really is up to you!  The idea of the gratitude diary is to strengthen emotional resilience and reduce stress, as well as teaching the mind to find the positives in a situation instead of dwelling on the negatives.

I have written a gratitude diary for a few weeks now, and it really does work!  And it makes me more happy picking the positives of my day, and those activities that I have enjoyed and instead of dwelling on how bad I have felt because of my symptoms.

As I often experience tremors in my hands, I was recommended a great website in which after you sign-up you receive an email every night at the same time asking what you were grateful for.  And then you simply reply to the email and all of your responses are then saved onto the website, and whenever you feel sad or ‘down in the dumps’ you can log-in and read all of your entries.  And best of all it’s completely free and all of the responses can only be viewed by the account holder.  To find out more go to:

www.happyrambles.com 

Hoped you all enjoyed the post – and feel free to reply with any comments…