Thursday, July 06, 2006

embrace control where you can find it


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In the two and a half years I've had chronic migraines, I have often found myself mourning the loss of the feeling that I have control over my life. I feel like things are spinning away from me and that very little I try to do for myself has a meaningful impact on how I feel or what I'm able to do.

I have found that it helps if I take it day to day and focus only on how I'm feeling in the moment. There is no sense in stressing myself out about something days, weeks, or months from now. This has been a big change for me. I'm a planner. I want to know what I'm going to do in an hour and what I'll be doing a year from now. But when you're not sure how you'll feel from one day to the next, it just doesn't make sense to expend energy worrying about whether you'll be able to keep plans you've made for a date down the road.

It also helps me to be realistic about how much I can undertake in a given time period. Even if I'm generally feeling well, if I overdo it, I'm sure to have a horrible episode that may leave me sick for as many as five days. Sometimes I have to say no or suggest a different time for an event or plans with a friend. I find that people generally understand, and I think they appreciate that I'm honest with them when I'm feeling overextended. And anyone who doesn't probably doesn't really care about me anyway, so big whoop.

Practicing yoga, getting regularly scheduled acupuncture treatments, and taking time to relax and do things I enjoy, such as cooking, listening to music and podcasts, and reading the newspaper or a book, really helps, too.

I have included links to two articles that offer excellent tips for embracing these concepts in your own life. If you have any additional advice to share, please leave a comment or send me an e-mail. We are resourceful people, and I love hearing the coping tips of others in my situation.

Little Things Make a Big Difference

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