It’s hard to say “Welcome” to April, when I know what it brings. I’m thankful to survive March and not be sick with the virus. The virus has brought us fear, anxiety, and the bravery of many. Although I’m afraid, I try to focus on the bravery of so many who are trying to help us in this pandemic.
Our April prompts from A Chronic Voice are very good in prepping us to speak about many terms that we’re dealing with during these tough times.
As I’ve written about many times before, Grief is very common with those of us who live with chronic illness. We grieve as our health turns from good to poor. We grieve each new diagnosis. And, we grieve when our symptoms stop us from being able to live normal lives.
During the last month, I’ve been returning to times of grieving. The sober and sad cloud hangs over us each day as we hear of the spreading enemy. This virus is real and I’ve visualized it as a evil enemy that spreads it’s poison outside my door. Trying to protect myself and my family is on my mind often. Grieving for the people who have died weighs on me and I am so sad for the families who are losing the ones they love, without even being able to say goodbye.
I feel like it’s an understatement to say that we’re all contemplating our future on this earth and our eternity. We should realize that none of us are safe from the virus or its deadly effect. This is a time when we are offered time to settle our accounts with the Creator. I believe in God and want to be right with Him. If you are interested in how to have a relationship with God, go here.
Chronic Illness has been causing me to distance myself for at least 5 years. But, the new Social Distancing plans are adding even more isolation to our lives. Honestly, I don’t have any objections to distancing. It’s the smart thing to do! There are a few times that I wish I could go somewhere, but I’m just thankful that staying home can help the spread of this deadly enemy.
If you haven’t been following the social distancing guidelines, I beg you to do it. It will protect me and other chronic illness patients. It will also protect my child, who works in a hospital. And, I’m sure you know someone who is an essential worker who can’t stay home. They all need us to stay home for them.
Being stressed during these times is a normal and natural emotion. The anxiety is not just an emotion. I can feel the effects of stress on my body. My neck muscles are tighter and I feel tightness in my throat.
We know that stress can trigger flares in chronically ill people. We feel the increase in headaches as we worry about ourselves and our loved ones. Blood pressure may be rising in those that have that tendency. It’s vital that we practice self-care in order to push back on the stress.
Deep breathing, prayers or meditations, and relaxing activities are some of the choices you might make to lower your stress level. Many people find relief with laughter or music. What movies make you laugh? What are you doing to find stress relief?
Do you have something to celebrate? Celebrating means that we’re going to be happy about something. When we celebrate something or someone we are focusing on the good that we see. Whatever you’re going through, I hope you’ll find things to celebrate.
Virus or not, we still have birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays to celebrate. Although the celebrations may be at home and with fewer people than usual, they are still times to rejoice.
Small, intimate celebrations are lovely! They are more calm, too. Bake a cake from scratch and love-on the birthday boy or girl. If you don’t have balloons, try to make some home made decorations. Even some Christmas lights can make a celebration feel more magical.
If you don’t have anything else to celebrate, look outside your window. Do you see snow or green grass? Celebrate in your heart that there is beauty in the world. What are you celebrating today?
@2020, copyright Lisa Ehrman