So if you’ve read part 1 and 2, you’ll know that on this journey of learning to live your best life with a chronic illness, we’ve talked about firstly, showing up every day with a little bit of curiosity and seeing what can you learn. And the second piece is being prepared to unlearn, and to challenge the beliefs that you have, the limitations that you set for yourself and to begin to challenge those. What’s the truth for you and what feels right for you?
The last piece is patience and building resilience with chronic illness. I wish I could tell everyone that living with a Chronic Illness will be easy. You know you see those graphs where the line just goes up? Well, I wish I could tell everyone that that is how it will be, but it’s not. As I mentioned in my last blog (part 2) we’re dancing. As we go through this, we’re really dancing in and out of things as we try them on for size.
Remember, by the time you’re 40 you’ve had about 40,000, meals. And if you’ve been eating in a particular way, if you’ve been confused about what you’re eating, then that’s 40,000 thoughts and habits that you have to challenge. And that’s not easily done.
You can watch the video here about living with Chronic Illness or read on below:
It is easy to say be patient, but I for one am not patient. So instead I look at, what are the things that are going to allow me to be patient. This goes back to that piece I mentioned at the start (part 1 of the series) which is to trust that you already have it. Know that you have that thing that you want and then the boring steps along the middle don’t become as challenging or difficult.
What can you do in terms of patience? Well lean into it and ask yourself, why is it that I want it all now? Is there a limiting belief there? Is there something more that I need to explore to see what’s really going on for me? What are the other ways that I can support myself?
Any one of us knows that if we want to change something we need to resource up. Whether it’s in your practice of yoga or if you’re going to the gym or you’re learning to run or whatever it is, you’re resourcing up.
Feeding your gut
What would I say from a nutrition perspective is that my tips in terms of patience is keep the food stuff simple. Remember that we’re really working towards variety and my good old favourite of fibre. So, love your gut. Remember to feed that gut of yours.
I offered this advice to a client recently and she really enjoyed it. I told her, we often eat just with our brains in mind because our brain talks to us. But, our gut also craves specific kinds of foods. So when we’re eating, simple things can be to think, “okay, well what am I feeding my brain today and what am I feeding my gut today?” Instead of thinking about how many carbohydrates you should or shouldn’t have today. So love your gut, give it fibre, give it variety. Feed it and remember that it too has a really important place and a really important need.
Your gut is known as a second brain. And because the brain and gut work together, food equals mood. It really is a thing. 80% of our serotonin is produced around that gut area. So, think again about what you’re feeding that gut.
Looking at the bigger picture
We’re not just tackling the food stuff here, we’re tackling things like how’s your sleep? Because if your sleep is not right it’s going to impact your food absorption. How is your movement? If you’re doing a high intensity exercise and you get too much cortisol running around, then that’s going to create an impact. If you’re very emotional, that will also impact on how you absorb your food. So there’s so much that needs to be done in the talk around the food as opposed to just the physical food that we eat.
The other piece is nutrients. When we think of what our brain wants every day, it wants safety and it wants energy and our breath. Breathing is the best way to give our body fuel so that it can produce energy in our body. If you’re not breathing properly, just have a check-in and ask yourself, “could I do a little bit more of that throughout the day?”. I’m telling you, you might not notice the benefits straight away, but the more you do them, the more regular they become in your routine and the more you can feel the benefit for them.
So, to finish, find ways of supporting yourself. Find ways of using all of this information so that you can make your journey, a little bit different. Whether it’s in a journal or talking to a friend or reaching out to get support from somebody find ways to make that journey calm for you. As I mentioned, it would be awesome for me to say “if you eat x y and z, everything’s going to change for you”. But the reality is that it’s not. And I’m here to tell the truth to you. I’m here to let you understand that it is a journey, but it doesn’t have to be as hard as what many of us feel like it might be. There will be challenges, but the more you challenge yourself, the more you can build up your resilience with your nutrition, with your exercise, and also build your resilience in yourself.
By taking on those challenges, and knowing that at the other side, we’re going to get what we wanted – a feeling of calm, a feeling of control, of relief, or feeling of having ourselves back. We are going to learn how to live our best lives even with a chronic illness.
If you would like support on your journey, feel free to message me or join my free Facebook group here.