Having a Positive Mindset and Finding the Silver Lining
Last updated: April 2023
Managing a chronic disease has its challenges, and it can be difficult to cope or even find someone that understands what you are feeling and experiencing at any given moment. Along with HS, I’ve been diagnosed with seborrheic dermatitis and endometriosis.
In 2021, after many years of suffering in pain and silence, I had a pilonidal cyst surgically removed. I understand the toll chronic disease takes on one’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Feelings of overwhelm and hopelessness may settle in; it can be hard to find any sort of positive or silver lining. There are many things that I have learned on my health journey when it comes to managing multiple health challenges. In terms of coping, finding the positive, and enjoying life even amidst the challenges, here are just a few that stand out for me that I’ve learned the importance of.
Seems cliché and cheesy, but taking a moment to reflect on the things that I am grateful for goes a long way. Gratitude isn’t meant to be contained in the month of November when many celebrate the Holiday of Thanksgiving. What I have realized is that I don’t have to wait until I ‘have the right mindset or thinking’ to be grateful. I can take time to be grateful during whatever challenge I may be facing. I begin to see how my outlook gradually starts to change. Maybe for you, it’s taking a few minutes a day to write down five things you’re grateful for.
Do things you enjoy that bring peace
The importance of self-care has become a trending topic as of late, but it is important to do things that help you feel well and are enjoyable. I like to color and read or listen to podcasts. If I’m in the mood to be social, finding a local cultural event where I can learn something new and have a good time is also something I enjoy.
This I believe is of utmost importance. It can be daunting and a bit intimidating when trying to find safe spaces and a community of people that can understand and empathize with what you are going through. I appreciate this platform because you can connect with others who understand! As humans, we were meant to be in community. I believe we don’t have to go at it alone. There really is safety in numbers. May I take it a step further and state that there is also safety in the right people? Yes. No one is perfect, but there is something to be said when you find a group of people who are encouraging, compassionate, and will be a positive influence in your journey. They want the best for you and are not afraid to express that. Finding safe spaces with those I trust has made a difference for me on my health journey, and it is still a work in progress.
I hope you find these tips helpful and remember them in moments when your hope is low, you wonder if you’ll ever have a pain free day, or if anyone cares to understand. Know that you have a community of people who do understand and can encourage you to find the positive in a seemingly not so positive situation.
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