Getting outside and into nature is one of the best activities we can do for ourselves. We all know that there are real healing properties in nature whether you are taking a walk, going on a hike, or just sitting on a bench admiring the beauty. Nature is always there for us and it is our best resource for total wellbeing. Nature can touch our souls, minds, and bodies; it can give energy and it can calm energy. But nature never takes anything away from us.
When I am deep in nature with no cars or buildings around, I have an overwhelming sense of being completely connected to, well, everything. And I love that feeling. This connection is what I bring back home with me so I can recall it whenever I have a stressful day or feel ill. (more…)
I am pleased to announce the new SjogrensLife website! It took me a bit longer than I expected to design, but a website (instead of blog-only) is necessary. I will now be able to offer some of the items that I am passionate about bringing to you. I had fun creating it and choosing bright colors to lift up our spirits.
Think of the new SjogrensLife as our “Autoimmune Disease Lifestyle” home. It’s not the lifestyle we wanted, but it’s the one we have! And I want us all to make the most of our lives! The tagline has stayed the same ” Navigating Life with an Autoimmune Disease” but the offering has expanded. With this new format, it will be easier to find product ideas, resources, lifestyle choices, and blog posts that address what you are seeking. And if something is NOT on the site, please do let me know what interests you.
Let me take you through some of the highlights of the site…I hope you like it! (more…)
It was my honor to deliver the Sjogren’s National Patient Conference speech “How a Coach can help you live your best life”. As a patient, I have spent a decade researching and practicing life-hacks so I can live a good life with the complexities of Sjogren’s. And one of my favorite life-hacks is hiring a Certified Coach. You can always tell when I get really excited about something because I dive in headfirst and become certified. I am now a certified yoga instructor and a certified coach because I believe in the power of both of these disciplines to help me and you live well with chronic illness. This post highlights 5 ways a coach can help patients live their best lives.
It all starts with the stories we tell ourselves…
Tomorrow, as Chair of the Board of the Sjogren’s Foundation, I am hosting a program on Building Resilience with Meditation and Mindset. This phone-in program is for members of the Sjogren’s Foundation who have registered (the registration is filled to capacity). As I prepare for the sessions, I thought I’d also write this post to share the information for those who can’t make the call.
You may ask why I am choosing the term “resilience” instead of inner calm, or positive mindset. The definition of resilience is, “the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness”. And to be resilient, one has already started the practice of creating a positive mindset and creating inner-calm. In fact, that is a huge part of being a resilient person. So during this Covid-19 Pandemic time, why not use tools to help us through this very stressful time now, and also set us up for future resilience! That is my hope for sharing this information with you. By practicing some meditation and positive mindset exercises, you can help your stress now, as well as build your resilience for future stressors and challenging events!
I have found that living with an autoimmune disease brings its own level of anxiety. Before I had Sjogren’s or the major symptoms of Sjogren’s, I really did not have much anxiety in my life. I had a sense that if I needed something, I could work hard enough to either get it, avoid it, or bounce back from it. In essence, I had a pretty good sense of what I could achieve and control in my life. Enter Sjogren’s and anxiety — and the new experience that I no longer had control over my own body. That was my first experience of taming anxiety during uncertain times. As you all know, receiving your autoimmune diagnosis is a relief at first, and then it throws you into the realm of living with uncertainty.
My anxiety tends to show up as the fear of the unknown. For me, it’s predominantly the fear that I may not be able to make enough money to pay for treatments and my cost of living as I age. That’s my big one! However, I’ve learned many techniques to help calm my anxiety and focus on what is most important to me.
Enter Covid-19! I have now ramped-up my practice to manage my increased anxiety during this very uncertain time. See if some of my practices can help you!
I’m a big fan of the Sjogren’s Strong Podcast. This podcast is an upbeat show created and hosted by Lupe Castaneda (a Sjogren’s patient) and her husband Brian Colburn. Last October I was honored that they reached out to me to participate in a Sjogrens Strong podcast Interview. As you know (since you are reading this blog), I do enjoy sharing personal experiences with our patient community in the hopes that I may say
(or write) something to help another patient. So I was happy to participate!