I am pleased to introduce author and pain archeologist, Sue Ingebretson, as our guest for today. You may already know her from her website Rebuilding Wellness and/or from her book, FibroWHYalgia . You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook. She lives with Fibromyalgia and works diligently in creating self-care resources to address the many challenges (and oppportunities) living with fibro can present.
With today being a big day in building awareness for Fibromyalgia, I asked her for her thoughts on a pet peeve of mine, where we in the health and wellness arenas can sometimes fall into focusing so much on managing illness that we can actually derail building wellness. Please welcome Sue and learn a little more about what she has to say about being your own best coach in pursuing healthful possibilities.
How Do YOU Manage Your Chronic Condition?
As a member of the FibroFix Team, I helped to create a free eBook that can be downloaded here. In this book, The Top 5 Health Mistakes YOU May Be Making Right Now! I listed one of the mistakes as this:
“Managing your illness rather than your wellness”
Do you see this as a problem for you?
In a nutshell, I pointed out that managers – or coaches — have a great effect on their teams based on their words. Most coaches uses inspirational language – phrases such as: See the finish line in your mind as you move forward.
That makes sense, doesn’t it? Encouragements from others can really help us stay on track. It sharpens our focus and bolsters our motivation to reach our goals. But what if the language from our coaches is negative? What if a coach said this to a member of his or her team: Make sure you don’t trip and fall like you did the last time.
How do you think a phrase like that would damage a person’s motivation, or worse, their self-worth?
The real problem is that we are often our own worst “coaches or managers” when it comes to life planning and setting positive goals for ourselves. A lifetime of experiences has taught us to think more negatively than positively. Many call this, “just being realistic.”
I don’t agree. Is it “realistic” to set intentions that may not ever come true? I know a lot of chronically ill people in my local area support group who think this way. They don’t commit to events or meetings because they might have a flare that day. They retrofit their homes, cars, workplaces with accommodations for future disability issues. They take pharmaceuticals that are intended for “the bad times” now so that if a crisis hits, they’re ready.
Is that realistic or pessimistic?
What if you turned that thinking around? Consider PLANNING for success and improved health. Coach yourself into positive thoughts such as:
My body is growing stronger every day
I see great improvement in my energy levels as I take care of myself
Putting my self care needs FIRST, helps me to prioritize everything else
When it comes to self care and keeping a positive attitude, I’m often asked which comes first. The best thing is that it doesn’t matter! A positive attitude helps to motivate you to take care of yourself and taking care of yourself helps to foster a positive attitude. In all scenarios — YOU win!
Try these basic and simple self care methods:
- Move the body in a healthy way every day. Whether it’s walking, swimming, gardening, dancing, etc., moving your body each and every day is vital. Move within your own capabilities respecting any personal limited mobility issues.
- Drink plenty of pure, clean water (that doesn’t mean water from the tap).
- Include plenty of nutrient-dense, fresh veggies in your meals every day.
- Breathe deeply – taking deep belly breaths – at any sign of negativity, anxiety, or worry.
- Create a bed-time routine of turning off TV’s, radios, etc. and write in a gratitude journal, read a good book, or take a warm bath. Whatever your routine is, make sure you stick to it and prepare yourself (mind and body) for a night of restful and restorative sleep.
Applying just a few, simple self care activities into your daily life can have profound benefits!
If you’re in the Midwest, The Fibromyalgia Coalition offers an amazing conference each year in May. Click on the 2011 Conference link for more details. If you’d like an in-depth and personal educational series about healing from chronic illness (not just for those with fibro) that you can participate in from your own home, view the details of the FibroFix System here.
There’s always more to learn, so tune in to educational opportunities that meet your needs. Set your intentions for a positive and healthy future!
Sue’s book, FibroWHYalgia will be our first MLWT Book group pick beginning this Fall. Here is a little more about it:
When Susan Ingebretson found her health spiraling out of control, she wanted to know why. Her tenacious research into the causes of chronic illness led her through a maze of traditional and nontraditional healing methods. Ingebretson eventually connected the dots and found wellness. FibroWHYalgia is a half diary/half tutorial guide that exposes the facts, fibs, and fairytales of failing health and offers practical solutions. Included are detailed descriptions for making nutritional, fitness, and stress-relieving lifestyle changes.
Susan Ingebretson invites anyone with chronic illness to come down from the spectator seats and participate in restored health.
More about Sue~
Ingebretson was featured in the March 2011 issue of FIRST for Women magazine and made several guest appearances on the nationally syndicated health TV program, Know the Cause! Her writing has appeared in the National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA) print magazine, FibromyalgiaAWARE, and the Fibromyalgia Coalition International’s magazine, Fibromyalgia Alternative News. Ingebretson is a contributing author to, The Gratitude Book Project: Celebrating 365 Days of Gratitude and the eBook Fibromyalgia Insider Secrets: Top 12 Experts. She has also authored many books for Playbooks, Inc., a children’s publisher of instructional classroom books. Her book, Fabulous Food Detectives, teaches students to read food labels and discern the difference between whole and packaged foods.
Ingebretson posts news and encouragements geared to promote positive lifestyle changes and healthy living.