It’s a New Year. Time to Get a (Bigger) Life!

Chronic conditions bring all kinds of challenges to your life.  And some of those challenges include limitations.  Not being able to do something you used to be able to do, or at least not to the same extent.  But also setting limits to take help take care of yourself.  To preserve your physical and emotional energy for what’s important to you.


But I sometimes think that by focusing on all those limits and limitations we don’t, in the process, begin to view life in terms of “can’t do’s.”   With the road ahead becoming narrower and narrower.


Let’s take a step back. How about thinking bigger?  And starting the new year by taking a look at what’s possible instead of what’s not so possible.  Ready?


Here’s how to get started:


Make a new friend.  Bring someone into your life to have spend time with, to have some fun, to talk about what’s going on in each other lives.  Don’t forget you are surrounded by lots of potential friends right here!


Improve a relationship.  Is there a friend or family member that you have gotten out of touch with?  Or that you have a few differences with?  Maybe it’s time to reconnect!  Along with burying a hatchet or two.  How about making the first move?


Join a cause.   Giving to others helps to make the world a better place.  It’s also a great way to take your mind off your own challenges.  And helping others can be gratifying and energizing.  So this might be the year to get involved in doing some volunteering.  Or just looking at where you can spread some joy in your corner of the world.


Let go of a bad habit…   We’ve all got a few bad habits.  Maybe this is the year to pick one of them and usher it out of your life.  Take a look at what you consume, how you spend your time, and your money, how you relate to others.  Any habits that you can let go of to make your life a little better?  Or a lot better?


And pick up a new one.    A lost habit can leave a gap behind, so fill that gap with something positive.  A hobby, a relaxation technique, music, spiritual or religious practices, a class… Expand in a new direction.  Think body, mind, and spirit.  Open a window and let in some fresh air!


Switch up a routine.  Step back and take a look at your daily routines.  Is it time to add some variety in your daily life?  For example, is it time to move around that evening routine with one or two less TV nights replaced by a book, or another activity you enjoy, or some quality time with people?  Little changes here and there can be energizing!  Give yourself a little push out of that rut, one baby step at a time.   


Start a discussion. Or two.  Got a question?  Celebrating?  Need some support?  An idea to share?  Make this the year to reach out by posting more discussions.  And responding to a few more, while you’re at it.  We’re here 24/7. We’re all in this together.  Stay connected!


Recommit to taking the best possible care of yourself.  Take a look at your self-care routine.  Compare what’s ideal with how you’re working your plan day-to-day.  Any areas of your life in which you might be letting yourself down?  If you haven’t talked about your self-care with your healthcare professionals, it might be time to have this conversation to see where you can tweak your plan here and there.


It’s a new year!  So what’s new with you?  Make this the year to get a bigger life!