Day 7 – What are your top 5 coping tips?
- Be kind to yourself on the bad days. Allow yourself to rest. Recognize that resting is not only not a waste of time, it’s productive because on the worst days, it’s what your body needs in order to recover enough for more productive days ahead.
- Do what will distract you from the pain. When I can, I read and write. When I’m not well enough to read, audible (essentially books on tape), Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime are my friends. I also like to color and knit when my hands will allow it!
- Remember your needs when agreeing to do something. If you need to meet in a quieter space, or need to find a time to meet a friend one on one instead of agreeing to attend a party, ask. It took me far too long to realize that people couldn’t possibly accommodate for my needs if I didn’t first recognize what they were, and communicate them.
- Learn to sit with the pain. This means accepting that pain is always going to be a part of your life. It means letting go of the 24/7 fight against the pain. That fight is exhausting, and once you accept the pain, you free yourself from the fight. It also means that if you eventually reach a state where you’re not experiencing pain you can take the time to enjoy it instead of worrying what will cause it to start again.
- Get involved. As a special educator, I learned to advocate for myself by first having to advocate for others. If you’re anything like me, having others to fight for will make it a lot easier to make advocating for yourself a priority. Try blogging, or if that’s not your style, get involved with a local support group. Finding a way to make a difference for yourself and others with EDS will make you feel less helpless, and more in control of your fate.