Day 9 – How do you stay motivated in daily life? 

For me, it’s extremely important for my mental health to know that I help others. Having others that rely on me, even pets, makes a world of difference for me. I realize that for others this isn’t always true, and could even be overwhelming, but it’s just something about the way I tick. I find that I am able (most of the time) to rise to meet the needs of others. Obviously this has limits – if it didn’t I would still be a school psychologist, but being able to work part-time in a flexible position and care for other people and animals in my life has been essential to increasing my motivation to continue to put in all of the hard work that is required for me to remain as well as possible. This means doing my physical therapy exercises, and scheduling and keeping multiple appointments a week with both traditional physicians and with alternative practitioners such as my dietitian, chiropractor, and acupuncturist.

It’s also important to have goals – if you missed it, I laid out some of mine here yesterday! Having big picture goals helps to keep your focus on doing what is required to stay as well as possible including taking time for self-care, when you might not otherwise.

Lastly, checking in regularly with family and friends also helps motivate me. I would guess this is for a lot of reasons. It’s helpful to talk with the people who know me to my core. It gives me a sense of calm, and also reminds me what I have at stake. It’s easy to get stuck in the fog of day to day pain and forget how important it is to make time for the people you love. Spending time with my family and friends makes me want to take care of myself so that I can spend more time with them in the future. It’s really as simple as that.

Did I miss something? What are some of your tips and tricks for staying motivated while living with chronic illness or other challenges?