The Ultimate Battle: Autoimmune Versus Stress

Do or do not. There is no try.
                        -Yoda

Most of you have probably experienced the annoyance that stress causes physically on you. Whether or not you have an autoimmune disease (which can often be brought on by stress), stress can create annoying physical symptoms such as pain and fatigue. For those of us struggling with an illness, stress tends to make these things worse. So how can we de-stress to help control our symptoms and make our lives a bit easier?

imagesImage from: http://www.arapc.com/stress-and-autoimmune-dieases/

One way is to list out things that are causing you stress, and coming up with a game plan to make each one less stressful.
Things that have been causing me stress lately:
1. Work – how to de-stress: try not to take it home with me. I’m a retail supervisor so I turn off all working messaging and only check it when I want to, plus I purposely do not have work email on my phone.
2. My roommate, because he’s messy and can be inconsiderate of shared space – how do de-stress: try not to take it too seriously, vent to the appropriate people, remember that he is 6 years younger than me and a boy and an only child
3. My illness – how to de-stress: do what I can to take care of myself by eating healthy, getting rest, going to all my healthcare providers (including a psychotherapist), and taking a sick day when I need it.

0910_HCA_web-image_t653Image from: https://southernhillshospital.com/about/newsroom/why-are-autoimmune-diseases-on-the-rise

Other great ways to de-stress include daily meditation, for a minimum of 10 minutes. I find I’m more aware, more relaxed and more engaged when I have a good meditation session in the morning. Take a bath. They are relaxing, especially if you light some candles, use some bubbles (or epsom salts) and read a book in the tub. Play some music (or create some art). Whether or not you’re a musician, music can create a similar response that exercise can! Finally, get some exercise. It creates endorphins, which in turn make you happy. A run, a walk, the gym, kayaking, hiking, bicycling, whatever floats your boat. Getting your heart rate up will help you a lot.

IMG_2922One of my favourite ways to relax is to go on an epic hike with my friend Mike (who also happens to be an extraordinary photographer).

Got anymore de-stressing ideas? Comment on the post or send them in an email and I’ll include them in the future!