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Jessica’s Coping with Lupus Corner

Making Resolutions You Can Keep for a Happy and Healthy New Year

Jessica Rowshandel, M.S.W.
Jessica, Rowshandel, M.S.W.
Director of Social Services
S.L.E. Lupus Foundation

It's the start of a new year and with that comes a whole new set of resolutions. What are your resolutions this year? What were they in the past? Have they been repeating themselves or have you been able to say that you reached your goals (and if so, how)? We'd love to hear your thoughts on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/lupusny!
Resolutions are a funny thing. Sometimes we might aim too high or set goals that are too idealistic, eventually leaving us feeling overwhelmed. Not surprisingly, often we give up until the start of the next year. The Lupus Foundation of Florida outlines why our resolutions often don't work out and offers some advice on how to make a resolution action plan that we can actually achieve.
When thinking about this action plan, what comes to mind? What areas of your life could use a little sprucing up?
Personally, I prefer to take it one goal at a time instead of piling on heaping portions of them. To me, taking on one goal at a time not only teaches patience, but also ups the chances of my realizing them.
What is your number one top priority for the year? What is the one major thing that has been bothering you or that is critical for you to change? Change is hard, but it is doable. Remember not to try to jump from A to Z. You have to run through all the steps. A wise Chinese philosopher, Lao-tzu, once said, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
Common themes revolve around nutrition, diet and exercise, and weight loss. These are great goals, but maybe you don't identify with these? What about areas of medical health? Are you keeping your medical appointments? Taking your medication? What about something simple like remembering to apply sunblock or keeping a symptom journal, or a gratitude journal. Sometimes something simple goes a long way.
What about stress?  Most likely your doctors tell you how important it is to keep your stress levels low, especially with a chronic disease like lupus. When I think of coping with stress or emotional or any challenges, I think of what author of Coping with Lupus, Robert H. Phillips, PhD, says in his book: "List the things you can do something about, and second, list the things you can't do anything about." He then suggests to do something about what is on the first list. Make an action plan (sound familiar?). I always find that having two lists is empowering. It enables us to realize what we can and cannot control in the present moment; when things seem overwhelming, it gives us a place to look to and realize that there are certain things we can control, what we can change and do something about, and that we should relinquish control about the others. Dr. Phillips does offer advice about what to do about that second list, too, though.
What about improving your quality of life? What are some of the things you love to do but have let fall to the wayside? Are you creative? Do you love nature? For some, being connected with these passions is what keeps life sweet, even in the face of adversity. While the physical manifestations of having lupus can interfere with pursuing your passions, perhaps there are different ways to connect to them.
What are some resolutions you are thinking achieving this year and what is your plan of action? Please share with our Facebook friends at www.facebook.com/lupusny so others may gain from your determination!

Visit our website for other simple suggestions, print brochures, catch up on our past webinars to learn more about lupus and share the information on your social media pages.

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Disclaimer: This website and its contents are designed for educational purposes only. Jessica Rowshandel, MSW is the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation’s Director of Social Services. She is not a physician. The advice provided is for educational and informational purposes and the Foundation does not recommend or endorse any particular treatment or therapy. The information provided here should not be used for the purposes of diagnosing or treating a medical or psychiatric illness. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional care. Lupus is a very individualized illness; consult a healthcare professional before making any decisions about your care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider. Telephone calls, emails, and online content do not constitute counseling services in any way. The S.L.E. Lupus Foundation does not provide any medical or psychological services to its patients and users. For an accurate medical or mental health evaluation, participants should seek an evaluation from a qualified healthcare professional. S.L.E. Lupus Foundation employees, consultants, and agents shall not be liable for any claims or damages, and expressly disclaim all liability of any nature for any action or non-action taken as a result of the information generated by the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation programs and its website, as well as the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation Facebook and Twitter pages.