path that resembles a spine headed towards a goal

My 2020 AS Goals

The year 2019 is done for (thank god) and a new decade is upon us. I usually don’t get super excited for the new year, but 2019 was one of the worst years of my life. I’m more than ready to start a new decade!

My goals

1. Listen to my body

This is something I’ve been working towards ever since I was diagnosed with AS. It’s definitely difficult to do as well. It’s hard to listen when your body says to slow down. We don’t want to be told to take it easy.

Something I experienced more recently though, was I started to burn out. I was working my body way too hard, doing too many things, and it started to shut down. It felt like I was getting the flu, I was exhausted, it was bad. I didn’t know what was happening. Once I finally gave in and gave my body the rest it needed, I saw what was going on.

It took me a good 5 days to recover, mostly lying in bed and sleeping off and on. It wasn’t good and it was definitely frustrating for me. I’ve since learned that I really need to listen to my body when it’s screaming at me to take a step back. This is something I want to continue to do into the new year.

2. Spread more awareness

I’ve done a lot this year to help spread awareness of ankylosing spondylitis. I’m really proud of where I’m at right now in my advocacy of it. I write these articles and share a lot on my Instagram page about what I go through on a daily basis.

Since learning I had AS, I’ve vowed to be very open and honest about how this disease affects me and my everyday life. I post about my really bad days, but I also post about my good days and my small accomplishments.

I want to continue to do this in 2020, and even find more platforms to share my voice on. The only way to make Ankylosing Spondylitis known is to talk about it and share our experiences!

3. Take care of myself

One thing I’m really not great at is taking care of myself. I always put other peoples’ needs in front of my own. I’d rather make sure everyone else is okay first, and then work on whatever it is that I need.

I’ve been working at this in therapy for a few months now, but I just can’t seem to get the hang of it. I’m so used to not taking care of myself that it almost feels weird and not right to do so.

But how can we take care of others when our needs aren’t being met? Sometimes I have to take a step back and either take a nap, take a bath, or just lie in bed and scroll through Instagram to take care of myself first. Then I can start helping family members or friends on whatever they need.

I need to make sure that mentally and physically I am okay before stepping in and helping out everyone else. That’s definitely a hard thing for me to learn.

The small steps

New Year’s goals don’t always have to be about eating healthy and weight loss. Especially for those of us with chronic illnesses, it’s the small things that tend to make a big difference.

2020 for me will definitely be about listening to my body and taking care of myself when I need it. It’s going to be a year of self-love and self-care, along with continuing to spread awareness about this mean disease we’ve all been dealt.

Let’s hope for a happy and healthy new year and start to the decade! What are some of your 2020 goals?

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