Combating A Negative Mindset With Wellness Planning
I’ve been struggling lately. Things haven’t been going my way for quite some time now, and it’s really begun to take a toll on me emotionally.
Uncertainty and anxiety
I’d say the beginning of my downward spiral really started with COVID and all the uncertainty that surrounded what was happening in our world. I’m an anxious person by nature and am always thinking of the “worst possible outcome.” It’s something I’ve been working on for years, but still grapple with daily.
My medications fail me
Around the same time, I started noticing with every injection of what I considered to be my life-saving medicine, I was falling ill and just wasn’t feeling myself. By May, it had become apparent I was allergic to my medication and had to stop it immediately. This was a huge blow to me, physically and emotionally.
Eight weeks later, we decided to try a new biologic. Unfortunately, this ended in the same outcome as the first. Another failed attempt to take my body back.
Toxic thinking and depression
At this point, I started letting negative thoughts consume me.
“I’ll never find a medication that will slow the progression of my disease."
"I’ll be in pain forever. Things are only going to get worse."
"My body will keep rejecting every biologic I try. I’m going to end up in the same, awful place I was in last year.”
These were just some of the thoughts that ran through my mind, day in and day out.
I needed to pause and reflect. I knew this way of thinking was toxic and wasn’t going to get me anywhere. I knew I needed to take control of my mind and get out of this hole I was sinking deeper and deeper into. But….how?
Enter wellness planning
I won’t go too much into detail about my planner addiction, but I thoroughly enjoy writing in a paper planner and checking things off as I do them. It gives me a little sense of accomplishment and peace. Wellness planning was something I had heard of but never given much thought to. I thought it was just a way of tracking physical goals, but it can be so much more than that!
How I use a wellness planner
Wellness planning can be done however you want. Personally, I use it as a way of journaling my thoughts and feelings. I also like to write in daily gratitude and keep track of certain self-care goals I have for myself. I find it helpful to keep track of symptoms and pain in my planner as well. It really helps me to not forget or lose track of anything I need to share with my doctor.
I’ve recently found reading books on personal development and faith to be therapeutic, and I enjoy writing favorite quotes and takeaways in my planner daily. The beautiful thing about wellness planning is that you can make it exactly what you need it to be. Here are some other ways you could use a wellness planner.
Other ways to use a wellness planner
- Tracking personal goals, physical or emotional
- Tracking medication
- Writing positive affirmations
- Mood tracking
- Inspirational quotes
- Daily habits
- Step tracking
- Food/water intake
If you are struggling emotionally like I have been, I really encourage you to find something that works for you and really makes you pause and reflect daily on the good over the bad. Something as simple as writing one positive thing about yourself daily can really change your mindset and bring you into a better headspace.
Other than back pain and fatigue, what is the most common symptom that AS patients experience?