Evaluating What’s Working in My Life, and What’s Not
Happy October, everyone! It’s time for a mini-celebration. During this crazy year, each new month means more of 2020 is behind us. We have all undergone change over the months, especially those of us facing the challenges of ALS. However, our changes extend indefinitely.
Maintaining my resilience is a priority. That’s why I’m hitting pause at this point in the year and using a simple strategy to evaluate how I’m doing. I am reviewing what’s working and what’s not, and am setting goals for the month.
What’s been working
A daily routine is important to everyone’s mental and physical health. Even though my daily habits have changed greatly from my pre-ALS life until now, consistency is key.
ALS forced me to give up a physically active life, but I adapted. I found ways to sprinkle movement throughout my day and kept showing up. I even rode a mobility scooter into meetings!
Of course, the last six months brought even more challenges, but I’ve settled into a new familiar pattern. This includes meeting via Zoom, listening to podcasts, wearing a mask, and practicing social distancing.
What’s not working
I fight FOMO: the fear of missing out. I may write about finding mental balance and reducing stress, but I’m human, too.
Over the past few weeks, news alerts, politics, and comments from pundits have pulled me in. Too much time spent watching TV or scrolling through social media caused me to skip exercise breaks and disrupted my mindfulness.
Practicing mindfulness helps me pay attention to walking, eating, and moving throughout the house, which is important with ALS. It deters me from falling, choking, and experiencing other near-disasters. More than once, while lost in thought, I have snapped into focus just in time.
My goals for this month
Be OK with not knowing everything. Reduce my exposure to news sources by picking only two each day. Set time limits for social media. I now use a small timer near my laptop to let me know when to sign off.
Recognize when I’m mentally burned out or overloaded. Give myself permission to do something fun, creative, and relaxing.
Reaffirm my commitment to practicing mindfulness. Before standing, walking, or swallowing, take the time to bring my mind into the present moment, and breathe slowly.
Continue my healthy life habits that promote resilience and provide a fallback when life gets tough. These include quality sleep, good nutrition, exercise, meditation, and engagement in life.
What practices have worked for you or challenged you over the past few months? Please share in the comments below. Let’s help each other live well with ALS.
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