DISEASE MANAGEMENT: What to do when you hit a wall

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, used with permission, photo by Lee Haywood


I call the time right after you realize you’ve done too much but before you get hit with a full-fledged flare “hitting the wall”. We’ve all been there. So, what to do? With a hat tip to Grace Is Sufficient, here are some tips.

  1.  Remember you’re sick – not weak. Give yourself a break. You might have to throw out any type of to-do-list you had planned for today – and you know what? That’s okay! As long as everyone is kept alive (yourself included) think of today as a win. Having to call it quits for the day doesn’t mean you’re weak or lazy. It means you have a chronic illness and you’re doing the best you can each day. If you’ve hit the wall, you have already reached your best for today.
  2. Dump the guilt. There is always a part of us that feels like we aren’t measuring up. We want to be a better wife, mom, daughter, friend, co-worker, etc. Every person has their limitations – yours just came by way of a medical diagnosis.
  3. Rest. This may sound like a no-brainer to some or the-impossible to others. Based on our life demands, we may not think rest is an option. However, part of hitting the wall usually consists of depleted energy reserves. Allowing yourself to rest may mean the difference between hitting-the-wall today or ending up in a full blown flare tomorrow.
  4. Take a moment to think. Too often I’ve hit the wall only to remember I forgot to take my d-ribose, vitamins, or meds. You’d think by now that would be standard practice to me, but I find from time to time I lose my head and those things slip. Take a second to evaluate whether or not you’ve taken care of those necessities.
  5. Exercise some self-care. Now may be the perfect time to indulge in a hot bubble bath, listen to relaxing music, have a hot cup of tea or sit outdoors to soak in some vitamin D. Remember, self-care isn’t selfish.
  6. Nourish your body. Make sure you’re staying well hydrated. We can be slightly dehydrated without even knowing it, which adds to our fatigue. Be sure you’re eating healthy food. You’re body’s in need right now and although a plain hot dog bun and a can of cola is the easiest to grab, it’s not the best for your body. Try to eat something good, but if you absolutely can’t, just be sure you eat SOMETHING and don’t feel guilty about it. You can get back on track tomorrow.
  7. Nourish your soul. You might only have the energy to keep your ears open at this point. Jump over to a favorite blog that will encourage your heart – try CranberryTeaTime or RestMinistries for devotionals for the chronically ill. Listen to music, let Alexa read you a book (see the previous post about Alexa and how she can help you here).

These are only a few suggestions. If you have others, let me know in the comments!