Saturday, May 20, 2017

Self-Care with a Chronic Illness: Ask For Help

It's Arthritis Awareness Month! This month I am challenging you to take a little time each day and practice better self-care. Each day in May, I plan to share one simple way you can show yourself some love and appreciation.

Ask For HelpAsking for help is one of the most difficult things to do for almost every person I have met with a chronic illness. We often feel like we need to prove to ourselves and everyone else that we still have it in us to do everything or we feel like we have already been more of a burden on others than we feel comfortable with. But one thing I have come to understand is that our family and friends don't like seeing us in pain and by us asking them for help (not the kind of help that comes when you are burned out and yelling), we are providing one simple way they can really help us. They want to take away our pain and sleepless nights but they can't. Helping us is one thing they can do and want to do.   

During my worst days with rheumatoid arthritis, a very able-bodied mom in our homeschool community emailed the group and shared that she had been overwhelmed with life lately and needed help with cleaning, running errands, babysitting,etc. Yikes! It was a wake up call that help is okay to ask for even when you aren't dealing with a health condition. Her email showed me strength not weakness. Plus, I was amazed at how many people welcomed the invitation to help. It created friendship and a social bonding that I hadn't expected. In addition, it opened the door for others to ask for help when needed.     

Go ahead, do it for yourself, but also do it for others. They want to help you. You just have to let them.