How to Keep your Head Clear With a Chronic Illness
By now it should be clear to the majority of readers, if not all, that I am the patient, not the professional in these illness bouts and treatments. Having lived with chronic illnesses for some time now I have developed and finely tuned some really neat ways to keep my head clear. Clear of: brain fog, depressive/ negative thoughts/ feelings, nervous tension and anxiety, distractedness, and so much more. In this I believe I managed to fool myself as well as others. Keeping this knowledge all bottled inside though feels selfish. To lighten the mood after my last few ‘cleansing’ posts I will now share with you my secrets.
Clean and Clear- Hygiene and Beauty
- Always go to bed with clean feet.
- Dental hygiene is really important because bugs that start in your mouth can go aaallllll the way through your digestive track.
- After every shower I rub three drops of Rose Hip Oil into my face and neck. Even with oily skin you still need to nourish it from without. This is so much nicer and gentler than moisturiser. If you are dry skinned you may need more than three drops, but I find it is plenty.
- I recently discovered the baby wash. Ceptacil make an AMAZING baby wash/ shampoo. With my oh-so-sensitive skin this moisturises me without those nasty itches. And my hair has never been healthier.
The sensitive Lupus face rash called Rosacea cannot really be ‘fixed’ or ‘healed’. But it can be softened by a natural, aloe vera lotion. A mixture of this with green tea or chamomile tea can do wonders. You can pick these up from natural health and beauty shops in many places or even make your own. The best mixes are clear and fairly runny. When I do my make-up, I use an aloe vera lotion, then Rose Hip Oil as my base. In this way, I can choose if I want/ need to add on concealer. I use concealer if I have been in the sun, a green one is ace for Rosacea. A further peach tinted concealer is ESSENTIAL for those dark baggies around the eyes. If I am going out in the sun I use SunSense tinted sunscreen cream instead of foundation and go over that with a powder to get my skin tone.
The brilliant part of using the oil as a base is that foundation won’t clog up your pores and it comes off much easier at the end of the night! If you have lost part of your eyebrow, many Lupies do, then a quick brush of tint over the eyebrows solves that (if you want to). The final tip makes some people squeamish but…you need a white eyeliner pencil. Nice and soft. Run it on the waterlines on the insides of your eyelids. It takes that tired red look out of your eyes. NO MORE WILL YOU LOOK LIKE YOU HAVEN’T SLEPT IN YEARS AND ARE HOLDING BACK YOUR FOURTH BOUT OF TEARS FOR THE DAY!! NB: If you are unsure how to do any of this, just YouTube the heck out of the terms until you find the make-up queen you can stand the most…
Force Yourself to Take Care of Something
This is a hard pill to swallow and may not be for everyone. I struggled with depression in 2012 and 2013. I knew I needed to do something to keep my head out of the water and my thoughts clear. My doctor at the time recommended selecting on little task that I could maintain. The advice was ‘anything but a plant or pet, both of which can die or leave. The choice I made was to get a fringe. I gave myself a haircut that I had to maintain daily. It was something little maintaining the way you look when everything inside you is broken is hard. Caring about your looks is one of your last priorities in the scheme of things you deal with. And yet it was effective enough to keep my pride in my appearance everyday as I left the house. Further still, it worked. Having said this however, this technique would never have worked for me this last year and the Great Depression of 2017. Nope. I made quite a rookie mistake by chopping it off spontaneously around March. I was stuck in a rut, without a clear head, and with absolutely no reason to have pride in my appearance. Shame. On. Me.
Have a Clear Set of Somewhat Difficult but Achievable Goals
If you follow me on Instagram, then you may be familiar with all the micro and macro challenges I have set myself over the years. Numerous years have seen me engaged in book reading challenges. There is that list of desserts I want to make, and I have already crossed off half a dozen Key Lime Pies. Last year I swan with sharks and manta rays, as well as climbed a mountain down south and began my trek down the Bibbulmun Track, albeit I only went a short distance. You need to have things to look forward to. Things that have no ‘real’ importance in the greater scheme of things to anyone but yourself. Your goals shouldn’t have a specific end-point that measures you, just something to work towards. You need to establish before hand with yourself what you expect of the goal and what you are willing to settle for. For instance, I threw a Halloween Party. 20 people RSVP’d yes. Even still, I set my expectation for just two of my girlfriends to come over. They did. In incredible outfits. Including myself there were six of us in total at the party. This meant double the number I had hoped for. I didn’t worry about the other 14. I didn’t need to.
They can be for someone. You can choose if you want to give them to the addressee’s or just keep them for yourself. But, write how you feel. The least it can do is clear your head. The most, it will help you to feel calmer, more in-touch with the world, maybe even start to heal you somewhat. And also, don’t judge yourself for what you write. If you are honest, there is a good chance it will hurt a bit. Remember no one can ever listen to you if you don’t know how to share what is inside of you.
Work Out What Stimulates your Mind Best
If you are like me, you will understand how draining watching television or endless films can be. This is so tedious to me I generally need to be fiddling with a crossword or jigsaw. Music is a big passion of mine, but when I am in a rut I find it difficult to expand my base. At other times I select music which makes me feel sorry for myself, given that I may identify with the lyrics. Music is a tough topic but I have found, when I want to feel accepted I listen to Imagine Dragons, The National, Death Cab For Cutie and The Mountain Goats (who doesn’t love them for melancholy feels!?!?). However, if I want to bring myself out of that mood, I swing over to Gaslight Anthem, Fleetwood Mac, Kate Miller-Hedike, Glass Animals, The Arctic Monkeys or The Killers. But the most important thing I know is NOT to watch things. My time is spent listening to audiobooks or podcasts. For the former I would recommend autobiographies by: John Cleese, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Ronnie Corbett Bear Grylls or Bonner Paddock. For the latter I would suggest Hidden Brain, Invisibilia, My Favourite Murder, The Hilarious World of Depression and Terrible, Thanks for Asking. In Australia, on an Android system you can get these free through Apps such as Stitcher. For Apple technology iTunes is the place (or so I have heard…sorry, I’m and Android fan).
Okay, so this has been a long post and I am sorry a bit. But there are ways to keep on keeping on and these are the ones I use. There is no one answer or way to fix some things. You just need to mix them all up and hope like crazy that your rainbow cake tastes good. Have I made myself clear?
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