I think that in coping with a chronic, often painful, and for some progressive condition like Lipoedema, we do experience times of anxiety and stress. Here are some strategies to help us cope:
• Take time-out: Practise what you enjoy doing - swimming, listening to music, meditating, getting a gentle massage, learning relaxation techniques. And stepping back from the issues you are anxious about helps to clear your head.
• Eat well-balanced meals: Ensure you are eating nutritious, healthy, energy-boosting food.
• Limit alcohol and caffeine: Caffeine can trigger panic attacks; alcohol can cause us extra pain.
• Get enough sleep: When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest. I find that I quite often I have to take a ‘fatigue’ rest day after extra activity And then I rest with my legs elevated and it really helps to calm down any inflammation.
• Exercise daily: This is to help you feel good and maintain your health. Even if limited, it is worth doing what you are able to do and to keep mobile.
• Take deep breaths: Inhale and exhale slowly, taking deep abdominal breaths is beneficial.
• Do your best: Instead of aiming for perfection, which isn't possible, be proud of what you are able to do.
• Welcome humour: Laughter really is the best medicine.
• Maintain a positive attitude: Make an effort to replace negativity with positive thoughts.
• Find a hobby to enjoy: This gives you a break from everyday preoccupations and you can make new friends.
• Learn about what triggers your stress: Is it work, family, or something else you can identify? Write in a mood journal keeping a record of this and you may be able to discern a pattern.
• Talk to someone: Tell friends and family you’re feeling overwhelmed, and let them know how they can help you. Talk to your GP or a therapist for professional help. There is always someone 24/7 on Talk Lipoedema Private Chat to chat to – we understand.