LIVING WITH LIPOEDEMA – STRATEGIES TO COPE WITH ANXIETY AND STRESS

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.  

Celia Sparks