April is Stress Awareness Month. This is a great time to learn more about stress management due to its effects on our mental and physical health, especially for the disabled or those living with stressful medical conditions.
Many of us get stressed just thinking about making an appointment to see our doctors, don’t we? However, a recent experience taught me how important it is to make time for regular visits.
My Latest Experience at the Doctor
Most of the time, we can count on an easy appointment at the doctor for an annual check-up. The experience isn’t exactly fun, and we may not look forward to it. Usually, though, it’s a simple in-and-out process with perhaps a few tests here and there.
More importantly, a regular check-up is a way to make sure of how our health is doing.
Unfortunately, my most recent check-up led to the discovery of a lesion on my liver. Luckily, the doctor doesn’t think the lesion is cancerous, but now I need to schedule a follow-up appointment.
For those of you who know a bit about my medical history, you know that I was first dealt a devastating blow with my spinal cord injury. After that, I was later diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis, which is a chronic autoimmune disorder that affects the neuromuscular system, including the muscles that help with breathing and limb movement. Now with this new discovery of a lesion, I feel like I’m on my knees all over again. Plus, my stress levels have gone through the roof.
However, this experience makes it abundantly clear how important it is to make it a priority to see your doctor regularly. Without these visits to my doctor, I would be totally unaware of pressing health matters like this that need to be addressed.
This is why it’s so important to make time for regular check-ups to catch any other issues with early diagnosis to get proper treatment.
Coping with Disability-Related Stress
Whether you live with a disability or if you’re able-bodied, we all deal with stress. Some of us have stress related to our jobs or our home life. Others may just feel extra pressure on their lives from financial situations like debt. Life seems to bring stressful situations to our door, whether we’re prepared or not. That’s why it’s important to find ways to cope.
As much as I may think I’m in control, I’m not. Thanks to my faith, I love to remember that God is the one who gives me strength. My faith helps to keep my emotions in check and prevent me from getting into a long-term depressive episode.
You have plenty of options for stress relief techniques outside of faith and prayer, however. As I continue to look for other techniques to help relieve my stress and anxiety, I have found some other helpful methods that may help you too.
For instance, I recently learned how to do Kundalini yoga. This practice allows me to live in the moment and stop worrying about the things I cannot control. When I do adaptive yoga, I instantly relax, knowing I can handle whatever comes my way.
Other helpful stress relief techniques may include:
- Deep breathing exercises
- Creating a list of things for which you’re grateful
- Organizing at home and/or work
- Making time for relaxation like a bubble bath or a favorite hobby
- Saying no to things that you don’t really want to do
- Watching a favorite movie or something with positive humor
No matter what practices help me get through difficult times, nothing is more important than getting my check-ups done on time. This way, I can make sure to deal with issues early, which in itself gives me peace.
I encourage you to also make time for your regular check-ups so that you, too, can find some peace of mind.