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How to Stay Motivated When You're Dealing With Health Struggles

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It feels like a full-on punch in the gut, a hit that blurs your vision and leaves you breathless. When you’re faced with a limiting physical or mental illness, there is a moment of realization when you find out, oftentimes the hard way, that you can’t keep living life the way you used to. Suddenly, there is a change in circumstances that forces you into redefining the concept of “doing your best.”

There is this overwhelming feeling of failure that can come with trying to follow your normal routine and then realizing that it costs you so much to do just that. As a result, people tend to get driven by their desire to keep their life as normal and intact as possible. However, with these feelings, there also comes the risk of seriously hurting yourself from unhealthily pushing your body and mind farther than you should. Because of this, I always keep certain ideas of comfort in my back pocket, repeating them in my mind during the darkest of times.

Set up boundaries and respect them.

There is no doubt that your body gives out signals whenever it is on the brink of overexertion and it is our duty as carriers of this physical shell to listen to these signs. Thus, as time passed, and I gained new experiences, I learned how to set up boundaries for what I expected and demanded of myself in the different areas of my life. I sat down with myself, got to know my limits and learned how to accept them. Thus, this helped me build realistic and reachable goals that would eventually build up in accordance with these boundaries.

All kinds of goals are valid.

Sometimes, you might be inclined to set up large, long-term goals instead of incorporating smaller ones into your agenda. Even though grand-scaled goals are essential in your life, it is important to create a good balance between both ends of the spectrum. In other words, it can be much more beneficial to break down these large goals into more reachable, smaller goals. Thus, accepting the equal validity of all kinds of goals played a crucial part in building a motivating and positive perspective. More specifically, I recognized that, regardless of its nature, each individual goal was just as important as the previous one to someone’s journey.

You are an individual.

Moreover, I made sure to keep myself grounded in my humanity and individuality. I constantly reminded myself of the uniqueness that encompassed each life and how, therefore, their tally of accomplishments could never be equivalent to my own. As a result, this new perspective cleared my vision from the temptations of comparing my life to others. It reassured me that success did not have to mean one concrete thing but was defined by each individual life. In other words, it was of no benefit to diminish the value of your own accomplishments because they were different from the rest.

Unequivocally, life sometimes forces you into change, taking your routine and replacing it with instability. This fear of change might make us hold onto our known lives tighter, recoiling from the unknown. But, adopting certain ideas into our daily lives can help us keep moving forward and constantly trying to find the meaning of “doing my best” every single day. In the same way these phrases have done such a thing, I honestly hope they can do the same for you.

Unsplash photo by Anton Darius Thesollers

Originally published: May 11, 2018
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