January can be a tough month for those of us with autoimmune disease. Generally, we have goals of deep cleansing, new habits, and resolutions. But the holiday season can leave many of us needing self-care as we navigate the transition back into a routine. Extra commitments and intentions (even positive) can add layers to an already taxed system.
Over the last few weeks, I experienced an intense flare. I’ve felt it coming on and debated the culprit for days. Many of us have experienced this confusing part of the autoimmune journey. Is it a pathogen? Food sensitivity? Exercise flare? Maybe I’m overthinking and it’s simply life catching up. We lose our pace and BOOM, a not-so-gentle reminder sets in. If we don’t allow for pause the body will force it.
Years ago, a flare equaled fear. Intense fear that my thyroid and Hashimoto’s were rearing their head. Something was shifting and I was losing control. I would start assessing, analyzing, fueling my stress…congesting my headspace.
This time I did not submit to the fear, I reflected on the past few weeks. A fluctuating work schedule, travels that disrupted sleep and hormone cycle, my kids’ extracurricular schedule. So much movement. It took a few days for it all to catch up until my body reminded me of the score.
Yet, instead of slipping into a negative mental space fueled by regret and shame, I paused. I crawled into my safe space and filtered out all unnecessary commitments. I had a full…day…of…rest. A level of rest I haven’t needed in a long time. A testament to my body’s incredible strength and resilience. My gut and mind told me to slow down this month and I did the opposite. A post-holiday sense of relief and return to normalcy allowed for a space filled with busyness.
Sometimes we push too far. It happens! It’s how we handle the aftermath in order to grow from the experience. Today I woke to feel clear, stepping back into myself. Moving forward, I commit to focusing on one day at a time. I will follow my instincts, listen to my body, and inch out of the stress cycle. I mentally celebrate my transition around this fear and move forward knowing the answers lie within me. I welcome the coming months with clarity and the tools to move forward.
Holding onto my power is the greatest lesson.
It’s a journey…