Let's face it - New Year's resolutions are hard to keep at the best of times. We all confidently list the vices we'll give up or positive life changes we'll make over the coming year with the best of intentions and (in most cases) a genuine desire to follow through. But I think most people will agree that after the rosy tint of the holiday season has worn off it becomes hard to stick to most resolutions. Throw invisible illnesses into the mix and things get a whole lot more problematic!
For example, it's hard to shed any extra pounds you feel you might have when walking from the bedroom to the bathroom requires you to summon all the strength and energy you have. A new calorie burning exercise regime then is out of the question.
Likewise, giving up vices such as smoking and drinking are common resolutions the average joe makes on January 1st but chances are that if you suffer from an invisible illness like chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), fibromyalgia, or multiple chemical sensitivity - you have had no choice but to remove these from your life already or suffer severe consequences!
This last point in mind I think if we are going to make resolutions at all then the number one priority is that we be kind to ourselves. After all we have already been forced to give up so much that most people take for granted as a result of suffering from invisible illnesses. So, instead of making a resolution that is restrictive, why not declare our intention to achieve something that brings us a bit of happiness or makes our lives easier...it's the least we deserve.
In this spirit I have decided that my own New Year's resolution is basically to cut myself some slack! I have always had the habit of taking on too much at once, wanting everything to be "perfect", and wanting to have everything completed yesterday. After dealing with various invisible illnesses for over 20 years after a diagnosis of ME/CFS in 1991, I still find I push myself to breaking point on a regular basis.
So, this year, I Matthew Hogg, resolve to more fully accept my current limitations and allow myself the rest and relaxation I need without fretting about "things" not getting done. That doesn't mean I plan to give up on my goals and aspirations, just that I will give myself more reasonable timeframes in which to achieve them.
Ahhh, I feel better already!
I hope you too will follow my lead and make a resolution that will make your life that little bit easier or bring you a bit of much needed joy in the year ahead.
As always, please feel free to share with us using the comments box below...
Happy New Year!
About: Matthew Hogg ("Maff")
Diagnosed with M.E./chronic fatigue syndrome aged only 11 years old and subsequently associated illnesses including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). Despite his own struggles he has constantly sought to educate and support others suffering from such "invisible illnesses" through his website, The Environmental Illness Resource. He fully recovered from MCS using his own approach and holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nutritional Health.