Help! I've lost my motivation, and I can't seem to find it anywhere!!
When I last posted (July 14th??!), I said that I struggle with finding energy and motivation these days to exercise, eat right, and to focus on living a healthier lifestyle. I said that I thought I needed to spend some time rethinking my "why." WHY is it so important to me that I find my lost motivation? What are the reasons behind my goals?
And I DID spend some time doing just that. About 5 minutes! And then I let stress take over. Again. Anxiety about the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic situation. Stress over the thought of sending my son back to living in a dorm while the cases of COVID continue to climb here in GA. Worry about my daughter moving to Arizona to get her Master's degree where the virus is also running rampant. Worry about my other adult children and their families. My good friend who is about to undergo surgery. And then........
Is it a Lymphedema? A blood clot? CANCER?????
As I have previously mentioned here, I suffer from Lymphedema in my right arm in the area where I had 11 lymph nodes removed at the time of my mastectomy. The pain and swelling have been confined to the upper arm and underarm area. However, I woke up one day last month, and my lower arm was swollen and hard. I looked a bit like Popeye. I assumed it was Lymphedema, and although concerning, I wasn't freaked out until I noticed a small hard knot under the skin just under the inside of my elbow.
After briefly freaking out and wondering if it could be a blood clot, I decided to do a Teledoc visit just to see if the doctor thought it was something I should have checked out right away, or if he thought it was due to the Lymphedema. I figured since the Teledoc visit was free with my insurance right now due to Covid-19, it wouldn't hurt and would probably make me less stressed to hear him say that he thought it was nothing.
After talking to the doctor for approximately 2 minutes, he said that the skin didn't look weird around the knot, and since it was the arm with Lymphedema........He just stopped talking and looked at me. Um, so, you think it's just Lymphedema, right doc?? He then says, "Uh, you had cancer on that side. Cancer travels through lymph nodes. Do you see where I'm going with this??" He then told me I needed to see a surgeon ASAP for a biopsy, or x-ray, or WHATEVER they do for cancer.
WAIT??? WHAT?? Cancer had NOT even crossed my mind! I was thinking maybe blood clot, but cancer??? I felt like an idiot, and the doctor ACTED like I was an idiot for not immediately thinking of that!
So, long story short. My surgeon said to see my Oncologist, and he would schedule any scans he thought necessary. I had to wait over a week to see my doctor, all the while stressing and worrying. Then, when I saw my Oncologist, he said he was almost positive it wasn't anything to worry about. Definitely not cancer. But after seeing how stressed I was, he decided to send me for a doppler ultrasound just to rule out a blood clot. The good news, FINALLY, was that there was no blood clot! Apparently, it was some sort of fatty deposit! So now, I just need to do everything possible to control the Lymphedema and stress.
Putting healthy practices on the back burner during times of stress.
During times of extreme stress, it can be so easy to put our health and wellness on the back burner. We often find ourselves losing focus and motivation for self-care, especially when it comes to exercise and nutrition, both of which are so important for our overall health. So how do we go about moving self-care up on our priority list?
Here are a few things that I am working on myself that I feel will be beneficial in both helping find that lost motivation and making some much-needed changes to improve my mental and physical health and well being.
Focus on my "why." I intend to spend some time each day focusing on my reasons for wanting to make my mental and physical well-being a priority. We each probably have many reasons for wanting to lose weight, or eat better, get fit, etc, and we would probably do well to take some time each day, or at least weekly to focus on those reasons.
Develop my personal self-care plan. Self-care isn't a one-size-fits-all strategy. I am working on putting together a plan that takes my own age, health issues, and other limitations into account.
Find ways to deal with stress more effectively. Worry, stress, and anxiety can trigger all sorts of health problems. We all have stress in our lives, especially in the crazy Covid world we are living in right now, and we all handle stress differently. Personally, I don't seem to be handling stress so well right now, so I am putting in some quality time trying to figure out the best way for me to deal with these issues.
Give myself permission to not feel motivated all the time. If I occasionally have a day when no matter what I do I just don't feel motivated to exercise or do something else I had planned for the day, I will try not to beat myself up over it. Sometimes I think its important to just spend time breathing, thinking, planning, or just BEING.
As I try hard to make improvements to my health and happiness, I'm sure I will add some other strategies to help with the process, and I will share them here as well.
Is there something that helps motivate you? Perhaps you have some strategies for implementing or improving a healthy lifestyle? Is there something that enables you to deal with stress more efficiently? Please share!
PS. It's September!! Can you believe it??