Chronic Illness & Stress Management
Do You Struggle From Stress Or Chronic Illness?
Perhaps you have just been given a new health diagnosis, and now the future is looking much different from what you had planned—you might even be feeling lost and ripped off.
Or, maybe your doctor has told you that you need counseling, and in your mind, it’s as if they are telling you that it’s all in your head.
Do you feel like you have been doing all the “right” health behaviors—such as sleeping, eating, exercising—but still, you feel plagued with symptoms that affect your mood and your ability to function in your day to day life? Perhaps you find yourself spending lots of time and energy worrying about your future. Your thoughts won’t let you rest and you are anxious to where you are now feeling depressed.
When a long term illness makes its presence known to you on a daily basis, it is bound to prevent with you from having a happy and peaceful life. However, it’s a reality that you have been saddled with and that you now need to learn how to cope with. But how can you wrap your brain around it? Talking to friends might work for a while, but maybe you don’t want to feel like a burden to them. And honestly, maybe they just don’t understand what you are going through unless they’ve been there too.
Do you just wish you could talk to someone who can help you find relief from your constant pain and stress?
Redefining Your Reality Can Be Difficult
It’s normal to feel blindsided by the news of your particular illness. Many different feelings will wash over you including fear, anger, despair, anxiety and depression. The worst part is not being able to do the things you used to take for granted. You may have good days when everything feels nearly normal, and then suddenly you must shift gears to a state of pain, reduced energy, irritability and an inability to connect with those around you. Invisible illnesses can leave you exhausted by simply trying to exist—you have to create a “new normal” for yourself.
Like many others who suffer from a serious illness, you might notice that your energy is now something you need to pay more attention to. You used to be able to do things without planning ahead or budgeting your time, but now you must shift your priorities, eliminate things that are not absolutely necessary and adjust your expectations for yourself about what is possible in a day. Lots of new doctors, medications and other therapies now eat up your time, and the life you created gets pushed to a back burner. That’s why I’m here for you—to help you work through that pain and emotional frustration, and help lead you towards the life that you want.
If you find things are overwhelming you more than usual after being diagnosed with a long term illness—like you can’t prioritize or be flexible in your day to day workload, can’t say no to obligations or you feel hopeless right now—it may be time to reach out for an understanding professional.
There Is Hope—Especially When You Reach Out For Help
It All Connects Counseling offers you a safe place to discharge all your pent up thoughts and feelings and gives you a sounding board for what needs to change in your life. As an experienced therapist, I can give you the tools to help you cope and surround yourself with a support team so that you can handle whatever challenges may come up along your journey.
Science continues to support the idea of a mind-body connection, and how by dealing with the mind, our body can begin to heal, and by healing the body, our mind can become more calm and centered. Some people focus on healing the body OR the mind, which can be helpful. But by combining both mind AND body practices, you can heal more effectively and take back control of your life.
Alignment and balance are keys to moving through your health journey. By paying attention to what your body is trying to “tell” you through your symptoms, you can gather information that will help you determine how to live your life in a healthier manner. This may mean making changes to your work, relationships, how you tend to your bodily and emotional needs or addressing hidden hurts and traumas. By taking these steps, you may end up finding that life is better after your diagnosis.
When we begin our work together, I will ask to hear your story. What was life like before your chronic illness or diagnosis and what has changed? I will help you identify your losses and provide you the space and tools to grieve those losses. Then, I will ask what you want in your day to day life; I may introduce the latest research on mind-body healing, give you tools for coping with daily stressors, help you create a personalized self-care plan, or help you make necessary changes to free up your energy to include your main life priorities.
When appropriate, I may have you do some trauma processing and forgiveness work, as those can be hidden triggers to current symptoms. Lastly, we will explore what is next for you and discuss how this disruption in your life might actually be an invitation to an even better life; you are now making changes that you maybe wouldn’t have made without recent life events.
Stress and chronic disease don’t have to be the end of your story. I can help you see that they may be the beginning of the next chapter in your life.
You Might Have Concerns Or Questions Regarding Therapy For Chronic Illness…
If my doctor says I need counseling, does that mean he/she thinks I am crazy?
How we deal with life circumstances is important. Physicians are simply not alloted the time to help us unpack how common stressors in our lives can impact our overall health—they don’t think you are crazy. Typically doctors are not making a judgment about you, but trying to help you get connected to a specialist that can help you heal. Counselors are often part of the treatment team for that very reason.
If you are experiencing undue stress, have experienced trauma that might be impacting your current health or need a boost to help you cope with this new reality, counseling can help.
I am overwhelmed with doctors appointments and therapies—isn’t this just another appointment?
It can seem like your entire life is now just focused on getting well. There are so many different specialists to see that it can seem like just another commitment. And initially it might be best to consider your energy first. But clients often report that seeing a counselor makes them feel much better when they leave, so they are happy come in.
Counseling can teach you how to dial in self care and healing, how to say “no” to commitments you are not currently able to keep and to say “yes” to those things that make you feel happy and well.
No matter how well I eat, exercise or comply to doctors orders, I still don’t seem to get better.
Sleep, diet and exercise are core elements of a healthy lifestyle, and implementing them can bring a great improvement to your overall health and energy levels. However, sometimes our bodies hold onto past pain, fears and traumas. Diet, exercise and sleep can’t always release those. This is where counseling is particularly helpful.
At It All Connects Counseling, my lens is to look for those pains and traumas and help you release them, in the service of whole body health. If you find that you have plateaued in your healing journey, perhaps mindset and past history are a component of your overall wellness. Counseling can help you change your mindset and release past pain so you can start living your life again.
Move Forward In Life With Therapy For Chronic Illness
I am willing to help you start moving forward towards the life that you want. I invite you to call me at 330-705-9521 for your free 15-minute phone consultation to see how I can help you.