Sharing the Journey: How to Navigate Your Emotions
The Sharing the Journey series is by you and for you. In your own words, we highlight the perspectives and personal experiences of people who struggle with lupus each day.
This month, we asked Sharing the Journey participants the following question:
Lupus can bring about feelings of unhappiness, hopelessness, and frustration, among other negative emotions. What is the best advice you’ve received when navigating through times when you felt that way?
During those difficult times I rely heavily on my faith in God that things will turn around. Growing up my mother used to say, "tough times don't last, tough people do," and that has always stuck with me throughout any difficulty in life.– Jaime
The best advice I have been given when I’m at my wits end is that I have a 100% track record. I have gotten through 100% of those bad days. I’ve overcome 100% of those obstacles. My track record is perfect and today won’t be different. Stay focused and get through. That’s exactly what I do no matter how hard it is. – Angel
Lupus can be so frustrating sometimes as it can keep you from doing the things you want to do and can keep you feeling sick more often than you would like. My main way to combat this hopelessness that comes with feeling sick is to think of steps to help myself feel better. Whether it be calling my doctors, taking steroids, cancelling plans, or going for a walk, I like to make an actionable plan to help myself feel like I have control over how I feel. When I take proactive steps to put my health first, I feel empowered to take on any challenge my body might throw at me. If I can make a game plan on how to get myself back to a place where I can do the things that I want to do, I feel happier and more hopeful. It's all about coming up with solid actions you can take to help speed your way back to recovery! – Becca
Whenever I feel down or feel uneasy while dealing with lupus, I’ve always found it helpful to talk with people that support you and will listen. I have never been able to have anyone really understand what I go through until I started working at the job I am at now. My co-teacher has lupus and deals with everything similar to me. This has helped me greatly because I can finally have someone by my side that understands completely. If you don’t have that, reach out to a support group, ask questions, and find a group that deals with similar issues. – Kyra
The emotions people feel each day are a basic part of life. For people with lupus, certain triggers and unexpected flares can heighten those feelings of unhappiness, frustration, anger, and sadness, ultimately impacting a person’s quality of life. It’s important to learn healthy coping skills and practice strategies that will help you best navigate those emotions. You may find it helpful to set up an action plan and stick to it, one that includes exercise, an adequate amount of rest, and a healthy diet. Perhaps engaging in positive self-talk and leaning on your community or finding a support group will greatly improve your overall well-being. Lastly, if you are concerned about your mental health or begin to feel overwhelmed, talk to your doctor and learn how to get help.