Sharing the Journey: Staying Motivated
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:
The holidays are over, and for many the winter months can be tough, meaning more time indoors and fewer activities. With this in mind, what are some things you do to stay motivated, whether it’s making occasional plans to catch up with friends/family or staying active?
I dread the bitter temperatures in the months after Christmas, so keeping motivated is very important for me because I don't want to get depressed or become extremely bored. I really don't like going outdoors, but I know that I can't avoid the cold temperatures. I’ve learned to layer up with extra clothing when I have to face frigid temperatures. I use electric blankets to keep my joints warm. I’ve also found indoors activities that keep me motivated. When I’m not outside, I have a collection of old VHS movies that I pull out and watch – I enjoy classic movies. I drink more hot beverages in the cold season, like hot chocolate and different favored coffees and teas. I write letters to old friends and relatives. I also make inspirational cards and write quotes for them. I also love recording myself telling my lupus story and critiquing my presentations when afforded the opportunity to share my story. If I'm really having a high moment, I pull out my many recipes collection and try a new dish. But my favorite thing to do in the cold winter months is reading a good book and journaling. This helps me so much. There are so many wonderful and fascinating things I do because everything for me is much slower in the winter months. – Sylvia
Now that the holiday season is over, it’s imperative to find something else positive to think about and do in order to keep up the momentum of celebrating and feeling encouraged and motivated. Keeping up that momentum will keep you fighting hard against lupus, thus ensuring a better quality of life. There are three major things I do to keep myself motivated after the holiday season:
- I set achievable goals for myself daily and celebrate my victories
- I find my rainbow (something positive to focus on) and concentrate on it all day, which keeps my mind on the positive and leaves no room for negativity no matter how I physically feel; and
- I find something I like to do, whether it be self-care, like painting my nails and doing my makeup or I play a game on my phone.
These things all help to ensure I continue to be motivated to fight and win against this disease, while also occupying my mind and enhancing my quality of life. – Angel
Staying motivated when it’s cold outside can be hard for me. However, any chance I get to bundle up and be outside, I take it, whether it’s walking the dog, taking the kids snowshoeing, or going out for lunch with friends. I try and keep the time outside short if it’s really cold. Knowing the warmer months are coming helps me get through these few freezing ones. – Roxi
To stay motivated in this cold weather can be hard at times because I feel more lazy and want to stay in my bed all the time. To avoid this, I try making myself busy with a schedule so I can stay focused on things that I need to do before a certain time. I’ve also started doing yoga again with my sister. This really helps because when I feel stiff and lousy, it opens me up and makes me calm and energized. – Kyra
The holiday season is often exhausting but once it’s over, it can be hard to find your motivation in the remaining colder months. Setting goals and working toward achieving them, whether it’s sticking to a new fitness routine, visiting friends and family more often, eating better, or journaling more, can keep boredom and keep the winter blues at bay. Finding indoor activities, like yoga and low-impact exercises, can keep you moving while avoiding too much exposure to the cold.
For more winter wellness ideas, here are five small steps to stay healthy during the colder months and an expert’s tips on exercise, eating habits, stress management, and more.