Moving my body is just as beneficial as some of my medicines. I find moving helps every aspect of my being from my mental and spiritual health to my physical body inside and out. I schedule movement into my day by signing up for classes ahead of time and by wearing my Fitbit which helps remind me to get out of my office chair to move. I feel so much better when I get moving. I do listen to my body the best I can so when I am feeling unwell I gage whether or not it is best to take a class, walk, stretch or rest. On days I don't feel great I still try to get moving. Many times I feel significantly better once I have exercised and released endorphins!
If I am in an extremely tough flare my body needs more rest then movement. Stretching and walking is great but with the loss of so much liquid and blood I make sure I don't overdo myself. Plus bad flares can leave me with barely enough energy to get from the couch to the toilet and back. Listen to your body folks. It speaks to us every day!
Living with an invisible illness has pro's and con's. The great part is that on the outside you look normal and even healthy at times. Many times there are no physical indications on the exterior that would give anyone the idea that you are battling a chronic disease. I am very thankful I look "normal!" However, out of sight out of mind can be a real thing. People are not always understanding of what a person is going through if they can't literally see what is wrong with you. If I had crutches or was in a wheel chair people might let me cut line or help me in ways they don't as I look the way I do. Don't get me wrong I am so thankful I look the way I do and that my body serves me the way it does. I am thankful for so much. But people can't see my guts. They can't see my anxiety. They can't see the pain or the urgency and the fear.
This is where compassion comes in. I am beyond compassionate and I don't need to see someone is visibly ill for me to be compassionate towards them. IBD had taught me this.
Most people don't have compassion for something they can't see in front of them. They are not quick to ask if you need to use the restroom first. They aren't quick to lend a hand or understand if you need to cancel plans last minute. Unless of course you are battling something yourself and you have grown to be a compassionate person. IBD has taught me so much and one lesson I have learned is to be more compassionate and remind myself that I have NO IDEA what others are going through. Real talk though. We do not have any clue what someone else is battling so we must be compassionate towards one another including ourselves.
My advice for living life with an invisible illness is build a support group that is compassionate and caring. Surround yourself with people who are understanding and let the ones that aren't go. Advocate for yourself and stand up for what you need. Be kind to others and to yourself. We have to give ourselves some slack. It isn't easy being different or feeling burdensome to others.
Love yourself and your tribe and don't stop fighting for what you need for your body and health. Nobody else can speak to how your feel like you can so fight like hell!