Posts Tagged ‘Forgive’


July 24, 2020

I figure today is the perfect day to discuss this topic, as today July 24 is Self-Care Day,!

What is Self-Care?

Self-care, as defined by the World Health Organization, as what a person does for one’s self to establish and maintain health and to prevent and deal with illness. This includes hygiene, nutrition, lifestyle & activities, environmental factotrs, sociao-ecpnomic factors and self-medication.  This includes physical as well as mental & emotional health.

So, basically, taking care of one’s self.  & showing yourself some love.

But this is something us with chronic illnesses have a problems doing.  We tend not to prioritize ourselves in the grand scheme of things.  It is something we need to do to help ourselve help get us better. Not healed, but better.. I guess a more appropriate word would be improved (that is another blog post in & of itself)

So what to do to help ones self? There are a ton of things you could do. Here is a by no means exhaustive list of thngs to help improve your personal health, or self-care.  A search on Google will give you additional ideas as well as suggestions for 30 days of self-care, a cheat sheet or a self-care checklist. I’m sure the list below includes information from these sources.

Self-Care Ideas

  • Take a walk
  • Meditate
  • Call a friend
  • Go out for a coffee/drink with a friend
  • Read
  • Warm bath, or hot tub
  • Yoga
  • Tale a nap
  • Dance or just listen to music
  • Sing
  • Keep hydrated
  • Sexual Acrivity
  • Compliment someone else (You’d be surprised at how well this can make you feel)
  • Plan kindness activities
  • Colour.. or Paint.. Do something creative
  • Knit, sew, crochet, macrame, needlepoint. Make something
  • Mani/pedi
  • Get a massage
  • Hug your kids, furbabies, nieces, nephews, grandkids
  • Stretch
  • Watch something funny – Tv show, movie, theatre
  • Plan a dream vaction
  • Plan what you would do if you won $25million
  • Take a trip to the salon to get your hair done
  • Get dressed up just to get dressed up.. If you look good, you feel good
  • Journal
  • Declutter a space on your home
  • Say or find posotive affeirmations. My mirror says “You’re Beautiful”. Who am I to argue wiht the mirror mirror on the wall?? 😉
  • Volunteer
  • Try something new
  • Ask for help!
  • Unplug. (This one is difficult for me)
  • Plan & eat a nutrional, healthy and delicious meal, bonus if its a new recipie
  • Hang with a friend
  • Watch funny videos.. I like Jeff Dunhan & Fliffy
  • Exercise
  • Eat dessert, but not every day!
  • Start a new, good habit
  • Create a bucket list.. A fanaticl one or a realisitic one, your choice
  • Pop Bubble Wrap!
  • Watch cute videos online – I love puppy videos, and the kitten ar cute too.. 🙂
  • Go for a drive
  • Deep slow breathing
  • Play with or cuddle with your pet
  • Learn a new skill
  • Practice positive selft-talk
  • Walk outside, feel the grass under your feet. (watch for glass if not in your backyard)
  • Forgive. Not for them, for you. it help you heal
  • Talk with someone, even a therapist or councillor
  • Remove negative people or groups from your social media
  • Family activity day
  • Make a list of what you are grateful for. Start with being alive, having shelter, and a full belly.. Go from there.
  • Sit in front of the campfire – Make smores, spider dogs, or mountain pies
  • Learn something new
  • Play a sport you enjoy, or watch it professionally

So..  Lots of choices as I said, There are alot of other options out there.  Remember this activitiy, or lack threeof, is to make you feel better.

My Go To’s:

  • Meditate
  • Slow, deep, easy breathing – helps me sleep
  • Read
  • Drive – I love to drive.
  • Muisc – Listen, sing or dance to.
  • Volunteer (I’ve been a Scouter with Scouts Canada in some form or another for almost 20 years. – COVID’s made it a challenge)
  • Mani/Pedi – by myself or at a salon
  • Hair Salon – Love the head massage when she washes my hair
  • Sitting by the campfire, preferably with friends or the Cubs with approapriate libations & snacks
  • Massage therapy
  • Exercise, when viable.. Walks, jogs, Yoga Aqua-fit, arriba dance, etc..  dependng on pain & energy levels
  • Hot Tub. I prefer bewtween 99-102.. Can’t do hotter. 😦
  • Huggs 🙂 From wherever safely possible
  • Sex, with or without a partner
  • Go for a drive
  • Compliment somone – their hair, nails, clothing, shoes, etc..
  • Forgive
  • Colour and/or paint
  • Knots. Not a typical activity, but i like the challenge, plus im a Scouter, go figure.
  • Socialization with friends & family
  • Play or Cuddle with Lilly, my dog. ( See: “She Saved Me” post for more info on her.)
  • Call someone or at least check in for only that purpose, to see how they are.
  • Think or plan how i\I’d spend lottery winnings
  • & the obvious – Journalling. My blog, my instagram & facebook pages help me express myself.

What to Avoid:

  • Excessive or inaprropriate drinking or drug use
  • Maintaining toxic relationships
  • Argue excessively
  • Ovedoing an exercise routine
  • Stressful situations
  • Gambling
  • High-risk behaviours
  • Voilence to one’s self or others
  • Other self-destructive behaviours
  • Self-isolation (except as needed for COVID, but even then you can zoom or call or text) aka Social suicide
  • Becoming abusive
  • Self-defeating Mindsets
  • Narcissism
  • Self-harm
  • Personal neglect – Physical or mental
  • Refusing help

What self-care activities do you do?

What new activity would yuo like to try?

What is setting you back?

Adjust Your Anger Management Style

May 30, 2009

Adjust Your Anger Management Style—Reduce Your Pain
By Dr. John Fry

Researchers published some very interesting findings this April in the European Journal of Pain regarding how much pain you feel when you’re dealing with angry feelings. The authors conclude:

“Our study suggests that anger and a general tendency to inhibit anger predicts heightened pain in the everyday life of female patients with fibromyalgia. Psychological intervention could focus on healthy anger expression to try to mitigate the symptoms of fibromyalgia.”

Previous research has shown that inhibiting anger increases pain in other pain conditions, as well. It turns out that when you suppress anger, you’re actually more aware of it and are angrier inside. This internal churning then creates more pain for those with fibromyalgia.

Does that mean that blasting away will reduce pain? Not really. It’s not a good solution, because then relationships often deteriorate. Research on marriage has shown that if there is a harsh start-up to a conversation, 90 percent of the time that conversation will fail to resolve the issue. Couples who say five times more positives than negatives to each other have almost no chance of divorce, while couples with only twice as many positives as negatives in their interaction have a fairly high probability of divorce. So blasting away clearly hurts relationships. This increases the possibility of anxiety and/or depression, and we know from previous research that both of those states are predictors of more pain in the future. Then what’s a man or woman with fibromyalgia to do?

By handling your anger better, neither blasting away nor by ‘eating it,’ you actually can decrease your fibromyalgia pain

Below are five practical tips that I have found to be helpful gleaned from over 30 years of private practice as a psychologist in Orange County, California, as well as from giving over a dozen seminars on anger management:

1. Choose assertive over aggressive or passive ways of expressing your anger.
You’re not left with the two bad choices of aggressively blasting away or letting your anger eat you up inside. Many people aren’t clear about the difference between aggressive and assertive, and so they choose the passive approach. Pressure and irritability grow, and then they blast away. Afterwards, guilt takes over and they drop back into a passive role until the pressure builds again. Not a fulfilling cycle, is it?
Sometimes people choose the “passive aggressive” option and use sneaky aggression. This includes trying to make someone else feel guilty without appearing to be angry at them. An example would be saying within earshot of an unsupportive spouse, “People who don’t cut us fibromyalgia patients some slack are insensitive and uncaring.” This tactic just tends to make others pull away from us, though.
The assertive option has the best chance of resolving the issue, reducing your anger, and hence reducing your pain. Here’s a great way to understand the differences between aggressive, assertive, and passive. When you are aggressive, you are only expressing your own needs: “You are being a jerk because you don’t understand my pain.” When you are passive, you are only looking at the other person’s needs: “I’d better not bother him with my concerns. It will only rock the boat.” When you are assertive, you are speaking up for your own needs while still taking into account the needs of the other, taking into account both people’s needs:“I know you’ve been really preoccupied with work, and it must be hard to hear about my pain, but it makes me feel closer to you if you listen to how my day went. I’ll try not to belabor it.” When first learning to be a more assertive person, it helps to think of a way to say something where the first clause in your sentence addresses your listener’s needs, and the second clause expresses your needs.

2. Understand that anger is usually a secondary emotion.
Anger is almost always preceded by one of four emotions—impatience, frustration, fear, or—most commonly in relationships—hurt. It helps to ask yourself the question, “If I couldn’t feel angry, what feeling would I be left with?” Then try to express your feelings at that level. Many times it makes your feelings a lot clearer to the other person, and usually they have an easier time hearing you and responding with less defensiveness.

3. Look at your “self-talk” and clean up the distortions that make you angrier.
A situation, however difficult, does not automatically translate into your mood. Its how you interpret the situation, what you tell yourself about it, that in the final analysis determines mood. If you throw a pity party for yourself, you view other people as horrible for picking on you, a poor defenseless creature. Then you get angrier. If you exaggerate the other’s offense, using words like “always” or “never” instead of “usually” or “rarely,” you make the other out to be a much worse person, which fuels your anger further. If you assume the worst about other’s intentions, you miss the positives they are trying to express by telling yourself they don’t really mean it.
Any time you are angry, ask questions of your angry conclusions: “Are there other ways to interpret her behavior? Even though this hurt my feelings, has he been nice to me in the past? He did that once—does that mean he always will do it?” You may still be angry, but usually less so—and this gives you a chance to see the issue more in tune with reality, rather than as an exaggeration of reality.

4. Look at the needs behind the other’s position or behaviour.
Most issues between people are not like a pie where, if I get 70 percent of my needs met, you will only get 30 percent of yours met. There are win-win solutions (and lose-lose solutions)! Instead of arguing your position and fighting the other’s position, look at your needs and theirs to see if there is another option that meets more of both sets of needs.
One way to increase the chances of understanding the other’s needs is simply to ask and then try to paraphrase their response back to them. It is easier to do this if you realize that understanding is not the same as agreement. You can understand without necessarily agreeing. If the other person feels understood, though not agreed with, there is usually less fuel to their fire. This increases the chances of a resolution, or at least of an accommodation where the rough edges get worn off of the disagreement so it is more tolerable to both of you.

5. Learn how to forgive, especially when the other has apologized.
My favourite quote on forgiveness comes from the late Lew Smedes, who was a professor at Fuller Theological Seminary: “When you forgive someone, the person you most take off the hook is yourself!” Forgiveness, particularly when the other is trying to do better, releases you most of all.
It helps me to forgive another if I ask myself these questions—“Have I ever done something like that to another?” and “Do I need forgiveness for things that I have done?” While forgiveness is at the core of religious faith, it is also key to good relationships.
Another helpful way of looking at forgiveness is as giving up the right to hurt back. Revenge is really not sweet, because we have lowered ourselves to what we condemn in others!

In summary, by handling your anger better, neither blasting away nor by “eating it,” you actually can decrease your fibromyalgia pain. Try practicing these five tips for a week and see if you don’t feel better. I’m rooting for you!

Dr. John Fry is a psychologist in private practice in Newport Beach, California. He works with men, women, adolescents, children, and marriages. One of his specialties is working with fibromyalgia patients. His wife has fibromyalgia and he sits on the National Fibromyalgia Association’s Board of Directors. To learn more, go to