Stress!Disabilities cause enough stress.


You have to suffer with a disability all day, every day while trying to handle the pain and debilitation that comes with your particular disease or injury. On top of that, your employer remains frustrated because of your frequent tardiness or absence from work. Many times close family members do not even understand what you are going through. All of this leads to stress, STRESS, STRESS!

Often stress or anxiety increases the effects of your disability, worsening the pain, or making it more difficult to cope with. The opposite is true too. Reducing stress can reduce pain and increase your ability to handle the darts that come your way. One of the key factors in dealing with a disability is learning how to handle the tension associated with it.

One of the first steps to handling stress is determining what is stressing you. Start removing simple anxieties first. For instance, is there a piece of furniture that tends to jump out and get in your way every time you walk past or a throw rug that you have to be careful not to trip on? Let’s move the furniture and throw away the rug. There, we can breathe easier already.

Another aspect of our homes that we do not often consider when thinking about stress reduction is wall color. Dark or dirty colors are depressing. I once had a neighbor who suffered from depression. She lived in a narrow, manufactured home with very dark paneling and because money was tight she kept the lights turned off. Literally, she lived in a black hole. If money is an issue with you too, start with one wall in the room you spend the most time in and paint it a light cream or antique white. Most “dollar” stores sell a cheap brand of latex paint and you can purchase one gallon, a brush, roller cover, handle, tray and a thin plastic drop cloth for about $25. Have a neighbor kid or relative paint the wall for you for another $20. Buy the paint on one month’s check and have the wall painted on the next monthly check.

Do you have trouble remembering to take your medication? Many medicines are designed to work as long as a residual remains in your system, therefore it is important to take the medicine at the proper time, otherwise you can have “ups and downs” through-out the day. If your medicine is to be taken every 8 hours, purchase three cheap ($5 or less) alarm clocks and set each one for each of the times you are to take the medicine. Now you no longer have to worry about missing your medicine and your “ups and downs” will be reduced.

We do not have control over every stress in our life, but take control over what you can. Just like these small tips, work on the simple things that pressure you, even if it is just a tiny bit of stress, then move on to bigger anxieties. Look around you. What can you change? Every day conquer another hassle. Pretty soon your life will become less stressful and your health and mind will thank you.

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