Are you like me? When a storm is approaching do you notice any impact on the state of your emotions along with sensing changes in your physical state? I am not sure it matters what medical condition we are trying to cope with. I am betting that even many individuals without any identified health conditions may react to distinct changes in the atmosphere.
I tend to find my bodyweight increases due to fluid retention which may not be discernable to the naked eye but does affect how we feel. Extra retention of fluid causes an array of feelings. I get more tired, cranky and not as patient as I hope to be me. And those lovely headaches also seem to join my day. And then, of course, the emotions kick in. I find myself feeling negative, not as hopeful and just wanting to get to bed to wake up to a new day!
Sometimes it takes time for me to understand what is affecting me. It often takes me some time to realize the dynamic forces which are creating this lovely mixture. But when I become aware that there is a storm on the horizon, it begins to make sense. This realization may not make me feel better physically but perhaps it allows me to accept these changes to the best of my ability.
So what can we do to attempt to address these negative changes with an impending alteration in the atmospheric conditions?
- Try to remind ourselves it is weather-induced and will improve with the change of the weather
- Try not to expect clarity of mind and find a way to forgive yourself for the foggy, confused mental state
- Drink plenty of water and keep hydrated
- Find safe distractions to bid this uncomfortable time - reading, adult coloring, listening to quiet peaceful music, sewing, visiting with a friend, writing and if need be, relaxing in front of a good show
- For some, consider taking safe medication that may help to reduce some of the unwanted fluid retention
- This is an important time to not give in to that feeling, “what difference does it make if I feel this lousy?” - use whatever self-control you can and try to stay away from the foods and medications not compatible that will cause increased inflammation
- For those who are able, exercising can help relieve the body and mind. I tend to hit the pool or the stationary bike along with pushing through my PT protocol exercises I do daily. I am shocked how sometimes I can get out of my “funk” by simply moving my body as rigorously as my condition allows
I imagine we all wish we could return to that healthier version of ourselves of years past but that isn’t always in the cards. And then a front starts to arrive, bringing those unwanted sensations. One of the hardest things to do emotionally for me is to accept this change and find the patience for things to hopefully pass.
If you can share tricks you have used to cope with these weather changes it would be wonderful to hear your suggestions. You can utilize the comments section below to document your ideas if you so choose.
May life be kind to you,
Ellen Lenox Smith
Author of: It Hurts Like Hell!: I Live With Pain- And Have a Good Life, Anyway, and My Life as a Service Dog!
The information in this column should not be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is for informational purposes only and represents the author’s opinions alone. It does not inherently express or reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of National Pain Report.