Suggestions from fellow lupus patients are. The following is shared by one person:
I sometimes have a hard time doing everything that I want to do, especially when it comes to having time to myself. I’m sure we all feel the same way from time to time with our busy lifestyles.
I’m fortunate that I live close to my work and I don’t have to spend time commuting. But as everyone knows, living in southern California, we still spend a fair amount of time in traffic.
I think that’s part of the problem. If I don’t have a plan, then I don’t have anything to execute on. I’m so busy thinking about everything that I have to do, work, laundry, personal business, etc. that I don’t always have a plan to do the things that I want to do. And even if I plan to do something, like go for a bike ride in the early morning before going to work, when the time comes, I don’t always feel motivated. Even though I may have planned to do it, I don’t always follow through. Like this morning, I was planning to go for a bike ride. I went to bed early enough so that I could get up early, but when I got up and saw the weather outside, I decided to go back to bed.
Now if I would have planned to do the bike ride with a friend, I probably would have done it. But since, it was just me, it was really easy to change my mind. I find it easier to do when I have someone else to do them with. It’s hard for me to be motivated if it doesn’t involve someone else. It’s like I’m not really committed to doing it, even though I am. I have goals that I want to train, but I don’t always do it.
I joined the Masters Swim Team at UCI and I try to swim several nights a week. I can go straight from work. I’m afraid if I went home first, I would not be motivated to go out again. Actually, swimming is good for me right now since I have a hip injury and can’t run. I can’t work my legs too much while I’m swimming, but it’s a great upper body workout. It also helps to keep me active so I don’t get depressed. I’m used to be active and if I can’t workout, I start feeling down and then I’m less motivated to workout.
When I see other people working out, I’m more inclined to workout myself. It’s kind of like going to a gym as opposed to having equipment at home. I know some people may be self-motivated, but I do better when I’m with a group of people or with my friends. Sometimes when I’m home alone, I start feeling lonely and then I’m less motivated to go out a do something.
So besides having a plan and involving other people, I think it’s good to be consistent. I think if I’m consistent, it's easier to accomplish something. I just do as. It becomes a habit.
I think positive thinking is also important. When I have a lot of thinks going on in my life, or sometimes when I don’t, I sometimes forget how fortunate I am. And I’m sure we all have our difficulties. I was involved in a bad bicycle accident several years ago. I was riding on the PCH coming back from a long ride. The person never saw me and cut right in front of me. When I tried to avoid hitting the car, I broke hard and came over the top of the bike landing on my head. I had several physical injuries, which I had to recover from, but it was the concussion and the depression what was most difficult to overcome.
I couldn’t workout because of the physical injuries and I was having difficulty with school because of the short-term memory loss. Another side effort of the concussion is depression, which combined with not being able to continue with my regular routine, made me even more depressed. It took a long time me to fully recover and to get back into a regular routine.
I think what helped me through this difficult time was being with my friends and trying to focus on what I wanted to do, rather than what I could do at the time. It took a while to get back on the bike and to be able to ride on the road again. But, fortunately, I had other things that I enjoyed doing. So, I guess that’s part of it too – having options. Right now I can’t run, but I can still swim and cycle. And while I have to be careful about lower body exercise, I can focus on my upper body. And as long as I can continue to workout in some fashion,
it helps me to remain focused and positive.