Coping Corner, Winter
Originally published in Youth
Allied By CFIDS, Winter 1996
Amicable Ann Arbor! And Happy New Year! As I sit here typing, the sun is hiding
amongst the clouds, the wind chill is in the low teens (and dropping!) and snow
is on the way. I believe Old Man Winter has arrived here in the Midwest. Time to
get out that wool quilt and bundle up!
Tip #1- Be
are going out of the house for an appointment or to run errands, it is a good
idea to be prepared for unexpected delays. You never know if your appointment is
going to run late or if the traffic will be bad. So, you may want to consider
bringing along a snack, some water and any medications you may need. You may
never even have to use them while you're out, but at least if you do get
delayed, you will be ready, and won't have the stress of worrying whether you'll
be home in time to take your medicines, or to eat or drink something before you
are plagued with hunger or thirst.
Tip #2 - Let
If I'm in an angry or hostile mood, I've found that one of the best
things I can do is to sit down and write an advocacy letter to raise awareness
about CFIDS. There is a lot of feeling, passion and energy that go into anger.
It tends to get your adrenaline pumping to the point where you feel "wired" and
perhaps even ready to take on the world!
So, when I get that way, I write letters
people in government or the media. In all that anger, I find the words I need to
write an effective advocacy letter. Whereas on other days I may sit in front of
a blank page for an hour trying to think of how to even begin my letter, on an
"angry" day, I can sometimes finish four letters in an hour!
Tip #3 - Color
One of my favorite quiet activities has become coloring. Now, you may be thinking, "A
22-year-old girl spends time coloring?!" Well, indeed I do! And, I've found that
it's something I can do on good days or bad, it doesn't take a lot of energy or
brain power and has tremendous stress-relieving powers. If you feel silly using
a "children's" coloring book, with Big Bird or Barney in it, it is fairly easy
to find "adult" coloring books in craft stores - I have one that has
Victorian-style buildings in it, which I color using colored pencils instead of
crayons. I usually don't finish a page in one sitting, but it eventually gets
done, and I end up with a pretty page that I've had a large part in creating. It
is a fun activity and you feel as though you've accomplished something when you
finish a picture. So, give coloring a chance, and you may find out why little
kids like it so much!
I wish you all the very best this year.
know that being a young PWC is difficult, and a struggle that no one should have
to endure. But doctors. researchers and CFIDS advocates are working really hard
right now to help us, and they are making great progress. So, keep your hope and
faith intact and someday all of our dreams will come true.