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Self-Discipline is Self-Care

Therapy has taught me a lot about self-discipline. I used to believe self-discipline focused on pushing myself beyond my limits, which was detrimental to my physical and mental health. However, I've learned that self-discipline is the act of building realistic, sustainable habits that allow you to build a healthy, well-balanced life. In short, self-discipline is a form of self-care.

And when it comes to building self-discipline with an invisible illness, it's important to focus on simple acts and lifestyle modifications that you can easily commit to and follow. So let's talk about how you can create a disciplined life. 

Create A Routine

Creating a routine provides structure to your daily life. And the best part is you can be creative and create different routines for the different areas of your life. For instance, you can create morning, evening, cleaning, self-care, or after-work routines. 

Here's a quick tip for creating a routine, be mindful of your specific needs and lifestyle and build routines accordingly. For example, if you're struggling with getting quality sleep, you can create a relaxing evening routine to help improve your sleep quality.

Additionally, permit yourself to be flexible with your routines. Take into account flare-ups and adjust your routine accordingly. Remember, routines aren't about trying to do it all. They're more about helping you function and support your overall health. 

Set Personal Goals

Setting personal goals is terrific for your mental and emotional health. Goal setting gives you direction by allowing you to focus and work towards the desired outcome. 

However, it's easy to overdo it and overwhelm yourself with goals. Instead, choose one to two goals to work towards and break them down into mini-goals you can complete over a certain time period. 

Remember that goals are targets you aim for, and you may not hit the bulls-eye immediately. That's ok. Give yourself the space to adjust your goals and be flexible. 

Plan Ahead

Taking the time to plan decreases anxiety and can help when you're struggling with focus and concentration. Additionally, it supports goal setting by planning the actions you need to perform to achieve those goals. 

A great way to plan is to use a planner or task management tool to organize projects, goals, tasks, and appointments. Another option is to use calendar blocking by setting aside blocks of time to accomplish tasks, to-dos, and appointments and build routines. 


 Track Your Symptoms

Keeping track of your symptoms can help you manage your invisible illness. For example, tracking your flare-ups, food triggers, and moods can provide feedback for your doctor so they know what's working and what's not. 

Meal Prepping

Setting aside time to prep and prepare meals reduces the amount of time you spend in the kitchen. This is helpful if you have a busy schedule or don't enjoy having to cook daily. Additionally, it can help you if you're dealing with a flare-up. Instead of worrying about what to eat, you already have meals prepared that you can heat up and enjoy.  

Daily Movement

Staying active and moving your body helps boost energy, improve mood, and naturally increase focus and concentration. Additionally, moving your body can help manage mild pain naturally by acting as a pain reliever. 

Create and Follow a Budget

Creating a budget is a great way to help you manage your finances. You can see where your money is going, thus empowering you to make better financial decisions. Additionally, it allows you to save and invest your money and control your spending. 

As you can see, creating self-discipline doesn't have to be anything dramatic or involve intense activities. In contrast, the small habits and actions you commit to make the most significant results in your life. 


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