Being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease is a big deal. Even if you suspect that you have Hashimoto’s, when you hear the actual words sometimes it can take some time to soak in. Then we go scouring the internet for as much information as we can and quickly get overwhelmed as the reality of how big this could be set in.
So you’ve heard the news or saw it on your lab results. You may have even been told that it is no big deal… That you’ll have to take a synthetic thyroid medication the rest of your life but that will do the trick. Inside your gut a screaming noooo… I know it isn’t that simple.
But the sinking feeling comes as you read and feel all alone not knowing where to start.
Please allow me to share these simple beginning steps that helped me and has helped many of my patients.
The very first thing is to stop and breathe.
Close your eyes.
Take a deep breath that goes all the way down to your gut.
Count to 8.
Release it slowly.
Now do it again. And… Then do it one more time. This is an exercise that is invaluable when you feel stressed and overwhelmed. These feelings are normal.
Get a notebook that can be a journal… A place to keep your thoughts and your questions. As you go down your path to healing, this will be a place to come back and to see how far you’ve come.
The first thing to write in this journal are 3-5 things that you are grateful for. I know this seems like a strange time to do this, but the timing is actually perfect. Whenever I start a new journey, I find that I am much more likely to keep going by start on a positive note.
Next, write down as many questions that you can think of. NOTHING is a stupid question! Write them ALL down! This will help guide you in finding what your body needs.
Finally, write how you are feeling about this new turn of events — the diagnosis of Hashimoto’s. Do not filter your thoughts… Just write. Do this today, tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, etc. Just a few minutes of writing in the notebook a day will help center you, help with emotions that come up and keep your head more clear. I do this while having my morning coffee. You are so worth this time.
I hear you rolling your eyes and telling me you have no idea how to do that! I hear you and I understand!
Can you give me two minutes? Just two minutes a day to sit quietly (alone) and just breathe deeply? That two minutes especially in the morning can make all the difference in your day!
Other ideas to reduce stress: take a short (or long) walk, and indulge in your hobby, sit outside and look at what’s around you, meditate, yoga, laugh with friends. Just get off the vicious cycle of your life for a few minutes a day. Your thyroid, immune system and adrenal glands will thank you!
Oh! One more thought on stress… Limit your time on the internet looking up info about Hashimoto’s. When I was first diagnosed, I caved to my wanting to know everything. I looked at way too many websites, blogs, webinars trying to understand what was happening. Do you know what that did for me? It. Stressed. Me. Out. Seriously set a timer and stick to it!
These are just a few things that can really help when you are first diagnosed. There is so much more information that I can give you that will help you along this journey. Be sure to watch my Facebook page for articles, recipes and videos with this information. Hang tight and enjoy the ride!
To your health,