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5 Wellness Tips for Living with Chronic Illness in Your Passion Planner

5 Wellness Tips for Living with Chronic Illness in Your Passion Planner

I feel tired today. Tired of always feeling ill. My mind feels clouded as I attempt to keep track of symptoms. When did they start? How long did they last? Where does it hurt? I often find myself overwhelmed with not only the physical pain but the emotional toll illness can have over me. 

Name an ailment, I might have it. Asthma, chronic migraines that sometimes debilitate me. They are Mike Tyson and I am just some dude he's about to knock out. Stomach issues, pain so intense that it travels through my body. Its favorite resting place is my chest. I navigate my day through unexplained aches and pains. 

Hello! Here’s anxiety! More chest pain, and on queue, the impending doom. Welcome tingling limbs! Did I mention hypercalcemia? It affects the health of my teeth and bones. I suddenly have new allergies, and now insomnia. Did the doctor just say potential heart issues? One thing triggers the other and I find myself in a constant state of pain, panic, and occasionally anger. 

Why body? Why do you abuse me this way? Have I not cared for you? Have I not taken you to your check-ups? Have I not fed you well, and on occasion, too well? Have we not enjoyed years of yoga, runs, workouts? 

What's wrong with me? Why is my body like this? Will it ever end? Make it end. 

Being chronically ill with no specific diagnoses can be difficult, and managing those illnesses can be even more challenging. But so much more intense than that is finding peace, finding calm, finding joy. This is where my Passion Planner Daily comes in. Using my Passion Planner on a consistent basis allows me to bring peace as I focus on the now rather than on what has been or allowing my anxiety to travel to the “what could be.” I use my planner in this journey in the following ways.

1. Track Symptoms

Track symptoms in the yearly overview of your Passion Planner.

Above: Passion Planner Digital

Using colored pens or highlighters, I create a key for my symptoms. Each ailment gets a color. Color association or even chakra association usually make things a lot easier for me. For example blue-green will be allergies, red will be periods, purple (for the crown chakra) will be migraines, and so on. 

Then, using the Yearly Overview in the beginning of the planner, I track all my aches and pains. This allows me to give accurate information to my doctors and helps us see patterns and areas of concern. If you are otherwise a healthy person, this can be a great area and method to track periods, workouts, colds, stress or other frequent occurrences in your life.

2. Manage Appointments and Medication

Stay on top of doctor's appointments and managing prescriptions with the Monthly Overview of your Passion Planner.

Above: Passion Planner Digital

Sometimes I can go weeks without visiting the doctor, but then comes a period when it’s visit after visit, lab poke after lab pee jar, and a long list of unpronounceable medications. I use my Monthly Overview to keep track of appointments, tests and refills. My monthly spreads are the catch all of my life. Everything from bills, to events and new moon rituals go there, so when I am on the phone with yet another medical professional, I know it's best to turn to the month to ensure I am not double booking myself. 

3. Making Goals that will Improve My Health

Use the GameChanger page of your Passion Roadmap to set holistic health goals, not just physical ones.

Above: Passion Planner Digital

Feeling better requires more than a team of amazing doctors; health often requires change of habit and self care. This can include the way you eat, physical activity, or even pamper sessions. I use my Passion Roadmap and various areas in my Monthly Overview to make and tackle health goals. For example, in the personal project area I write how many yoga sessions I want to tackle that month, how many pounds I want to try and lose or what things I want to accomplish that will bring calm into my life. 

For me self-care, reading, and alone time help me feel physically better. So I note down new moon rituals, I pick one to three books I want to read and I schedule in a pamper day. My GameChanger goal for the year is almost always health related. For 2020, the goal was to create healthier eating habits. It wasn’t necessarily to lose weight, rather it was to create habits that will make me feel better, reduce stomach pain and other related symptoms, and create a permanent change to help me feel good both mentally and physically. For 2021, I know I want to focus on increasing my yoga practice and meditation sessions to aid in my anxiety. I also know I want to see a counselor more often. I cannot wait to map it all out. 

4. Journal When I am Feeling Blue

Journal in the Space of Infinite Possibility of your Passion Planner to ease your mind and reflect on your day.

Above: Passion Planner Digital

As you can imagine, being in constant pain can be difficult to say the least. I am here to tell you that it’s okay to throw yourself a tiny pity party. Just a small one. I am over this feeling of “it gets better” and “look at the bright side.” Sometimes, it takes a long time for things to get better. Sometimes, in truth, they don’t get better. Especially in the world of illness. However, you do get stronger. That I can guarantee. 

Like most planner lovers, I also love stickers, so when I am feeling sad, I have a sticker for that. I put down a little sticker in my weekly section, and write out how I am feeling. I accept that feeling, I say hello to it, and then I let it go. 

5. Keep Track of All the Good

Use the Self Check In pages of your Passion Planner Daily to reflect on all the good things that have happened.

Above: Passion Planner Digital

Despite the above sentiment, it is important to realize that there is something good in your day. There is good in your life. There is joy and even pain free days. I keep track of the good in multiple ways in my Passion Planner because at the end of the year, I want all the good to overpower the physical pain I often find myself in. In my monthly section, if there is room, I place down more stickers and write down a daily highlight. This can include yummy meals, a Facetime session with a friend or a pain free day. 

In the weekly section, I use markers, stickers and other accessories to memory keep one to two good things for the day. I doodle or write in the “Good Things that Happened” section and I often journal and paste pictures in the Space on Infinite Possibility. I use the back note pages to keep track of books read, personal projects and seasonal bucket lists. I do this because each time I fill in a new book, or cross out a project or task, I remember that I am more than just my pain. I am more than just my illness. 

I am me. A person with dreams, and goals and a good life overall, and my Passion Planner Daily brings me to the forefront. My pain is just, well, something that happened but not EVERYTHING that happened. 

Please comment and share some of the ways that your Passion Planner brings you calm during challenging situations. 

Author Bio

Cheli Resendiz is a Youth Development Coordinator at a non-profit. In her free time she enjoys curating playlists, reading and journaling. Her lifetime Passion Roadmap goal is to travel the world with her daughter and husband.

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Comments

Maddy - March 23, 2021

This is so useful, thank you!! I too have a debilitating chronic illness that went underdiagnosed for years. It’s validating to know I’m not the only one using my planner to manage my illness and track my symptoms. It can be discouraging to see all the planner spreads that are all about jobs and school and travel and other stuff I can’t do right now. This made me feel less alone in my struggle.

Lisa Hill - March 15, 2021

Great suggestions ❤️ I live with chronic pain and ptsd. Avoid the doctor and I just need one hour each day to focus on the good stuff.
I bought a couple of passion planners last year and it’s half empty. One for me, one for my daughter and one for neice (freshman in college this year ❤️). Unfortunately, I’m thinking of using the half empty one for the above suggestions… I cannot purchase another just yet as the pandemic has been hitting hard and my husband’s job was eliminated. Perhaps next year… I love love these planners so much, thank you for sharing these awesome ideas.

Harley N - March 3, 2021

I have multiple sclerosis and other non-diagnosed issues. I’ve struggled with my goals and how to use my daily, or if the weekly was a better option. This was such a great read and example of what I can do. Makes me almost want to get a new daily and start over, but I think I’ll take this and roll with it.

Stephanie Gutierrez - March 1, 2021

Inspiring! I’m so glad the pash fam highlighted this story as someone who struggles to manage being a new mama, full-time university student, working, AND chronic illness. I’ve been trying to figure out a method that works for me by combining all kinds of stories from those I relate to so this came at as perfect time. I’d love to see if they highlight a mama’s story one day too! Thanks for sharing and know that not only are you more than this illness, but it’s okay to not always be okay.

Jen Escobedo - March 1, 2021

Love this! Never thought to use a planner for something like this. Great idea and tips!

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