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Living with Intention: (Belated) New Year’s Resolutions for Lymphies

It's never too late to set some resolutions!

I know, I know — I’m a few weeks late for a new years post. Let’s call this one an end-of-the-first-month-of-the-new-year post? It’s a little wordy but… it works!

Even though we’re a few weeks in, I’m still basking in that new year sparkle. I love the new year: it carries so much symbolism and opportunity for renewal and fresh starts! Whether it’s January 1st or July 31st, though, any time is a good time for self-reflection.

For us lymphies, it’s helpful to focus some of this self-reflection on our own health habits and figure out what we need to work on and what we can carry over with us into the new year. I said this last year but it bears repeating: while we examine ourselves and pick out the things we want to change, it’s important to remember to do this from a place of self-love. In addition to recognizing what we want to do differently, it’s good to also acknowledge the growth we have accomplished. This is a rejuvenating time, not a punitive one!

At the beginning of 2016, I offered four new year’s resolutions for lymphies: to be consistent with your lymphedema care routine; to change the way in which you approach your lymphedema care; to confront your negative thoughts with positive ones; and to be an ambassador of awareness. Now that we’re nearly through January and have had a chance to settle into the new year a bit, I wanted to tack a few more resolutions onto the list!

New Year’s Resolutions for Lymphies

Live with intention. It’s good practice to be purposeful in word and action, as the way we engage in our lives can greatly affect our overall outlook. We didn’t choose to have lymphedema; we can, however, choose how we interact with it. Practice engaging actively with your treatment instead of simply going through the motions. Strive to make thoughtful, conscious choices around your health and well-being, both physically and mentally. Yeah, I know — I’m sounding a li’l hokey here, but I really believe it makes a difference. This kind of thing doesn’t work for everybody, but if you’re open to it, give it a try!

Self-educate responsibly. One of the most important things we can do as patients is to educate ourselves on lymphedema and the lymphatic system. Knowledge is power, after all, especially when living with a condition that much of the mainstream medical community doesn’t seem to notice or understand. But please: be mindful of where you get your facts! Make sure the information you read, apply, and share is from a reputable and well-researched source, because misinformation — especially as it pertains to treatment — can be dangerous. Johns Hopkins offers some helpful tips on finding reliable health information online; other good places to read up on lymphedema and its related topics are online medical journals or research organizations, like the National Lymphedema Network or the Lymphatic Education and Research Network.

Connect with others in the community. Living with lymphedema can feel incredibly isolating, but there’s a huge community of us out there waiting to welcome you — you just need to know where to look! Check around and see if there’s a support group in your area that you can join; if there aren’t any, start one! The internet is an amazing resource for support, too, especially social media: if you’re on Facebook, there are a number of private groups for people with lymphedema (the UK spelling “lymphoedema” yields even more results!); there’s also a huge lymphie presence on Instagram and Twitter if you search lymphedema-related hashtags.

The Lymphie Life’s Year in Numbers

2016 was amazing, thanks to all of you! I’m not normally a numbers gal, but I thought these stats were a neat way to visualize this past year at The Lymphie Life:

Thank you so much for another fantastic year of growth and awareness! I appreciate all of you, from those who have been here since the blog began six years ago to the ones just popping by from a Google search — you all mean so much! 💙

There’s lots more to come, so keep checking back and remember to #StayElevated, my friends!

lymphie-life-new-year-2017

What are some of your New Year’s Resolutions? What are you most looking forward to in 2017? Let me know in the comments below!

5 comments on “Living with Intention: (Belated) New Year’s Resolutions for Lymphies

  1. Well, let me be the first to comment…. great, positive resolutions! You go, girl! I am so lucky to have a great lymphedema therapist, Linda O’Donnell, who has helped me navigate all the information about lymphedema surgery and treatments. We just returned from Paris (yes, France!) where I had a consultation with the awesome Dr. Corinne Becker. I am excited to report that after 34 years of dealing with my leg lymphedema, I have finally found hope in that I am a good candidate for lymph node transplant surgery. And thanks to you, Alexa, I have connected with Sarah, (aka lymphosaurus rex).
    We have also started a lymphedema support group here in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Alexa, you need to come visit us! Mi casa es su casa! Peace and love, Julia

    • Julia!

      So thrilled to hear all your good news, and I am *so* hopeful for you and that surgery!! It would be amazing for you, and such a relief.

      Ooh I know, I definitely have to come out there – I’d love to see you and the lymphedema community you are building! Hopefully soon…! 🌵💙

      Be well,
      Alexa

  2. It is really inspiring to read your New Year resolutions. I am the Chairman of the Swedish association of Chronic Oedema (Svenska Ödemförbundet) and I would like to k le if it is possible to translate your latest blog and include it in our journal, somewhat shortsened. We will of course refer to you if you allow us to print it. Hoping to receive s positive respons, Kindest regards Margareta Haag

    • Hi, Margareta,
      Yes, of course! I would be honored for you to include it. Would it be possible for me to receive a copy when you do, either in print or digital format?

      Thank you so much!
      Alexa

  3. Pingback: Self-care suggestions: an illustrated response to reader mail – The Lymphie Life

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