Chances are we have all been in a situation at some point in our lives when we were physically disabled or put out of commission for a season. Perhaps it was a broken arm in grade school, a fractured leg from skiing or a surgical procedure that made us feel like we were dependent on others and kept us in the hospital without access to the usual pleasures of our own home.
Think about how you felt during those times.
Maybe you are an individual who is wheelchair-bound, experiencing physical challenges that may be permanent. No matter the circumstances, we all have basic needs for recognition, acceptance and interaction with others.
When you see someone in a wheelchair what is your first response?
Do you look away?
Do you look them in the eye?
Do you pretend they’re not there?
Do you smile, greet and engage?
Seeing someone with a physical disability can reveal things about our own selves. This article today is to stir up a level of self-awareness so we might make adjustments. When we get free from unhealthy reactions, we can then celebrate independence from wrong thinking, and others can celebrate independence from being judged, criticized, or ignored.
If you are experiencing physical challenges this does not mean you have to lose your independence. Life is all about change. It’s not in our best interest to resist the change but learn how to roll with it. Here are some tips on how to maintain your independence during challenging circumstances.
Ways to Manage Stress
Read Good Books / Enjoy a Hobby / Plan Ahead / Take Regular Breaks / Don’t Dwell on the Past / Forgive and Forget / Delegate Work / Learn to Say No / Stay Clutter Free / Eat Right / Vary Your Routine / Express Your Feelings / Journal / Spend Time with Positive People / Talk with a Friend / Get Some Fresh Air / Stretch / Practice Yoga / Play Games with Friends / Take a Nap / Get a Massage / Remove Yourself from Unnecessary Conflict / Ask for Help / Don’t Procrastinate / Learn Something New / Find a Quiet Spot to Relax / Listen to Soothing Music / Buy Yourself Flowers / Celebrate Life
Acts of Kindness Whether you are the one giving or receiving the act of kindness, it can be life changing! Here are just a few ways to cultivate kindness according to Linda Cohen Consulting:
Compliment Someone / Share an uplifting Story on Social Media / Call Someone You’ve Been Thinking About / Surprise Your Co-Worker with a Treat / Offer to Assist Someone who Needs Some Extra Help / Buy Someone Coffee Today / Let Someone Go in Front of You in the Car or at the Grocery Store / Invite Someone Who Might Need Extra Companionship to Join You for an Outing / Be Patient and Give the Benefit of the Doubt / Say Thank you for Everything Today
Attitude Equals Altitude - When we take the time to put into ourselves each day, we elevate our self-awareness. As we become more mindful of our choices, we realize it is possible to live in a place of constant gratefulness. We can only go further in life and enjoy the view more when we are soaring at a higher altitude. Self-care plays a big role in how high we can fly!
Movement is Medicine - Being stagnant can be stressful, so do what you can to shake things up a bit. Try the Morning Meditations for Daily Magic series. Staying in one place emotionally or physically is not a healthy option, and yet we do it to ourselves repeatedly. Choose to add some new moves to your repertoire and see how this make you feel.
Choice Can Bring Change - How we choose to look at things can determine not only the outcome of the situation but also the emotions we experience. How we decide to view life will also impact those around us for better or for worse.
Independence doesn’t mean you’re on your own and cut off from everybody else. Independence can be that place of self-confidence and grace that you extend to yourself and others. People are not always aware of how their behavior may have affected you. Perhaps they have offended you, wounded your heart or worse. We can’t be the judge and jury of their motives, but we can scrutinize how we respond to them. True independence implies that no matter what comes our way we can meet the challenge head on and move through the obstacles - not around them. We can rise above the daily inconveniences and struggles to intentionally make a difference in life. It is possible to embrace the challenges rather than avoid them and enjoy the victories no matter how big or small! Now that’s something to celebrate!