7 New Year’s Resolutions for People Living with Limb Loss
We are about to welcome a new year and a new decade. So, as we get ready to change our calendars, we also need to be prepared for the barrage of social media posts that will talk about new year’s resolutions.
For many, it is the same: workout five times a week, wake up at 5 a.m. (or 4:30 a.m. for those who want to emulate the morning routine of most successful but incredibly busy people), run a marathon, and start meal prepping every week. All these are great aspirations, especially when the intention behind these ambitions is to live a successful and overall better life.
However, new year’s resolutions can be completely overwhelming, especially if your body doesn't cooperate. So, we came up with seven resolutions that you can adapt to your own life.
1. I will measure my well-being using my own standard of health.
Social media will always make it easy for us to compare our progress against those of someone else’s. While yoga or running marathons may be a great lifestyle choice for some of your friends, it might not be right for you. So, don’t force it. Instead, do what is right for you and your body right now.
Maybe you are new to the amputee journey. This may mean focusing on your physical therapy sessions or amputee training sessions instead. There is time to get into amputee yoga or prosthetic running in the future if it’s what you want.
2. I will honor my body and listen to it.
Every body is different. While someone can push themselves to run with their prosthesis for two miles instead of one, you might be better off with sticking to one mile and giving yourself time to rest.
There’s a prevailing notion in the health and fitness industry to “push your limits.” However, there is also value in listening to your body and stopping when you’re tired. There will always be another day when you feel up for the challenge.
3. I will rest when I need to.
Overworking has become the ultimate badge of success. However, rest is also essential to avoid burnout and allow your body to repair itself. You know your body best, and you know if a nap will improve your focus and overall quality of life. Don’t succumb to the pressure and the glamorization of the hustle. In 2020, promise yourself that you will rest—without judgment—when you need to.
4. I will not be afraid to ask for help.
People pleasers, those who are living with a chronic condition, and some amputees have one thing in common: they find it difficult to ask for help.
However, it’s important to acknowledge that no one is immune to asking for help. We all need it at some point in our lives. And if you’re struggling with coping with limb loss, that’s all the reason you need to ask for help. Be honest about your needs, and realize that people around you are willing to help you. You only need to ask.
5. I won’t apologize for being honest with my struggles.
Coping with limb loss isn’t an easy feat. Many amputees may feel pressured always to put on a brave face and make the situation less uncomfortable for the people around us. However, keeping up the charade will tire you out.
The world needs more honesty. If you feel the need to share your struggles, go ahead, and don’t apologize for it. Your experience may help others who are struggling with the same thing. And your honesty might help the people around you understand what you’re dealing with better.
6. I will celebrate my successes.
We are big advocates of celebration, especially when you have achieved something big or small. Have you made progress in your amputee training sessions? Or perhaps your residual limb doesn’t hurt as much now when you’re wearing your prosthesis because you took the time to take proper care of it.
Whatever it is, no matter how small it may feel, success must be celebrated. Do this in 2020, and you’ll see that you become more energized and motivated to surpass future challenges.
7. I will be more assertive when it comes to my healthcare.
Your healthcare is your business, so you don’t have to settle for lousy physicians or prosthetists who don’t seem to value what you think. You are allowed to ask questions, get second or even third opinions, and be direct about your expectations. After all, it is your body, and you will live with every choice you make, including ones that you are not so happy about. So, it’s best to do everything that you can to make sure that you get the best health services.
You can prepare statements that you can use the next time you visit your dismissive prosthetist:
“This isn’t what I came here to discuss. I want to focus on…”
“Can you explain why you believe this will help relieve my symptoms?”
“In my experience, this hasn’t been helpful. Is there something else that you can recommend?”
“I’ve read new research on so-and-so. What do you think about it? Can it help my situation?”
In 2020, remember that you’re in charge of your life. You may not be able to control external circumstances, but you can control how you react to it. And that makes you powerful. So, promise yourself that you will make the choices that are best for you, not for everyone else on your social media feed.
Cheers to making significant progress as you live the amputee life! I hope that as you ring in the new year, you also take the time to celebrate everything it took to get you this far.
Happy New Year, everyone!