6 ways to get through ebbs while brain retraining
It’s been three years since I announced my recovery from a Lyme diagnosis. This journey with Lyme came with a long list of symptoms such as chronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue, fibromyalgia, high anxiety, severe weight loss, chemical, food, and light sensitivities, and the list goes on.
Healing was such an amazing experience, especially when things were going smoothly and I was in the flow. I enjoyed each milestone when I would reach a goal such as eating a whole cheeseburger again for the first time or being able to do a 4-mile hike with steep inclines.
One of the highlights while I was healing was driving to my mom’s for Thanksgiving in a rental SUV, which is a 5-hour drive. What was even more incredible was that I had to drive the last hour in a snowstorm. Things got very challenging as we were going over the pass but I was able to remain calm, and I did it. I was so proud of myself. These were just some of the amazing experiences of my healing journey but there were lots of ebbs as well.
There were also times that I questioned the DNRS program I was doing. I questioned the progress. I had thoughts such as, “Am I really healing?” There were even times I thought I was going backwards. I had to remind myself that there is no going backwards when rewiring your brain. Those new neural pathways were growing. I reminded myself that “This, too, shall pass.”
The further along I got on the journey, the more I had proof that the ebb doesn’t last forever and it does indeed pass. If you are on a healing journey yourself, I am sure you can relate to how amazing it is to be in the flow. You also know that the ebbs can be difficult and wonder how to get through them.
A recent picture of Teena on a beach vacation.
To get through the more challenging times, I developed some tools to help me through them. Below are some of the tools I used:
1. Write down your accomplishments every day no matter how big or how small.
Sometimes you will have a huge accomplishment to write down. Other times it might be smaller such as “I took a shower today”. This list is so helpful to remind yourself of all the accomplishments you have already achieved and everything you have overcome so far. This lets you know you are capable of achieving and accomplishing more. It also shows you that the ebbs do not last.
2. Get fun, colorful stickers to put on your calendar for your achievements.
This is such an amazing visual tool to show you all the things you have accomplished. You get to decide what to do to get one or more stickers for the day. I had stars or little stickers for “did my hour of rounds” and “wrote my affirmations”. I used the bigger, more special stickers when I reached a milestone such as eating the cheeseburger for the first time. Seeing all those fun stickers help to lift your spirits.
3. Write down 5 things you are grateful for each day.
This is another great reminder of the good in your life; past and present. Again, these can either be big or small. Some days I was thankful for having a comfortable bed to sleep in. Other days I was thankful for being able to take a half hour walk for the first time again.
4. Watch something funny to shift your mood.
Nothing shifts your mood faster than having a good belly laugh. I enjoyed watching funny animal videos to shift my mood. This always made me feel happier and put a grin on my face.
5. Say positive affirmations either in your head or out loud.
Say positive affirmations either in your head or out loud. Positive affirmations not only rewire your brain to help build new neuropathways of positive thoughts but they also give you hope of what is possible and help you feel happier and more positive. A couple of the ones I used often were “I feel amazing, I feel amazing!” and “I am getting better and better every day in every way.”
6. Give yourself some grace and rest when you really need it.
As you heal, you learn when to push through an ebb and when more relaxation is necessary. If your intuition is telling you it is best to rest, then rest and know that tomorrow is another day and you can go forward then.
I hope these tools help you as much as they helped me. Please remember that the ebbs are only temporary. You will get through them, and you will be back in the flow. You have got this, and I believe in you!
Much love, Teena
You can reach Teena on her Instagram @teena_abuhamdeh and her website www.teena-a.com. Teena is independent from the DNRS program. This blog does not endorse one program or method over another and is for information and inspiration only.