Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Become an Action Hero

It would be great if we could get a call on a special phone, go into a closet and come out with a new and improved persona.  If nothing else we’d get great costumes.  You may not have a secret identity, but you can become an action hero.  Becoming an action hero requires that you stop thinking and start doing.  It’s not enough to think about the changes you want to make in your life and start doing it…take baby steps if necessary but don’t be stuck in analysis paralysis.

Small changes can make a big difference.  If you’re looking at changing your eating habits and the idea of a diet (to improve coronary function, reduce cholesterol, reverse diabetes) then start modifying your food choices.  Men’s Health Magazine always has a feature titled “Eat this, not that”.  They will often compare similar food items and tell you which is the better choice.  Having the information, not calling it a diet and feeling a sense of control improves your chances at making long term modification and healthier choices.

For exercise maybe you don’t have to go to the gym.  Bob, the trainer on “The Biggest Loser” recommends that when you go to the store or mall, park as far as possible from your destination and walk.  This doesn’t require long-term gym memberships or expensive equipment, it takes being conscious of where you park.

When it comes to rest many stopped taking naps when they were babies.  Let me tell you how I feel about naps.  I believe they are one of the most self-indulgent actions on the planet and I fully support them.  Now it may not be possible to take a nap during the week, but look at the weekends.  The truth is you can’t ever make up for lost sleep.  Sleep is a perishable commodity, once it’s gone it can never be recovered.  But you can give yourself the advantages that come with sleep, like rejuvenating your body, giving yourself the opportunity to reduce stress and anxiety and to renew your enthusiasm for the day.

Small actions can have big results.  Change is difficult and if you take it in small steps the big actions are sure to follow.  If you need encouragement create an Avatar (comic like character) with you as a superhero, print it out and marvel at all you can accomplish.


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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