When it comes to living with incontinence, there’s plenty of info available about practical steps you can take to live well even with a little leaking. Throughout the FitRight Fresh Start website, you’ll find articles about everything from managing incontinence stress to helping prevent odor to helping get a better night’s sleep.
Understanding and addressing these factors certainly can help reduce the stress of living with incontinence. What’s also important, however, is to remember the real, feeling person who is in the midst of working to manage it. That person—you—needs to prioritize taking care of your overall wellbeing. There’s a lot more to life than leaks!
We’re not going to pretend that living with leaks doesn’t cause stress. It’s important to recognize that incontinence often puts a strain on our personal relationships and can impact our self-esteem. All the more reason why it’s important to put self-care at the top of your priority list.
So how should you get started on your self-care journey? The specifics are yours to discover, but research has revealed some affirmative changes worth applying to any personal self-care strategy:
Set realistic expectations
You might want to improve your diet by eating foods that benefit bladder health, spend time strengthening your pelvic floor or incorporate some fresh ideas into your daily routine to boost your leak-fighting power. Just remember that change doesn’t happen overnight, and that you have access to plenty of information, support and strategies to help you live your best life, no matter how your bladder is acting day by day.
It’s a challenge, but with some consistent mental practice you can commit to taking a more positive approach to living with bladder leaks. The right mindset is a major factor when it comes to doing well with any lifestyle change. It won’t happen overnight, but the right attitude will absolutely help make good things happen. There are sure to be frustrating days, but don’t let those overshadow your long-term determination to live your best life despite a little leak now and then.
Wherever you decide to start, go easy on yourself, and expect change to take a little time. Challenging yourself to be perfect every day from day one is a surefire path to frustration. Taking satisfaction in slow progress over the long haul and acknowledging steady improvement in how you live means a greater chance of success.
Remember you’re not alone
Plenty of mental health experts remind us that thinking we are alone in facing a challenge is all too common. Looking for validation and inspiration? You don’t need to look any further to realize there are tens of thousands of women just like you determined to live a full and fulfilling life—even if they must manage a little leaking.
Literally! Low-impact exercise, like a morning walk or evening bike ride, is a great way to help shed pounds, reduce stress and encourage better sleep—all factors that can contribute to a more leak-free life. And as you Kegel your way to a stronger pelvic floor, you can consider more energetic pursuits like dancing, resistance weight training or yoga.
Caring for yourself ultimately means never forgetting that you are always going to be worth the effort. To give that real muscle, keep reminding yourself: