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What People With Ostomies Want You To Know

What People With Ostomies Want You To Know

Chances are you have heard of someone living with an ostomy, you just did not know that is what it is called. An ostomy is a surgery that involves creating an opening that links someone’s urinary or digestive systems to an outside source, like a bag.

People might have ostomies for different reasons. They may also have different kinds of procedures. But the thing that brings people together is that there are some things that they want you to know about what it’s like to have an ostomy.

There is no shame in carrying a bag

Unless you suffer from an issue with your bowels, you might find it difficult to talk about your bowels. You might have been told that it is impolite when you were a child. You might have been told that it is just a bit gross. But the reality is, carrying an ostomy bag is nothing to be ashamed of.

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One of the hardest parts of having an ostomy is in the beginning after you’ve just had the surgery. It is a life change that some people have a hard time coming to terms with. But when they have support from their community, it is easier to realize that there is no shame in carrying a bag. Waste is a fact of life!

Ostomies do not change you, just how you remove waste

You might not talk about it at the dinner table, but every single person on this planet removes waste somehow. The President of the United States, Hollywood celebrities and your great aunt all have to do it sometime. People with ostomies remove waste too. They just do it a bit differently.

Having an ostomy can be a life changing experience. It can make people more comfortable and relieve so much pain. But it doesn’t change who they are.

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They are the same person that they were before they had the surgery. They have the same hopes, fears, dreams and sense of humor. The only difference is that now they can go out their daily lives with a similar level of comfort to what you already enjoy.

People with ostomies don’t mind talking about it

If you have never had issues with your bowel movements, you probably don’t talk about them. But for those who have had the misfortune of inheriting bowels that do not work quite the way they should, they used to talking about it. They talk about it with their doctors, their parents, their partners and with other people if they have to.

People with ostomies do always not mind being asked direct questions about their experiences. In fact, they prefer it. The more comfortable people around them are, the less stigma is attached to the bag. This is better for everyone.

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Do keep in mind that some people might think this is a private matter. Make sure that you read social cues before pressing on with this. Ostomy or not, not everyone likes to share!

Anyone can have an ostomy

Some people believe that it is only the elderly that have ostomies, but this is a myth! Even young children can need an ostomy.

Inflammatory bowel disease is one of the most common digestive diseases. It can affect anyone from the age of 10 on up. Lots of people who have Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis also end up having these procedures as well.

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It doesn’t mean your life is over; it is just beginning

Having an ostomy is not something that people choose to have. It is often a procedure that happens when little else is working. But that does not mean that their lives are over. In fact, it means the opposite. For many people with ostomies, it means their life can finally begin.

There are some things that might have to change after the procedure. But these changes are as unique as the person carrying the bag. In fact, having an ostomy does not have to stop people from doing anything they want to do. As mentioned before, they still have the same hopes and dreams!

Unfortunately, some people sometimes start to have issues with self-esteem and turn to social media, going on a binge collecting Twitter followers. It’s not surprising that your confidence might take a hit if you have been sick for a while. This is why it is important for you to talk to people about their ostomies. Even if they’re feeling sad, you can remind them that now they have an opportunity to live a life that is more comfortable than before.

There are a lot of things that people with ostomies want you to know. The best thing you can do to support someone with an ostomy. The best thing you can do is to not treat them any differently than you did before.

Featured photo credit: Miss Shari via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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