Life can be tough enough without adding a chronic health condition to the mix. Trust me, I know how hard it is to wake up every day feeling sick and out of control. Though there are things you can do to feel better, sometimes, there is nothing that makes a significant difference. That’s why I compiled these tips to help you successfully navigate chronic illness.
Let Yourself Feel Everything
It might seem counterintuitive to feel negative or lost, but allowing all feelings about your health to surface helps to process trauma and grief that come with the chronic illness territory. Holding things in can actually create more instability in your body, mind, and spirit. Being self-aware about your situation makes it much easier to process what you can do and what you can’t to change it. There are days when I have not wanted to live but also days when I am grateful for everything in my life. This stark contrast is not only human but allows us to see our strengths and weaknesses as valid parts of who we are and act accordingly.
If you struggle with processing your emotions, try journaling or talking with a trusted friend or family member. Better yet, join a community of people that share a similar situation to yours. It helps to know that you are not alone. Not to mention, it is productive to listen to others share their wisdom and tips to manage and cope with their illness.
Focus on What You Can Do, Not What You Can’t
When your health is challenged by chronic illness, you grieve the person you used to be. Though there is nothing wrong with this, it can become overwhelming and create more pain. This happens when you focus on all the things you can’t do anymore. I’ve had to remind myself to think more about what I can do. Yeah, it can be easier said than done.
The goal is to find a new normal that fulfills who you are right now and who you want to be. Letting go of the past serves by helping you realize that you are valuable and perfect just the way you are. Illness doesn’t change this fact even if you don’t feel the same or perform as you used to.
Have Effective Coping Strategies
Developing effective coping strategies for difficult problems associated with chronic illness is a process that requires patience and time. What works for one person might not work for you. It’s really a trial and error kind of thing that is all about you and your specific situation. For instance, many people receive counseling and find that it helps. Also, depending on the nature of the health problem and its cause, you might need to contact accomplished personal injury attorneys to get financial assistance. For example, my health issues were caused by a moldy house we rented. This warranted getting legal advice.
Whatever you do, try to avoid negative coping strategies like alcohol, drugs, and overeating. I know it can be hard, especially if the illness brings overwhelming physical and emotional pain. Getting relief at any cost is common, but, remember, it doesn’t serve you in the long run.
Keep Your Routine
Sticking to a routine can also help you feel somewhat in control of your life. This is even more helpful if your routine serves your overall health with positive actions. I do know that chronic illness often adds a laundry list of activities that weren’t present before. Things like taking supplements, doctor appointments, and doing therapies all have to be added to the schedule. This can feel invasive at first, but if it helps you to get better or feel better, do what you can to keep going. Sometimes, I feel like being sick is a full-time job, but it all pans out with focus and being more efficient.
Spend Time on Meaningful Projects
Unfortunately, being chronically ill is a reminder that we are fragile and won’t be here forever. Therefore, it’s important to use your time wisely and accomplish the things that make you feel alive and happy. Spend time on meaningful projects and pursue them as intensely as you can. Do things that make a difference to your life and the lives of the people around you. Don’t settle for anything less than fulfillment. Being productive even if it’s something small can make more difference than you might think. Remember, reward yourself for a job well done when you accomplish anything.
**** This post is strictly informational and is not meant to replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Women’s lifelink, its owners, administrators, contributors, affiliates, vendors, authors, and editors do not claim that this information will diagnose, treat, or improve any condition or disease.