Dealing with a chronic illness, especially one that is invisible to others, is a day to day struggle for many people. From living in constant pain to being unable to do a number of everyday tasks, it’s not uncommon for many sufferers of chronic illnesses to wonder if there are any things that they could do in order to make it easier to cope. Thankfully, with the world of technology emerging and medical research becoming more and more advanced, if you suffer from a chronic illness there are a number of things that you could do in order to make coping with the condition easier on yourself. We’ve put together a list of helpful tips and advice which you might find useful.
Be Involved In Your Treatment
Anyone who has had to live with a chronic illness will know that it is stressful, and being actively involved in your treatment plans will help to relieve this stress. Develop relationships with treatment providers, and explore all of the various treatment options that are available to you. You should not be afraid to ask questions regarding your treatment or express an alternative opinion to that of a healthcare provider, as at the end of the day you are the patient who is going to receive that treatment. It is important that you have treatment providers who you are able to trust and whom you know will ensure that your care is a priority. Being involved with your treatment means that you should be able to enquire about or suggest new treatment ideas, such as specific software or apps for health tracking which may benefit you.
Follow a Healthy Diet
Better health is almost always the result of correct nutrition, and although sticking to a healthy diet and an active lifestyle as possible will not normally be able to cure your condition, it’s most certainly able to make you feel better and cope with your illness more effectively. If you have been given special dietary requirements from your treatment provider you should make every effort to follow them, and even if you have not it is a good idea to ensure that you are mindful about the foods that you eat. You should aim to drink plenty of pure, fresh water in order to stay hydrated and flush toxins from your body along with opting for healthier foods.
Accept Your Illness
More often than not, people who are forced to deal with living with a chronic illness every day become depressed, anxious, and down about their situation. This becomes even more apparent when the patient in question is having a hard time accepting their illness, or is becoming a recluse and spending a lot of time holed up at home without interacting much with friends or family. If this sounds like you or you think that you will soon become like this, it is important that you get help as soon as possible. Speaking to a therapist or counsellor will be able to help you accept your illness and work out good strategies to deal with the mental health side of things, whereas support groups are ideal for connecting with people who have lots in common with you and making new friends who’ll be able to help you.
The Power of Positivity
Those suffering from a chronic illness can often and understandably find it difficult to be positive. It is very easy when suffering with a chronic condition to become negative and constantly wonder why you’ve been afflicted with this when others haven’t. This in itself can lead to depression and a number of other mental health issues, which only serve to make your condition and your mood worse. Therapists who work closely with those suffering from chronic illness suggest finding one or two things throughout each day that you can be grateful for, no matter how small or silly you think that it might be. Write these thoughts down in a journal and look back on them when you find it hard to be positive.
Patients who suffer from a chronic illness have often reported that spirituality and faith in a higher power helps them to deal with the everyday obstacles and challenges associated with their illness. Although this may not be for everybody, research has shown that those who have faith and maintain this faith along with being actively involved in a congregation or group tend to suffer from less symptoms, both physically and mentally.
If you’d like to add to this list, we’d love to hear from you in the comments!