Discovering you have a chronic disease is devastating. Living with it is even more challenging. But then, the earlier you come to terms with your health condition, the better. If a chronic disease is appropriately managed, you can lead a normal life and enjoy life like a ‘healthy’ person.
When you’re diagnosed with a chronic illness, your life changes, and you have to learn to live a new life. You have to learn to live the ‘new normal’ life. Below are tips to prepare and live a better life when you have a chronic health condition.
Seek help from family and friends
Turning to your family and friends for support is one way of managing a chronic disease. You’ll need emotional support from your loved ones once you’re diagnosed with a chronic illness. They are the pillars that will make your life easier in times of hardship and uncertainty.
Sometimes, support isn’t limited to family and friends. There are several online forums where you can find inspiration, especially from people living with similar life conditions. However, this shouldn’t be a substitute for real love and affection from family and friends.
Planning ahead, when you have a health condition, can be overwhelming. In this regard, planning means seeking flexibility, and getting prepared to embrace the new life. Below are ways you can adjust to manage a chronic illness.
Get your medical supplies and equipment
If you’re living with a chronic illness, there are pretty high chances that you’re going to choose home-based care at some point.
Depending on the illness, there are medical equipment, support services, and medical supplies you’ll need to live a bearable life. All these are manageable and shouldn’t be a cause for concern.
More often, your doctor/nurse will recommend the medication and other home-based care services, so you won’t have to gamble with your health. You will, however, be required to acquire certain essentials on your own.
Medical waste disposal containers, for example, are necessary to ensure safety in your home. All chronic illness patients should plan for a steady supply of biohazard containers that can be used safely with sharps, needles, IV catheters, etc. Click here to check the different types of medical waste disposal containers.
Prepare for inconveniences
When living a healthy life, we can face some challenges without necessarily feeling “inconvenienced.” Power outage, for example, is something we can learn to live with. This isn’t the case for someone living with a chronic condition. Finding a back-power supply, such as a generator or battery, can be a great and inexpensive solution.
You can also choose to relocate to a new home that’s connected to a reliable transport system. This will make it easier to access medical services in case of an emergency. Anything that will compromise the state of your health is an inconvenience, and you’ll need to find a way of fixing it.
Work on yourself
Working on yourself, or putting yourself first, isn’t selfish. It’s a necessary and sufficient condition for being human. It’s the first and often overlooked step to putting anybody else before your own needs.
Maybe you’re thinking, it’s already too late to get your life back on track, but that’s actually not true. We all face some kind of hardships but at different levels. Being diagnosed with a chronic illness can affect the way you look at things. You can feel helpless and unmotivated to pursue any of your life goals. This is normal and a crucial step to coming to terms with the “new life.”
Finding a way to make your time productive or finding something to live for will go a long way in improving the quality of life. There are several ways you can work on yourself and find that inner peace and a sense of purpose.
Below are a few practical ways you can work on yourself, and embrace living with a chronic disease.
A healthy diet is an effective way to keep your body strong and healthy. Besides eating a balanced diet, you’d want to follow a specific dietary schedule that will work best for your health and nutritional needs.
This article covers everything about eating healthy with a chronic illness. A great dietary schedule is fully personalized to include all your favorite meals while keeping it within the healthy limits. Drinking plenty of water is also part of healthy eating, which is crucial in keeping your body in shape.
There are a lot of reasons as to why meditation is an essential aspect of happy living. Mindfulness is a common term used to describe the state of “living in the moment.”
Meditation is all about paying attention to our physical and mental conditions and letting things fall into place. It’s acknowledging the things we can’t change and embracing everything happening at that very moment.
You can practice meditating alone or with a friend. In the process, try to relax and let yourself sink in your own frequency. Seek to respond naturally to emotions that often hijack the mind, and identify those stressful thought patterns. This process doesn’t need to feel right every time.
Allow thoughts to flow naturally, and with practice, you can learn to catch those stories that work against your well-being. This way, you can mindfully let them go and live a free, stress-free life.
If you’re struggling with a chronic illness,meditation will help bring you to peace with the current situation. You can personalize the experience either inside or outside the practice of formal meditation.
Working out is a critical ingredient to keeping healthy. Physical exercises won’t only improve your health, but also boost your immunity from certain diseases. If you’re already living with a chronic illness, your health can easily be compromised. Exercising regularly will give the body the much-needed support, so it can fight off other disease-causing agents.
Working out will also keep your body in shape. It will elevate your energy levels while keeping you happier and healthier by the day. If you’re the type who struggles with sleepless nights, you might want to give exercise a try. There are several low-intensity exercises to suit your unique needs.
Not all types of workouts will be your cup of tea. You should be aware of the kind of discomfort to expect during and after the workout, as well as tips for minimizing the pain. While all exercises are considered safe when done correctly, aerobics and body weight training could be your best bet.
Starting a routine exercise is easy, but keeping up with the schedule can be tough. To make things a bit easier, consider exercising with a close friend or family member. You might also want to ask your doctor to recommend a productive exercise program for your specific health condition.
To stay up for the task, choose those activities that are fun and engaging, such as occasional hikes instead of a strict morning jog. You can set realistic goals and celebrate small success along the way.
Learn new things or explore your hobbies
Learning new things isn’t only inspiring but quite adventurous. Imagine learning to play the piano or taking a new cooking class. All these may seem insignificant but are a great pastime for many people.
Learning new activities have been associated with high dopamine levels. The latter is an essential part of the brain’s reward system and has a massive impact on how we feel and respond to situations. All you need to do is figure out what makes you happy and build your hobbies from there.
Give back to society
Perhaps, something you should be doing already is giving back to the immediate society. Life has a way of making us feel good when we share the little we have with the less fortunate. It’s a sort of internal gratification that we often seek to satisfy along life’s journey.
Volunteering is one way of giving back to society. You can choose to volunteer in a nearby food bank or run your charity campaign. It doesn’t need to be anything complicated, provided you enjoy doing it, and people are benefiting from your efforts.
Another benefit of giving back is that you get to widen your network. You get to interact with other people, share your ideas, and even build healthy relationships. This gives you a base where you can find genuine people who understand your conditions, and ready to help in case you’re in need.
Living with a chronic condition isn’t a life sentence. Embracing the right mentality, getting ready in advance, and working on yourself is all you need to live the “new normal life.”
If you’re going to implement all these tips, you’ll have an easy time accepting your health condition. You’ll proceed to conquer all the life challenges, live a happy life, and even help others along the way.