7 Coping Strategies to Live with a Chronic Illness

dis-6Illnesses are everywhere. If you have a flu, it’s a sickness. If you have a slight pain in your leg, it’s also an infirmity. The good news about these types of illnesses is that with time, you feel better. And you feel like your real self again. On the other hand, there are chronic ailments or chronic diseases which are very pernicious and difficult to cure. These are situations where people don’t recover. They remain with the person that has it for ages.

Chronic illnesses can be tough to handle. If you are recently diagnosed of a disease that is chronic, it is not the end of the world. There are strategies you can adopt to cope with it. After all, nobody could manage chronic illnesses in the past decades. The person diagnosed with it just exists and stops living. You don’t have to let the diagnosis be the end of the world for you. You can still live a fruitful and fulfilling life. Here are some strategies you can employ to live with a chronic illness:

Live Healthily: Maintaining a great and healthy lifestyle is the first coping strategy to live with an illness. If your doctor has made a diagnosis, expect your life to change dramatically. Depending on the kinds of diseases, your body has a possibility of changing too. A way to avoid looking in the mirror and not liking what you see is to eat healthily and cut out some specific unhealthy habits like smoking. Some chronic illnesses happen because you refuse to listen to your physician’s recommendations or because you failed to use your medications at the appropriate time.

You should also look into starting a workout regime. However, a question that might be on your mind is, will exercise not make my condition worse? No, it most certainly will not. You cannot start working out today and expect to be lifting 10 pounds of weight or running for one hour. You need to start slowly and at your own pace. Know when your body is tired and stop. Don’t forget to speak with your healthcare provider, especially if you have breathing problems. Invest in your body. Invest in your life. It will pay you generous profits.

Accept Your Condition: Chronic ailments can take a lot out of you. It can weaken you and make you question your existence in life. However, if you condition your mind to accept the state, you are already on your way to successfully coping with the illness. Acceptance in this regard doesn’t mean you feel hopeless. It doesn’t suggest you live in denial. It means you know you have an illness that is probably life-threatening and that might affect you a couple of times. Condition your mind to accept and acknowledge your health status. And you will be surprised by how your health will improve considerably.

Manage Your Emotions: Some chronic illnesses can be quite stressful to handle. It might involve going to the hospital often. It might mean taking a lot of medications. These activities can elicit feelings of anger, depression, sadness, rage, anxiety or frustration. Another fact is that you have to manage the emotions before it consumes you and drain away your energy. Bad feelings can make you say things you wish you could take back. They can make you take some actions you ordinarily will not take. They can make you lose the support of care of friends or family. In your illness, you will need all the help you can get. So, be emotionally intelligent.

Ask Questions and Seek Help: Your doctor or healthcare provider is the person that made the diagnosis. Why will you not look for more information from him? Why will you not ask for clarification on the illness? Illnesses can stress us out. Chronic diseases, on the other hand, can be overwhelming. Ask questions from your doctor in areas which you don’t understand. The Internet or the library can be quite useful to you in doing your research. Knowing more about the disease keeps you up to date. There’s absolutely nothing that can take you by surprise if you do your thorough investigation. Also, learn to listen to your body. Immediately you feel or sense something different, seek help. Doing that can save a bad situation from becoming worse.

Be Consistent with Medications: A lot of illnesses require medication for everyday survival. A strategy to cope with this is to be consistent with your medications. Your doctor prescribes them to you for a reason. So, use them always. Don’t skip a drug meant for a particular time. You might experience the consequence later on.

Talk to Other People: Human beings depend on each other for survival. Don’t isolate yourself because you have a chronic illness. There are people out there that have experienced worse situations more than you do. Join a support group in your area. You can even start one if there’s none in your locality. You might be shocked at the number of people that will sign up.

Get Support from Family and Friends: Seeking support is another strategy you can employ. For instance, if you have been told by your doctor to stop smoking, you can get your family and friend on board to quit smoking too. If you know you have their support; it can go a long way in coping with an illness.

Bottom Line

With these strategies, we do not promise a bed of roses. We are not promising that you will feel perfectly better instantly. We are not promising that you won’t have bad days if you implement the tips mentioned above. However, adopting these strategies will help you cope better with any illness. Just have in mind these three facts: You still have a life to live. You still have people that look up to you. And you still have people that love you.

Photo Credit: Fibro2010