Many people with chronic illnesses have a complicated diagnosis, battle with plenty of pain every day and struggle with fatigue. They spend a lot of time researching their illness, understanding it and trying to change it to the point where they stop believing they will ever get the change to live a normal life again.
Living a happy and fulfilled life with chronic illness is more than possible. While everyone has their own way of dealing with their condition, here are a few things that helped many people live a quality life.
Accept your diagnosis
Getting the diagnosis is one of the scariest parts of the whole chronic illness deal and your first instinct might be to take it with fear and denial. However, this approach will definitely take a toll on your mental and physical health. Once you truly start to accept your diagnosis, you will be able to move beyond it and focus on different levels of your wellness. Remember, your goal is to thrive despite your condition, not just survive.
Realize that you’re not your disease
Your disease is not all there is to you. You’re a friend, partner, parent, child, boss or employee, mentor and so much more! Sure, your chronic illness is a big part of your life, but don’t let it take over your identity and change who you are fundamentally.
You probably heard of mindfulness lately—the word is everywhere and for all the right reasons. Practicing mindfulness means turning your attention (very consciously and carefully) towards experiences of the now and here. With mindfulness, you can observe and analyze your illness in a way that will allow you to find peace. It will also arm you with skills that allow you to respond to negative emotions and identify stressors that often trigger physical responses. Whit practice, you can learn to identify and stop negative thoughts, acknowledge them and let them go!
Don’t give up on things that make you happy
You might think that your traveling days are over now that your health has deteriorated, but that’s far from the truth. What you need is a good organization and you can travel the globe! Make sure to book everything in advance—your accommodation, tours and therapies. For instance, if you’ve always wanted to see Greece, start planning in advance to get your desired accommodation. Greece is a country with good medical experts, so you can also book your treatments there too. Plus, booking your holiday dialysis in Greeceis very easy and practical and everything can be done online. With some good planning and a few clicks on the Internet, you can organize a wonderful vacation that will make you forget all about your chronic illness. The same goes for other things that make you happy! With a few tweaks, you can still enjoy them as you used to before your diagnosis.
Boost your self-care
You had zero control over your diagnosis or your symptoms, but don’t think that everything concerning your illness is out of your reach. There are aspects of it that can be improved with your efforts—with diet, exercise, meditation and stress reduction. So, don’t hesitate to be confident and proactive with self-care—your quality of life depends on it!
You might not want to waste any time you have left on spending days in bed, napping and resting. However, if you push yourself too hard, you’re just risking ending up in a hospital! That’s much worse than taking a single day off or skipping an event. The best thing you can do is manage your day correctly—prioritize your rest and you’ll have more energy for all the activities you want to engage in later.
Find your silver lining
Every part of life we experience holds some kind of value, even the bad parts. Many people say that being diagnosed made them a more emotional, kind and sympathetic person. Others say that they developed much healthier boundaries, learned to let go of toxic habits, behaviors and people and realized the truly important things in life. There are always reasons to be grateful, you just have to find yours.
Never give up
Getting the right diagnosis can take endless doctors’ visits and years of tests. Sometimes, when you find yourself at the doctor’s office for the third time that week, you want to just give up and embrace the life of bitterness and delusion. On top of that, you have medical insurers who additionally wear you down in hopes that you’ll give up your appeal. However, you must keep your determination and push forward to find compassionate experts and get all the benefits you’re entitled to. That’s always worth fighting for!
While your time on this planet might be limited, there’s no reason to throw in the towel. While you can’t do everything you used to do, with a few adjustments and a good plan, you can have a quality life and exceed everyone’s expectations. Positive outlook and proper self-care can really birth miracles!