Being diagnosed with a chronic illness will undoubtedly alter your current state of mind. And even if you have been enduring the symptoms for some time, it may seem like the diagnosis itself has robbed you of your quality of life. While living with a chronic condition is undeniably challenging for anyone, coming to terms with your diagnosis is always the first step towards living well and taking back your life, regardless of your new restrictions.
Whether you have to live with an ostomy bag or have been diagnosed with a chronic illness that affects the mind, such as clinical depression, or have received a cancer diagnosis, these seven tips will help you get back your life.
Cover Your Finances
Healthcare costs can be a burden if you aren’t prepared, and some medical insurance plans don’t cover chronic conditions. So, whether you have medical insurance or not, there is no better time to purchase a suitable plan that will pay for your new healthcare needs. You may find that it’s most affordable to consider a common Medicare supplement coverage that will assist with covering costs that your main insurance plan doesn’t. Now that you have additional healthcare needs, it is best to purchase an additional cover that will ultimately protect your pocket in the long run.
Accept Your Condition
Chronic conditions are forever, and even though there’s no reason you should lose hope that doctors may uncover a cure in the future, for now, you need to accept your condition. Acceptance is the first step towards regaining control of your life, even with your new restrictions. You can yield to your diagnosis and allow it to take over your life, or you can conquer it with acceptance.
Practice Self-Care Often
Self-care is not all spa days and beauty treatments. Contrary to popular belief, self-care is actually putting yourself first and prioritizing your wellbeing. If you feel at ease when reading a good book or enjoying a long bubble bath, you should make time to do the activities that help you destress and unwind.
There are tons of self-care practices out there to consider. While some of them are beauty treatments, you should consider the ones that appeal to you, whether it’s meditation and yoga or a stroll in the park; doing things you enjoy as a means of relaxation will help you regain a positive mindset.
Don’t Leave Your Job
Many individuals who have recently been diagnosed with a chronic condition hand in their resignation letters not long after, believing they are no longer capable of holding down their jobs. Or the fear of not living for much longer appeals as a reason to finally quit that nine to five responsibility. However, it is a better choice to keep working as it will give you a sense of purpose and pride when you need it most. Even if you cannot handle some of your job role responsibilities, you should continue working to hold onto your purpose and ambitions despite your condition.
Cope with Creativity
A practical way to cope with the restrictions of your condition is to get creative, even if you don’t think you have a knack for creativity. Creativity is healing, which is why so many nursing homes and treatment centers incorporate arts and crafts into their programs. You may even discover a new exciting hobby that will give you something to look forward to each day.
Practice Positive Thinking
It’s easy to let a single negative thought spiral out of control, as negativity breeds negativity. Even though you have every reason to feel angry and upset about your diagnosis, negative thinking will only hold you back from a quality life. When it comes to practicing positive thinking, you can start by thinking about everything in your life that hasn’t been altered by your diagnosis, whether it’s your job, your children, or even your pet; you will soon realize that you still have so much in your life to appreciate and be thankful for. Just as negativity breeds negativity, the same is true when it comes to positivity, so all it takes to change your mindset is often one positive thought.
Rely on Your Support System
It’s not uncommon for individuals who have recently been diagnosed with chronic conditions to shut themselves out from their friends and family. However, you need them now more than ever, and there’s no doubt that they will be more than happy to extend their hands and their hearts to help you cope with your condition. Instead of assuming you will burden them, you should speak out and lean on your support system.