Living with chronic illness can be a daily challenge. When you can’t perform various tasks as simply as you once could, it can be tempting to sink into a puddle of self-pity. Here are some tips to help manage daily life with a chronic illness:
1) Accept Your Pain
Acceptance is the first and the most important step in managing your chronic pain. Acceptance is not about giving up but recognizing that you need to take more control with regards to how you can better manage your pain. Observe your body. Notice what seems to ease or exacerbate your symptoms. Use a notebook or calendar to record insights that might help you manage your symptoms. Share your notes with your doctor so that your healthcare team knows exactly how your condition affects you.
2) Take Care of Yourself
When dealing with chronic pain, it can be tough to remember self care basics like getting regular sleep, nourishment, and exercise. But taking good care of yourself can help you make the most of life. Self-care puts you in control and improves your overall quality of life.
3) Reach Out
Living with a long-term condition is difficult, and there’s no reason you should have to go through it alone! Find out if there are support groups in your community you could join. There you could meet friends who are going through the same things you are. They may even have suggestions of their own about how to manage your specific diagnosis.
4) Set Regular Goals
Chronic illness is no excuse to stop setting regular goals for yourself. You could set yourself a simple hourly, daily or weekly action plan. Always ask for help from your health care professional if you are not sure what you can and can’t handle.
5) Understand Your Condition
When you’re living with a long-term condition, it’s helpful to learn everything you can about your symptoms and treatment options. Ask your doctor specific questions about your condition, but don’t stop there. You have the entire internet at your disposal—go nuts!
6) Be Patient
Take things slowly. It may take you a few weeks or months to see changes or improvements. When you start to feel good, you may be tempted to jump into things you’re not yet ready for.
Life with a long-term condition isn’t a picnic, but with acceptance, self-care, support, regular goal-setting, an understanding of your condition, and patience, you can live a full and satisfying life.