Coping with chronic illness can be challenging as it can be tiring, frustrating, and you may feel as if there is no escape. It can be especially hard to grapple with if your life has had to change dramatically. Living with a chronic condition, however, doesn’t mean that you can't live a great life. You will just need to find support around and ways to manage your condition. Some days may be harder than others, but you will get there.
When I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder and depression, I first thought about how I was going to live with depression and what it was going to mean for my future and raising my sons. For the first several years, it was such a hard struggle. I was on or off my meds more times than I can count on both hands and feet. As soon as things would go great, I would stop, and just nose dive into a spiraling catastrophe. Since being diagnosed, I've been able to work on how I go about coping with chronic illness so that my day-to-day living isn't effected as much.
5 TIPS FOR COPING WITH CHRONIC ILLNESS
Talk to friends and family
Opening up to those around you about your worries and frustrations can really help you when coping with chronic illness. There is no point in bottling up those feelings because it will make you feel worse in the long run. If there are people that don’t like listening to your worries, then they are not the people that you need around you. The friends and family that matter, are the ones who will be there to support you when you need it. A group of close friends that you can count on is better than a large group of acquaintances.
Take your medications
If you have been prescribed medication, it is essential that you take it. If you have trouble remembering, you could set an alarm on your phone, and even put your tablets into a pill organiser so that you know when you have taken them. You might also want to learn more about how to register for a medical card so that you can get medical marijuana to help with your condition.
It can be hard to slow down, especially when those around you live fast-paced lives. However, there is no need to feel guilty about taking time to rest, especially when coping with chronic illness. You don’t have to keep up with those around you, going at your own speed and focusing on self-care is good enough. Trying to keep up with others will only make you feel stressed and more exhausted then you need to be.
Find things to be thankful for
When you have to overcome challenges every day, it can become more challenging to stay positive. Actively focusing on being more positive can, however, help to give your mood a boost. Even on days where things seem bad, try to find something that makes you smile, or that you are grateful for. To keep track of them, you could write them down in a journal, and when you have a particularly tough day, you can look back through them to remind yourself that good things do happen.
Discover new likes
There may be things that you can no longer do because of your chronic illness, but instead of focusing on what you can’t do, try and find something new to do. If you can no longer go out running, you might be able to find a new low impact exercise that you can try. You might also try different types of crafting or spend more time reading or writing. Just because you can’t do something that you used to love, doesn’t mean that you can’t find something else that you love just as much.