By Krystina –
Hindsight is 20/20 and sometimes it’s so much easier to see things clearer once we have lived through them. When it comes to any illness, it can seem to be an impossible feat when beginning the climb towards living with your new chronic medical situation.
After spending many days at war with myself over how to combat my symptoms, I realized a lot of the reasons I was having such a tough time was that the very word, ‘combat’ loomed over me. I was trying to fight my circumstances rather than embrace a new way of living.
Even though it may feel like you’re giving up at first, learning to accept and compromise with your situation is the most important first step in taking care of yourself, not just your health.
Here are some points that I have found invaluable in appreciating my life with chronic illness.
1. Your Symptoms Are Real.
Don’t disregard what your body is telling you. Symptoms only turn into anxiety over time if you let them, which can cause fatigue and stress, and could even result in making your symptoms worse. Become mindful of what you feel, but don’t let it completely overtake you.
2. Get A Second Opinion.
One doctor is just one opinion. Be confident in seeking further doctors and further advice. You know your body better than anyone else, so if you feel you’re not being treated properly or something is going unnoticed or undiagnosed, just head over to a new doctor.
3. Allow Others To Help You.
Allowing assistance from other is not giving in. It will help you and those around you every day in understanding how your illness works if you let them in. Sometimes there’s safety in numbers.
4. Take Time To Recuperate.
Dealing with any illness can be exhausting both physically and mentally. It’s important to allow time for YOU. Saying “no” is okay when you need to rest.
5. Accept Your Situation.
It can be extremely difficult to come to terms with the fact that your life may be different than others now that you’ve got a chronic illness. But guess what? Everyone is different! You can empower yourself by telling your story or advocating.
6. Plan Your Days.
Use a planner, diary, or calendar to plan your days around your illness. If you take care, incorporating your illness into every day will become second nature, making it easier to plan self care and manage your symptoms. Routine doesn’t have to be boring,
7. Establish a Self Care Routine.
Whether it be a night-time wind down, 5 minutes of morning meditation, or some time with a friend, creating a routine of care for only you is not selfish; it will help you better understand your symptoms and ways of dealing with them.
These points may seem simple, but when you’re in the middle of difficult times, it’s important to establish and keep the simple things in place. It will make it so much easier for you to get to grips with your symptoms, and take care of you.