One of the worst times in anyone’s life is when they are told they are suffering from a lifelong disease. This is not the kind of news that anyone ever wants to hear. But if you are told this, your most important concern will be to try to find a way to deal with it as best you can. To find a new normal.
The truth is this can take some effort – it can take a long time to even get used to the situation, let alone work out what your next steps are. But if you are in this process at the moment, we hope that the following information will help you get a better sense of what you need to do next.
Action Steps For Living With A Chronic Illness
1. Gather Your Support Network
No matter what it is that you are diagnosed with, you will need a support system to get through it. In some instances, you might need people to help you with even fundamental self-care issues. For others with other illnesses, it could simply be a case of needing a little emotional support from your family.
Whatever it is that you need, it’s essential to work it out and gather everyone together to fully appreciate the enormity of what is going on. If you think you will need some kind of home care, then you should have that arranged as soon as possible. If you need financial help at all, then get the ball rolling there.
Looking to your support network early on will make sure that you do not worry unduly – and that’s important for your state of mind.
2. Keep Your Mindset Straight
One of the toughest challenges here is ensuring that you keep your emotions in check. It is a good idea to work towards accepting your illness, so it’s essential to feel your emotions fully from the start. But you need to find ways to deal with the inevitable emotional backlash of the diagnosis, as this might take some time to recover within you.
Again, this is a situation where having a good support network can really help, so make sure you feel comfortable and safe expressing yourself to those people around you. Keep your head straight, and you will find it makes it easier to deal with – even if you have fears about the future as well.
3. Prepare For The Future
It is likely that your life is about to change in some profound ways. The more prepared you are for those changes, the more likely it is you will be able to cope with them head-on when they arise. Change is inherent to life, but especially when you have a serious ongoing medical condition.
It is likely that your workload will change, your love life will change, your social life will change. Know that this is normal. You are not alone. It’s a good idea to try to accept this as early as you can so that you can then work towards doing what you can with what you have.
Also, be encouraged that many people with chronic illness say that going through the struggles taught them valuable life lessons. It caused them to reflect on their priorities and spend more time with family and friends, or pursue interests they didn’t make time for before.
Do you or someone you love have a chronic illness? What tips can you share that could help someone who has just been diagnosed with a chronic condition?
Share your thoughts below.
For more on chronic illness, you may want to check out:
- Best Superfoods For Spoonies: Chronic Illness Symptom Relief
- Spring Break Adventures With The Family And Tips For Traveling With Chronic Illness
- 7 Tips For Coping With Chronic Illness
- Chronic Illness: What’s A Spoonie Anyway?
- Living With Disease In The Modern World: A Hard (& Busy) Life
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