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How to Manage a Chronic Illness

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Being diagnosed with a chronic illness is often a life-changing moment. Knowing how to deal with this news and thinking about how it will impact your life can be challenging. You may be wondering what your next steps should be after the diagnosis. While there is no doubt this is a difficult time in your life, there are ways you can help to make it easier on yourself. Here are some tips that you may find helpful at this challenging time:

Give Yourself Time

You may find that it takes several days or even weeks before you have come to terms with your diagnosis. Needing time to process your feelings and come to terms with your diagnosis is entirely normal, so giving yourself permission to sit with your emotions is a good idea. There is no need to force yourself to feel a certain way; you just need to give yourself time and space.

Seek Support

Sometimes, speaking to people that have been in similar situations or that have experienced the same diagnosis as you can be helpful. Knowing that you are not alone can bring a sense of relief, and you are likely to find it beneficial to hear their experiences. Many illnesses have support groups you can join either in-person or online, so looking into this could be a great way to feel supported at this time.

If the idea of joining a group does not appeal to you, you could consider finding a therapist that can help you. Talking in confidence to a therapist enables you to explore your feelings in more detail, and they should help you process your diagnosis.

Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help

When you are used to being an independent person that does everything yourself, it can be challenging to accept that this may not be possible for a little while and you may need some extra help. Asking for help with household chores and personal care from a stranger may leave you feeling uncomfortable. If so, you can consider an alternative option and use CDPAP. The Consumer Directed Personal Assistance Program enables you to choose your own personal caregiver, which could be a relative or friend (often except for your spouse or parent). Having the freedom to choose who cares for your needs can be a great way to feel more in control of your life following your diagnosis. When you have the power to choose your own carer, you are more likely to feel comfortable about receiving help.

Make Time for Self-Care

Although you may feel like you are constantly thinking and talking about your health, it is still essential to make time for self-care. Giving yourself time to take the best care of yourself will enable you to keep your energy levels high and your health as good as it possibly can be at this time. Putting your needs first and following the medical advice you have been given should make it far easier to manage your condition.

 

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