Coping With A Chronic Illness
Everyday life can wear you down. This is especially true if you are someone living with a chronic medical illness. Going to work, caring for your family, going grocery shopping, cooking dinner and all the other daily tasks that we have to tend to, not to mention handling your medical condition, can leave you totally depleted.
Unlike people that aren’t living with a chronic medical illness, you probably fill your time with doctors appointments and medical treatments while trying your hardest to stay healthy and centered.
You are overwhelmed and exhausted
Are You Thriving or Surviving?
Surviving is doing only what you need to merely exist. When you get into a boring routine and just go through the motions of life without getting excited about anything, you are surviving.
Pure survival happens when you are managing pain or chronic illness that has created a change in your life which in turn prevents you from engaging in your life the way you did prior to the illness. It happens when managing an illness prevents you from doing the things that you enjoy. This can lead to feelings of sadness or even depression.
On the other hand, when you are thriving, you have control over the happiness and enjoyment that you experience everyday. You are able to have fun and do the things that you want to do. You have the freedom and confidence to make decisions about your life and feel confident while doing it.
If you are thriving, you are better equipped at maintaining a stable mindset and mood if you hit a bump on the road of life. Thriving doesn’t mean that you’ll never have challenges or things will never go wrong. Things eventually go wrong, But when they do, you will be able to face them like a pro!
Learn the best ways to cope with a chronic medical illness
- Practice being calm
Be mindful about when you may be running around and jamming too much into one day. It’s easy to become overwhelmed and dip into survival mode so you can check everything off your to-do list. Trying to maximize your day and rush between activities can increase anxiety which can eventually backfire on you and your health. Taking a quiet moment to just sit and be and check in with yourself can help you step into that thriving state.
2. Move your body
Getting in some bodily movement every day is a great way to boost your mood and make you feel happy. The blood flow and breathing that accompanies moving your body is invigorating and proven to have lasting positive effects.
3. Do something fun
One of the most important things that you can do to start thriving in your life is to do something fun. I know that this may be easier said than done being that you are trying to manage a chronic medical illness which might make it challenging for you to enjoy your favorite things. But if you give it a try and make the effort, you’ll see that it will revive your love for life.
You can choose simple things to do like go to the movies, be in nature, getting together with an old friend, eating a favorite food or going to a new place. Think about the things that once brought you the most joy. Whatever it is, be playful, creative and incorporate humor.
4. Explore therapy
Finally, many people who have a chronic medical illness could benefit from speaking to a therapist. Meeting with a therapist who is trained and experienced in helping people who have a chronic medical illness can help.
Therapy can help you express how you feel about your situation and develop coping skills to help keep you thriving.
If you feel like your daily functioning is being strongly impacted by a chronic medical illness and you are ready to make a change in your life and start thriving, I can help with chronic medical illness counseling.
I offer in person and virtual therapy sessions- let’s do what’s best for you. If you are interested in speaking to me to see if we would be a good fit, please reach out. Contact me to schedule a complementary 15 minute phone consultation. I look forward to hearing from you.