How To Cope When You’re Diagnosed With A Chronic Illness
Combatting the stress of living with a long-term health condition.
It’s safe to say that the Covid-19 pandemic has put the importance of health into perspective. With a lack of face-to-face GP appointments over the past 18 months, and many conditions being left untreated - health has never been at the forefront of our minds like it is now.
With that being said, if you’ve recently been diagnosed with a chronic health condition, you’re probably experiencing all sorts of emotions. You may be relieved to finally have some clarity on what’s been making you unwell, or you might feel so overwhelmed that you haven’t even come to terms with the diagnosis yet.
First things first - it’s completely normal to feel frightened and anxious following distressing news about your health. Not to worry though – here is our go-to-guide for coping with a chronic condition in the early stages of diagnosis, so you can withstand limitations and live life to the full.
Knowledge Is Power
While learning that you have a long-term illness is an incredibly daunting experience, it’s important that you educate yourself on all there is to know about your condition.
The more you understand - the good and the bad – the better equipped you will be to deal with any
future challenges that come with your illness.
So, don’t shy away from the resources that you have available - make use of the reliable, accurate information that is out there, and we promise you’ll feel better for it.
Identify Your Support Network
When coming to terms with a long-term health condition, it’s imperative that you surround yourself with people who will provide support, guidance, and encouragement.
Whether it be a few close friends or a specific family member, ensure that you have a go-to person who you can confide in, for when you’re feeling low and need a pick-me-up.
You can also reach out to support groups online via social media – whether it be meeting volunteers from respective charities, phoning into a helpline, or simply chatting to someone that’s going through the same thing. These are all steps that you can take which will do wonders for your emotional well-being.
Don’t Stress About What You Can’t Control
Now, of course you’re going to feel anxious – you’re dealing with a potentially life-changing illness that is going to affect you in ways that you hadn’t accounted for. However, remember to keep things in perspective.
Whether it be concerns about medication, or what your health journey will entail from this point on – try not to overthink the process.
Take each day as it comes and focus on living in the present, rather than pre-empting the future. The more that you accept your situation and focus on the positives, the better your mindset will be overall.
Be Kind To Yourself
When receiving news like this, you must take the time to respect your self-care and look after yourself – first and foremost.
You might have social events coming up that you need to cancel, or friends that you might need to put off seeing for a while – but that’s okay.
It’s so important that you honor your own needs first, before trying to live up to everyone else’s expectations of you, pre-diagnosis.
There is no doubt that your life will have changed in some way, and the ones that really care about you will adapt to work around you.
While these top-tips are not a full-proof strategy for coping with a chronic illness – they provide a solid foundation that you can build on and apply to your daily life.
Stay strong and always try to find the silver-lining – you got this.
In case you missed it, How To Spot The Signs Of Burnout And Prevent It In The Future