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Moving Forward With a Chronic Illness

(Exercising Your Mind) By Cameron Ward

Chronic conditions include things like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. Being diagnosed with these or any other chronic illness is a devastating turn of events that can stop you in your tracks. But you do not have to let your illness keep you from living your life. Today, Wealth Attraction Research touches on some things you can do if you’ve been diagnosed with a chronic condition and want to move forward.

Start With Knowledge

This is one situation where knowledge truly is power. Once you recover from the initial shock, talk with your doctor about the implications of your disease or condition. While your primary health care provider is likely not an expert in all diseases, they can put you on the right track and point you in the direction of a specialist. Further, your doctor might be able to provide you with literature, pamphlets, and other resources. If you choose to do research on your own, make sure that you use a reliable source. According to the Children’s Hospital of Chicago, these include MEDLINEplus, the CDC, the Mayo Clinic, and the long list of other reputable websites.

Seek Support

Your friends and family will surely want to show you support in the days and months following this type of diagnosis. However, this might not be enough. There are many benefits to having a support system of people that understand and are currently or have previously gone through what you now face. To build a support system, start by looking for meetings within your community. You can also turn to the internet for individual and family support. There are support groups and organizations from virtually all types of conditions.

Get Ahead

There’s a good chance that you only found out about your disease or condition after experiencing symptoms, such as fatigue or pain. These issues, while often manageable, can make it more difficult to handle everyday aspects of your life. This is glaringly obvious for parents and entrepreneurs, who are already overworking themselves. Look for ways to get ahead, such as preparing meals a week in advance or outsourcing many of your supervisory duties to a trusted staff member.

You’ll also want to focus on stress management techniques, which include knowing your triggers. By preemptively managing stress, you will be in a better emotional position to think ahead so that you are not continually overwhelmed by your daily duties and the new responsibility of managing your condition.

Make Changes

Arguably, one of the most important things you can do for yourself after a serious health concern arises is to make lifestyle changes that help you combat the effects of your condition. In addition to reducing stress, Maryland-based Morrison Chiropractic suggests prioritizing sleep, eating a healthy diet, and reducing alcohol consumption. Other lifestyle changes you can make depend upon your disease, and might include anything from eliminating sugar from your diet to exercising more often or using natural remedies to reduce systemic inflammation.

You may find that your current living situation isn’t ideal for your situation. Perhaps you have a long drive to specialists’ appointments or treatment centers, or you are farther from friends and family than you’d like. It’s also possible that you’ll need a home that better accommodates your needs, like wider doorways or ramps. Renting a home in the Virginia Beach area could be the best solution for you. Review online databases for homes that are currently for rent, and filter based on your needs. Depending on the neighborhood, you can rent a four bedroom home with plenty of space for family or caregivers for as little as $2,250 per month. Your comfort is the highest priority, so it is worth looking into any options that can provide you peace of mind.

Get Organized

If you have yet to talk with your family and closest friends about your condition, now is the time to do so. Waiting will only make you shoulder the burden by yourself for longer and it could delay any potential help your loved ones can offer. Once you’ve had the conversation, it’s time to get everyone on board and make sure that you are fully organized in your care and treatment.

Although this might not always be pleasant, having your legal documents, such as your advanced directive, which the American Cancer Society explains is a tool that helps you plan ahead, is more important now than ever. You also want to make sure that you have a list of your entire health care team, which will include your primary care physician, specialists, and your pharmacy. If you have any personal or business matters that need to be addressed in the future, make a contingency plan for who will handle these on your behalf if you are unable.

Understand the Ups and Downs

Being diagnosed with a chronic condition is an emotional event. As such, you must be prepared for the ups and downs that go along with it. Depression, fear, and grief are all common, but these can spiral out of control if you are not aware of your emotions. Be prepared for all of these, and talk with your loved ones about how they can support you as you digest and dissect the new information that’s bound to come your way.

You may also find it helpful to try self-motivation and meditative practices. Wealth Attraction Research presents ways to take control of your well-being through practices like yoga and hypnosis.

Living with a chronic condition means moving forward, even in the face of the unknown. It might not be easy but move forward you must. The above tips can help; ultimately, though, it’s up to you to do what’s best for yourself, your family, and your situation.

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