Dealing with a chronic illness is never enjoyable, but it doesn’t need to affect your quality of life. By paying close attention to sign from your body, following your doctor’s orders, and taking care of yourself, it’s possible for people with chronic illnesses to lead very fulfilling lives. Check out these tips to learn how you can improve or maintain your quality of life after being diagnosed with a chronic illness.
Monitor Your Medication Carefully
Chances are, you have several prescriptions to offset the effects of your illness. It’s important to know what medication you’re taking and how each medication interacts with other medications, different types of food, and alcohol. Each time you get a new prescription, use an online pill identifier to look the medicine up online. Then, read all of the information available about your new medication. In addition to learning how the mediation can interact with other things, you need to look at the side effects and recommended usage. All of this is especially important if your doctor prescribes personalized medicine for you. Also, if the medication is considered a narcotic, you should consider storing in a safe place so other people don’t have access to it.
Listen to Your Body
No one, not even your doctor, knows your body like you do. So it’s important to pay close attention to the little cues your body gives you. Chronic illness often affects a person’s level of energy, amount of pain, and/or appearance — all things that can be disruptive and upsetting if you allow it. If you find yourself getting tired more than normal, take a nap. When you feel tired, your body is telling you that it needs to refresh. It’s okay to listen to your body and take a nap when needed. You need to learn how to deal with other symptoms in the same way. For example, if you’re in pain, take your medication. Don’t wait until the pain is unbearable because you’re frustrated. Living a high-quality lifestyle with a chronic illness depends entirely on how you handle the effects of the illness.
Eat Healthy, Exercise, and Get Enough Sleep
It’s important for everyone to eat healthily, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep, but more so for someone battling a chronic illness. Pay close attention to the way you feel throughout the day and the way specific foods affect you. If you feel sluggish after lunch, try ditching the carbs and replacing them with protein or take a short walk after you eat. Make sure you get enough sleep each night so you start your day feeling refreshed. Doing these things helps you maintain your health, which in turn, helps you cope with your chronic illness.
Pay Attention to Your Mood
Depression is common in people battling chronic illnesses, so it’s important to pay close attention to your mood. If you find yourself holed up in your house, sleeping a lot more than normal, or picking up self-destructive habits, it’s a good idea to discuss depression with your doctor. Remember, depression is common, all it takes is a bit of medication, or other form of therapy to get you feeling like yourself again.
Only you can decide how well you’re going to cope with your chronic illness. If you’ve decided to give up and let your illness control you, don’t expect to have a very high quality of life. If you want to lead a happy, fulfilling lifestyle, it’s important to remain positive, tackle each problem as it arises, listen to your body, and do your best to maintain a healthy lifestyle.