I was diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) over 4 years ago now and it’s certainly life-changing. Being diagnosed with a chronic illness can send most people into a slump. The feeling of helplessness and isolation can be overwhelming. However, you can do a few things to make this new part of life not only bearable but easier and better, too.
The first thing you should do is quit your bad health habits. Whether smoking, drinking, or eating too much junk food, you need to cut these things out of your life quickly.
Look up ways on how to quit vaping and alternatives to avoid aggravating the illness. These bad habits won’t do anything but hurt you; therefore, it is best to try and quit them as quickly as you can.
The next thing you need to do is adjust your diet if you aren’t eating the best. Your diet can have a huge impact on how you feel, whether you have an illness or not. Therefore, it is important to take care of your body from the insane.
Too much junk food, soda, foods high in fat or sugar, not enough water; all of these things should be addressed and adjusted if need be.
Lack of Sleep
Sleep is when you give your body and mind the chance to relax and recover. If you have poor sleeping habits, it is important that you change them, as the recovery it offers can help you a lot in the long run.
A mistake that many people with chronic illness sometimes make is thinking that their illness has now made it nearly impossible to be as active and as physical as they once were. While this is true in some cases, it isn’t the rule.
Becoming sedentary is a surefire way to lead you down a path of bad eating habits, becoming depressed, and becoming too reliant on things like drinking to cope with how you are feeling.
What to Do
If you have recently been diagnosed with a chronic illness or you are struggling to find ways to deal with it on a day-to-day basis, here are a few tips you can use to feel better, hopefully.
Change Your Diet
The first thing you should do is to change your diet. Depending on the illness, you may or may not have dietary restrictions, but the goal is to try and eat as healthily as possible, maintaining or possibly losing fat in the process.
The basics apply here, such as drinking enough water, limiting sugar and fat intake, eating more protein, etc. There is no need to eat like an athlete or gym bunny; it is more about giving your body the proper fuel it needs to perform at its best.
Depending on your illness, an exercise routine can be difficult to start or maintain. However, this is another area where you should keep it simple, as it is more about moving your body every day and not becoming sedentary.
You can start with a simple at-home workout and then progress to the gym if you like. On the days when you don’t have the energy or drive to workout, swap your regular workout with a long walk; as stated, the goal is to keep your body moving, it doesn’t matter how you choose to do that.
Deal with Stress
Another factor you mustn’t look over is dealing with stress. This is especially true if you have been recently diagnosed, as your mental health can take a heavy hit. While you should seek out professional help if this happens, there are some things you can do yourself that will assist with stress.
Doing yoga, writing in a journal, breathing exercises, whatever it may be, and finding an effective method to deal with stress and anxiety should be a priority, no matter who you are or what you are going through.
Seek out Support Groups
Another way to handle your illness is to seek out others who have it, too. Support groups are amazing because it allow sufferers to meet with people who understand what they are going through and also people who will have solutions to any problems they may have.
Plus, in this day and age, you don’t need to live close to a support group as there are websites and online forums available for almost every type of illness, and you can easily find the right one for you.
Avoid Negative Coping Mechanisms
Finally, when times get tough, don’t fall into using negative coping mechanisms. Don’t go back to drinking or smoking, eating badly, or bottling up your emotions and stress. If you have taken positive steps forward, don’t allow you to take any steps backwards.
Instead, reach out for help, talk to friends or family, or find a professional that can help you get through the difficult times. It isn’t going to always be smooth sailing, and the best thing you can do is to simply handle it in the best possible way that keeps you moving forward.
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