Dealing with a chronic illness every minute of every day of every year can drive a person insane. It’s important to find ways to relieve stress and anxiety, as it’ll increase your sense of fulfillment as well as your quality of life. Some of these tips may be familiar to you and some may be new (but worth a try!).
Here are some tips to help you stay sane when dealing with a chronic illness:
1. Rachel Cox suggests getting creative. Knit, crochet, paint, draw, play an instrument — whatever you’re able to do. Perhaps you could even get together with a group and take turns teaching a skill to the others. It would not only be fun, but you might develop a new hobby you really enjoy.
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2. Cox also suggests putting some effort into getting ready. Wear something pretty like a scarf or jewelry, put on some makeup and just get out of your PJs and sweats. These simple things may help to improve your outlook and how you feel about yourself.
3. She also recommends getting outside. Even if it’s just for a few minutes. Look at the sky, breathe in fresh air, take a walk in the rain. If you’re unable to get outside, perhaps someone could bring you something to enjoy such as seashells, flowers, pine boughs. Having something to enjoy from nature can mentally transport you there.
4. Femsplain suggests treating yourself to a bath. Soaking in an epsom salt bath and adding a favorite essential oil like lavender is a treat and helps you relax and alleviate some pain, if only for a little while.
5. They also advise those with a chronic illness to stay hydrated. Some of the meds patients take can increase dry mouth and/or dehydration. Make sure to drink plenty of water. Drink out of something you can refill during the day. There are also smartphone apps that will remind you to drink water, or you can set an alarm on your phone.
6. Femsplain encourages all patients to take a break. When you’re vacationing or spending holidays and other special events with families and friends, remember to take time out to lay down or take naps when necessary. Watch a favorite show or practice meditation or deep breathing when your energy is running low.
Doing things that bring you joy and a sense of accomplishment as well as incorporating good self-care routines will go a long way to help you stay “sane” while dealing with a chronic illness.
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