Living Well with a Chronic Disease

woman having her check up

Chronic diseases don’t have to change your life for the worse. In fact, it can be an opportunity to make your life better. The journey won’t be comfortable all the time, but your determination to heal will definitely pay off.

One advice you’d typically get is to avoid fatigue. But living a sedentary lifestyle isn’t helpful either. For your body to fight your disease, it needs strength. And strength comes from an active lifestyle.

In addition, a healthy diet is essential. Your chronic disease might limit what you can eat, but it doesn’t mean eating will be less enjoyable from now on. It’s totally possible to love your diet, even if it’s restrictive.

That said, here are the lifestyle changes you should make to beat your chronic disease soon:

1. Understand Your Condition

We often associate illnesses with health deterioration. While an illness indeed declines your health, it doesn’t automatically result in a steady deterioration. Your immune system can still recover. If cancer patients can survive and live long, you can also recover from your chronic disease.

The key to staying hopeful is to understand your condition. If your chronic disease is a neurological disorder, such as a headache, Parkinson’s disease, or seizures, those are treatable. If you follow your doctor’s advice, your neurological disorder treatment will make you feel better in no time.

Though not all chronic diseases have a cure, consistent treatment can manage the symptoms and allow patients to maintain a good quality of life. So if your illness might last a lifetime, that’s not a reason to lose hope. Learning how to make your body stronger can let you enjoy life as if you’re not sick at all.

2. Set an Intention for Your Lifestyle Change

Aside from recovering, you should have other intentions to keep yourself motivated. For example, meeting a goal. If you want to buy a house and raise a family one day, that’s another reason to stay on track with your treatment. All your money might go to your treatment today, but if your health bounces back fast, you can save up for your house and future family soon.

If you’re not yet sure what your goals are, find meaning in your life. What’s important to you, and why? Identifying your values can help you create goals. For example, if you value your job, career development can be a suitable goal. To achieve that, you have to be fit to work. Your illness might limit your energy, but not your perseverance. If you undergo treatments without missing a beat, the barriers to your productivity will decrease.

3. Invite Physical Activity to Your Day

Avoiding fatigue doesn’t mean avoiding exercise. Stroke survivors increase their risks for a recurrent stroke if they become inactive. They also risk themselves for a fall because their bodies will become less agile.

Physical activity is proven to benefit us in all aspects of our lives. It keeps your weight in check, improves your recovery from an injury, and releases happy hormones. All of these things are important in staving off and managing a chronic disease.

Include cardio, aerobic exercises, and strength training in your fitness regimen. You can hire a personal trainer to ensure that you’re making the recommended movements for your body. Other types of exercises, such as playing a sport, dancing, or outdoor activities, are beneficial, too. What’s more important than the routines themselves is your enjoyment. If you like what you’re doing, you’re less likely to stop and regress.

4. Change Your Diet

Of all lifestyle changes, shifting to a new diet is the hardest to do. Even people with chronic conditions struggle with eating healthier. But you can make it less challenging by changing your focus.

Instead of focusing on the food you can’t eat, focus on those you can eat. Sure, fast food will be missed, but isn’t it fun to make different recipes with fresh ingredients? Whole grains, vegetables, and lean meat make a scrumptious meal. Just stir-fry them with some spices. Explore with different flavors, too. You’ll have fun making healthy meals as a result.

5. Find Beauty in Your Life

Living with a chronic condition is hardly beautiful. But the things you do and the choices you make can create something beautiful in your life. For example, shoving away self-pity in favor of recovering will make you appreciate your life more. You’d stop taking things and opportunities for granted. You’d live in the moment but not lose sight of your goals.

For people without an illness, those acts might seem over-dramatic. But in truth, more people need to slow down and enjoy every moment of life. You don’t have to be sick to realize your blessings. Healthy or not, finding beauty in life is the ultimate key to overcoming all ordeals, including an incurable disease.

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