Coping with Chronic Illness: Creating Your Safe Space and Safety Net

Coping with Chronic Illness: Creating Your Safe Space and Safety Net

Receiving a diagnosis of a chronic illness is an extremely daunting time in your life and knowing what to do next can be difficult. There is so much to think about and having the right people around you will make this easier. A chronic illness can affect your life in many ways and so being prepared for both the good and bad days means you can go on as normally as possible. Whilst your life may change, creating a safe space for the difficult days and a safety net for the times when things may go wrong means you can feel as in control as possible of your illness.

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Ridding Your Life of Stress

A chronic illness is a big enough stressor as it is without the added extras of work or family life. That is why you need to seriously re-evaluate what is important in your life and what means more. Your health should be one of your top priorities and added stress will only add to your chronic illness and lead to more bad days than good. If your job is very stressful, it may be time to give in and look for something easier – or even look at medically retiring if work is no longer suitable for you. Try not to stress over the little things; if you are struggling to cook and clean, this is where you should be asking for help.

Speaking to Friends and Family

Friends and family should be there for you throughout this difficult time and for the years to follow. Some chronic illnesses cannot be seen and so for some loved ones it can be difficult to understand why things are different now. Explaining your illness and providing them with lots of information can help them to understand and assist you. The one thing most people want with a chronic illness is for people to not change their attitude towards them. Whilst you may need more assistance with some tasks, constantly being asked if you’re alright or having everything done for you can make you lose your freedom. If this is the case, be open and honest with family and friends whilst making sure you aren’t refusing help when you really need it.

Finding the Right Information

The worst thing you can do when you are diagnosed with a chronic illness is to search the internet. Unless you are looking on reputable sites then the information can vary, and you may find yourself half scared to death with false information. Any information you want to know about your chronic illness should come from the hospital or from a healthcare professional. It may be that you want to speak to a counselor about your chronic illness diagnosis, as it can often cause depression and be difficult to cope with. This will provide you with a safe space to talk about how you feel, not just about your chronic illness.

Forming a Plan of Action

Once you have a chronic illness it is important to have a plan of action for the good and bad days. Whatever you do, it needs to be planned around your illness. This may mean when booking vacations, being aware of the nearest medical facilities and pharmacies. If you live on your own or your family is often out of the house, you may want a safety net in case something happens and you cannot reach the telephone. One of these medical alert devices can provide peace of mind whilst you are at home alone.
Creating a safe space both within the home and outside to speak about your illness and your own wellbeing is important. A medical alert system is a great way to have a safety net within the home to provide peace of mind for you and your family.

This list is just a rough guide, and nothing in this review should be taken as medical advice. Always be sure to check with your doctor before you start on any new treatment or protocol.

Read More: Asking for Help (and Why Everyone Needs to Learn this Important Life Skill)

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