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Coping with a chronic illness can be difficult whether you are newly diagnosed or you have been managing it for years. There are ways you can gain control over parts of your care and enjoy your life, even if there are limits.
- Talk to family and friends about ways they can help. By letting the people around you know how having a chronic condition makes you feel, you can find ways to make managing your condition less stressful and a part of everyone’s routine.
- Find a hobby that works with your limitations. For example, if your disease puts restrictions on your diet, then try to find delicious new recipes for foods you can have. Try healthy substitutions that put new twists on your old favorite foods.
- Find a support group. Being around others managing the same condition can remind you that you’re not alone. Plus, support groups are a great way to share tips for dealing with certain situations in creative ways.
Put your pills where you will see them. For example, if you take a pill with breakfast, put your pills on the breakfast table. Put a reminder note where you will see it — on your coffee cup, for instance, or on the bathroom mirror, if you take the medicine in the morning …
It can happen to all of us: We forget to care for ourselves because we are so busy caring for those around us. But investing in your own well-being—by preparing a healthy meal or visiting a friend you haven’t seen for a while—can help you take even better care …
You may have noticed a friend or family member who seems overwhelmed. He or she may be taking on too much or is feeling stress from work. Maybe your loved one is showing signs of emotional problems or is avoiding social settings even with people at home. This detachment and withdrawal might be a clue that he or she needs help managing stress.