Now What? 5 steps to take after being diagnosed with a chronic illness
Updated: Nov 12, 2019
Learning to live with a chronic illness (or disease) is a journey of different stages and challenges. It means taking steps to adjust to a diagnosis, noticing that life has changed in some ways, understanding the illness, and resuming to live the life you want to lead.
Of course, every person is different, which means that their illness will affect them differently. Research demonstrates that after receiving a diagnosis, people tend to take these steps to feel better:
1. Take the time you need. We often rush into things, and with a recent diagnosis life may feel like it's speeding up. Take a breath. Don't feel the need to rush making important decisions about your health. You will have time to carefully examine your options and decide what best fits with you, your family and your lifestyle.
2. Seek out information. Become informed about your chronic illness. You may find yourself surfing the web or reaching out to local organizations. These resources can offer valid information for you to read through. You may even find out about support services that are offered to you, such as consultation session where you can get your questions answered or support groups to connect with others living with the illness.
3. Get support from family and friends. This may feel like the scariest step, however it will likely bode well for you in the future. Share the news with your family and friends when you feel the time is right. The family members and friends that hold you in their hearts will want to offer some type of support. Talk with them about what you need, and how these may change over time. Keeping these people close will create safety and security if times get rough.
4. Talk to your healthcare team. It is important that you keep your healthcare team informed and involved. While you may not be able to meet with them as often as you'd like, when you do have an appointment come prepared and willing to discuss your health. Keeping them in the loop of how you're feeling and managing the illness will ensure you get the care you need and deserve.
5. Get moving. Literally. Time and again, exercise has been shown to be beneficial for lifelong health. Not only does it improve muscle strength, energy levels, sleep, digestion, it has also demonstrated, to slow illness progression. With a chronic illness, exercise becomes an integral part of the treatment plan.
Want to chat about your next steps? Contact me to set up a free consultation or to book a session.