Although some illnesses can be effectively treated, many of them become chronic. This means that the illness stays with you over time. An illness may be manageable by medication, lifestyle, and even diet but you still have to live with it. For many people, living with a chronic illness can be a source of frustration, pain, and even depression.
This leads many people to ask if they can heal their chronic illness. Unfortunately, this may not always be possible. Some symptoms of chronic diseases such as autoimmune disorders, heart disease, COPD, some types of cancer, and fibromyalgia are manageable. But the conditions themselves may never go away. This doesn’t mean that you have to give up on improving your lifestyle though.
If you’re not sure of where to get started, these are some of the tools that can help you cope and maybe even recover from a chronic illness.
Focus on Diet and Nutrition
Although diet isn’t always curative, it plays a large role in how you feel. In fact, changing how you eat may be the most effective tool that you try. Given how comforting food can be though, it can also be challenging to change your habits.
Every illness may have a different dietary component. However, what seems to be most effective for all disease is limiting sugars and processed foods. Instead, consider turning to foods that are rich in nutrients. Think about replacing your daily cookie with a fresh piece of fruit. It may surprise you that having a more holistic way of eating helps you to feel better daily. Drink water and green tea instead of sugary beverages. Look for fun ways to make your meals more exciting such as trying new dishes. Once you make changes to your diet, give yourself 30 days to see if you notice a difference. It takes time for good nutrition to impact your life so give yourself the time to focus on this area.
Focus on Connection
There’s a significant link between physical and mental health. Because of this, many people with chronic diseases struggle with mental wellness too. There are many ways that you can find support but consider joining a support group. This can be an in-person group or online but having people who share your journey can be helpful.
You don’t have to limit yourself to people who share your condition. Consider joining local groups or reaching out to friends for social events. If you have limited energy, you may have to limit your participation. Make sure that you explain your restrictions and ability to take part. Most people will be accommodating to your needs.
Get Moving Against Your Chronic Illness
For some, this is easier said than done but think about ways that you can enjoy some type of physical activity. Even a small amount makes a difference. For those that can, a daily walk on a nice day is a great mood booster and can help you feel your best.
All of these tips are a great way to improve your ability to manage a chronic disease. You may be able to better manage your symptoms as well. Spend some time focusing on what would improve your life. Over time, you’ll notice positive changes.
If you need help coming up with goals or a plan to better manage your chronic illness, I can help. Reach out today to discuss your health needs and we can work together on a path to wellness.