Life with a chronic disease is a never-ending battle. Besides the physical pain and other complications, it’s often mentally just as hard to cope with a chronic disease. And no amount of behavioral therapy will ever prepare you to deal with the fact that you will most probably never get healthy again.

I know I have just written some harsh stuff, but it’s unfortunately the cold hard truth. However, there are a few changes that you can make in order to reduce the negative effects of the disease on your daily life.

The following 5 health tips are based on my personal experiences and might help you during your battle with your chronic disease.

1. Take Care Of Your Body (Or Whatever Is Left)

health tipsIt’s a fact that chronic patients need to “take more care” of their body than “healthy” people. If you’re already suffering physically, you simply can’t allow to damage your body by smoking for instance.

That’s why I have stopped drinking for good. I’m sure I’ll have a beer again, maybe on New Year’s day or my wedding day. But I will never again drink alcohol on a weeky base, let alone start binge drinking.

2. Don’t Ever Get Bored

Boredom can drive people crazy, and if you’re chronically ill, your chances at going crazy are even higher. My biggest problem is that when I have nothing to do, I start to think about how my life would be if I was healthy. I start to think about all the things I could do if I didn’t feel crappy and in pain.

3. Find A Hobby That Is Physically Possible

If you’re still able to exercise, you should definitely keep it up. The cliché says not to overdo it and to give your body enough rest. For some people a couple of days is enough to recover from a phsyical effort while others need more than a week.

In my case I need at least 5 to 7 days rest after cycling for a couple of hours or a 1 hour run. Recovery times are different for everyone. It’s important to understand and respect your body’s limits (even though you really, really wish to be able to do more).

4. Nights Often Suck

Nights often suck and especially when you’re single. Many people with a chronic illness suffer from insomnia. For me, it’s mainly because the silence of the night puts my mind to work.

On top of that, I’m feeling crappy, but my body didn’t really have any physical activity, so it doesn’t understand that it’s time to sleep. I still haven’t found a way to get decent sleep. I went to the sleeping clinic and a sleeping disorder was determined, but the doctor didn’t want to help me. (as usual)

5. Plan Your Days

Plan your days and start your mornings with a realistic and limited amount of goals in mind. Realistic goals are very important. If you’re no longer able to do 20 different things a day, there’s no point in planning those things.

The danger in trying to do as much as possible is that you’re putting yourself under pressure. When you fail in completing all the tasks that you had planned, you only get more frustrated. Frustration leads to stress and well… more frustration… it’s a snow-ball effect.

It’s hard to let go of things, but for many chronic patients no longer feeling the need to “achieve” is deliberating. It took me more than 10 years to understand that “competing” with healthy people is just not possible anymore. All there’s left to do is making sure that your health doesn’t deteriorate anymore.

Connect With Me

I can easily write a book on how to deal with a chronic disease, but hope that the tips above can already help you. Don’t be shy to connect with me if you’re struggling with a chronic disease and want to ask me a question.