When you have a seasonal allergy, a viral infection, or other short-term diseases, you know it will only last a week or two. When this temporary condition goes away, you can resume your normal and healthy life and return to your daily activities with full energy. On the other hand, those suffering from long-term or chronic health conditions have a completely different outlook on life. You may feel like life is dragging you down. Knowing they are permanent, you must cope with your physical, emotional, and mental health issues. To maintain or improve your quality of life during illness, you need to be more positive, uplift your spirits, and change your lifestyle.
Whether recovering from a short-term disease or getting treatment for a chronic health condition, your quality of life greatly impacts your overall health and vice versa.
So this article suggests eight ways to improve your quality of life and reduce stress during this time.
1. Holistic Care
Holistic care by a professional caregiver is one of the most effective ways to improve an individual’s quality of life. Patients with chronic or terminal conditions like cancer, HIV, hepatitis, etc., need 24/7 holistic care by professional caregivers or loved ones. For example, if they have cancer like mesothelioma, the shorter life expectancy will devastate the patient’s physical and mental health. But holistic care and reassurance from loved ones can significantly improve their quality of life. If you or your loved one is a mesothelioma patient, visit www.mesotheliomahope.com to find a comprehensive patient-care program, treatment options, care plans, and legal options for compensation and lawsuits.
Holistic care considers your needs as an individual, and a comprehensive program focuses on improving your physical, mental, social, and emotional well-being and quality of life. The reassurance that you’re given the best possible treatment, medical attention, and social interaction greatly helps reduce stress and overcome fear.
2. Improving Emotional Well-Being
Long-term, serious, or life-threatening illness affects a person’s emotional well-being. The first diagnosis news can overwhelm you and your loved ones. The emotional turmoil can impair your ability to function or think clearly, leading to anxiety, fear, and depression. Many factors influence how you react emotionally and the level of psychological turmoil you experience, including your perception of life, age, the type of medical problem you’re dealing with, the expected lifespan, and the amount of support you have.
However, the most important thing to know is that you have some control over your emotions. A long-term disease is life-changing, and an emotional reaction is normal. It doesn’t mean you’re weak or incapable of dealing with the upcoming challenges that life may bring. Remember that your inner strength and willingness to fight will greatly affect how you deal with your illness, treatments, and your life post-diagnosis.
3. Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle
Adopting a healthy lifestyle is beneficial no matter the level of the disease. A healthy lifestyle helps improve your physical and mental well-being. To begin with, avoid unhealthy foods, particularly the ones that can hamper your treatment and recovery process. Your caregiver and healthcare provider will develop a comprehensive nutrition plan with your input so that you are not required to consume foods you despise while remaining focused on getting a balanced diet. If possible, add some amount of physical activity to your daily routine. Start with a brisk walk or yoga, or just take a round to the nearest park. Increase your physical activity gradually with each passing day. Physical activity and exercise increase oxygen intake and regulates blood flow. It also helps reduce stress, regulate blood pressure, and improve mood.
4. Set Personal Goals
Setting personal goals and trying to achieve them gives a purpose to your life. Of course, how you spend your time is entirely up to you. Perhaps you want to create a bucket list and do things you’ve always longed for, spend time with family and friends, or travel. It’s important to do stuff that matters to you. Setting goals will help you look toward the future and uplift your spirit. Tell your friends and family about your ideas so they can help you.
5. Be Patient during Recovery and Treatment
Chronic illnesses or long-term diseases have a prolonged recovery or treatment process. Unfortunately, some patients start giving up early and lose hope in life, but they need to know that there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. Even when there are many unknowns, you can still care for yourself. Eat well, get plenty of rest, exercise daily, spend time with your loved ones, and indulge in activities that make you happy.
6. Reach Out for Support
Joining support groups for patients with chronic ailments helps you break your inner shell and meet people undergoing the same life circumstances. Social support has a positive impact on your emotional and physical well-being. When you meet people from the same circle of life, you realize you’re not alone in the battle against this disease. In addition, you get access to a platform where you can get a wide range of information and share your concerns. Reach out to people who care about you, and don’t let your fear keep you from connecting to people who can listen, share, and advise.
7. Avoid Smoking and Alcohol
Smoking and excessive use of alcohol can lower your ability to fight the disease. Patients with chronic pulmonary disorders, mesothelioma, or other respiratory diseases have a highly negative effect of smoking and alcohol consumption on their health. Research shows that quitting smoking results in a significant decrease in anxiety, depression, and stress. It encourages a positive mood and improves the quality of life. Quitting smoking and minimizing the use of alcohol also strengthens the immune system and helps the body speed up the recovery process.
Long-term illness can affect your physical, social, and emotional well-being. However, with some simple changes, you can significantly improve your quality of life during illness and boost recovery. These include adopting a healthy lifestyle, opting for holistic care, taking control of your life, and avoiding habits affecting your recovery.