It can be overwhelming when you first discover that you have a chronic illness, and caring for yourself can seem like a chore, but it’s not! Instead, think of it as a routine. Create a Self-care Check List and some like to also have a Basket for all of their self-care goodies.
Personally, I have a few so that, wherever I am, my essentials are within reach.
Coming to terms with your illness is half-the-battle. Here are a few mottos to have the right frame of mind:
- “It’s Normal!”
- “One Day at a Time!”
- “Be Kind to Yourself!”
- “Keep Moving!”
- “Do as you are told!”
- “Think Positive!”
- “Listen to your Body!”
- “Don’t be Afraid to Ask!”
- “You’re not Alone!”
If you have any other phrases that help you to think positive and keep you healthy please comment.
- Drink Water. Our body is up to 70% water so always stay hydrated unless you have Odema (Fluid Retention).
- Take your Medications according to schedule. There are apps available to assist with this now.
- Eat well. For many, a little bit and often is better than three meals a day, especially if you have got an infection. The need will vary from time to time. If you are not active and you are overweight then cut back in quantity (serve size) but not quality.
- Exercise at least 3 times per week. If you can’t, always Keep Moving! Wriggle your toes, stretch, try different positions in bed, sleep with your back as straight as possible. (I struggled with this at first, but it is now working for me and the benefit has been more than worth it)!
- Keep your doctors’ appointments. Follow through with any instructions that they give you. Get them to write stuff down for you, if necessary.
- If your doctor has arranged for any radiology scans or pathology blood tests or urine samples get these done, or they cannot help you without that information.
- Rest as required during the day. I make a point of not going out 2 days in a row. Your limitation may be different, but don’t let yourself become over exhausted.
- Keep your life within your boundaries or limitations. Don’t do any more than what you are able.
- Get adequate sleep. Always aim for 7 hours of quality sleep. If you don’t a sleep debt develops and your body will soon not be able to do anything else except sleep. Up to 3 nights of solid sleep are required to remove a sleep debt.
The above list is Basic. Your doctor or nurse may give you more specific instructions relating to your illness which you can add to this. This was vital when I was on dialysis.
So give it a go! Feel free to send me your lists, if you are unsure of anything. I will gladly advise or assist your health-care professional.