Coping With Serious Illness


When you take charge of your illness, you empower yourself that definitely leads to better health.

#1 Tending to your spirit

A chronic illness provides you with opportunity for self realization and reflection. Feeding your soul is just as vital as feeding your body.

“Embrace your illness and participate in activities that make you feel whole, alive and one with the universe.”

Following are some tips to get you through

• Bring music and art into your environment

• Develop hobby

• Enjoy the outdoors, experience the richness of nature

• Try new things-prayers, meditation, yoga

• Seek counseling if you require support

• Avoid books and movies that support you in perpetuating self pity.

• Watch movies that motivate you

• Read books that inspire you

• Maintain some type of social network. I realize that you may have lost many friends in this process. Sadly it is a natural part of dealing with a serious illness. But you must build some sort of support system whether it is via the internet or reconnecting and rebuilding family relationships. They are a part of our life force and help in the healing process.

• Write about your experience. This absolutely important. What you are going through is painful in so many ways. The loss that comes with illness is so great on so many levels that you need to create an outlet to express yourself. Stuffing your feeling can be poison to your body.

• Cry. Let it out. It is natural, healthy, and it is a must.

#2 Speak your mind/Express Yourself

Here is the bottom line when you suffer from a chronic disease. You will either learn how to communicate honestly with people or you will end up alone and lost.

“Clear, honest communication with family and friends is important for your physical and mental wellbeing.”

#3 Accept your situation /Take things one hour at a time

It takes a while but you are going to have to accept your situation for what it is. One thing I realized is that my view of life changed from having goals and experiences to just surviving minute to minute. Set goals and priorities according to your energy levels and abilities for that day. Tomorrow may be different, but for today it is what it is.

“Allow yourself to achieve your goal in small steps instead of all at once. Always allow yourself to rest when needed and give yourself permission to leave things incomplete. Accept your limits and be flexible. Give yourself time to recuperate”

Most vitally, ask for help. Learn to accept help from others. It empowers you and others.

#4 Laughter/Humor

Humor is great for the body and the spirit, especially the immune system. Humor aids to keep things in perceptive and maintain a positive attitude which I believe can help us heal our bodies. Give yourself a reason to laugh everyday.

• Laugh at yourself

• Socialize with funny people

• Keep funny quotes on the wall by your bed

• Watch funny movies

• Read a funny book

#5 Avoid stress

If you have a serious illness you absolutely must avoid stress at all costs. Life in general is stressful but you to learn how to minimize the stress and how to react to stress in a healthy manner. Stress releases a chemical which causes inflammation creating additional health issues.

According to the latest research, 90% of diseases are stress-related.

To combat stress:

• Accept your current situation and learn to value yourself for who you are and not what

• Seek out stress reducing techniques such as meditation

• The only expectation you have to meet is your own. So change your expectations

• Don’t allow yourself to get caught up in the shoulda, woulda, coulda syndrome. It is what it is and you do the best you can with what you are given.

• Laugh like you did when you were a child

• Learn to enjoy the small things in life

• Accept your current situation and learn to value yourself for who you are and not what you accomplish

• Eliminate stressful people from your life. This may sound harsh, but it’s important to put yourself in the healthiest possible environment.

#6 The Important people in your life

Having a supportive and loving relationship can provide so much healing energy for a person dealing with a chronic disease.

#7 Proper Nutrition

“You should try to cut things like unhealthy fats, refined foods, caffeine and sugar. Replace these with whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and fresh poultry and meat. Your diet should be free of toxins and chemicals found in most foods like preservatives, dyes, additives, hormones, herbicides and pesticides.”

Healing can’t take place in a body that is too busy trying to cut the toxins we keep consuming.

These are the basic steps you need to take:

• Empty your house of all the goodies you have stashed for those emergency feel good sessions! If it’s in the house, don’t expect that you will be able to have the will power to not eat that yummy food. That is just setting yourself up for failure.

• Buy organic. If you can’t afford it then make sure you wash your food really well before eating!

• Eliminate processed foods. Most foods that are in a bag or box fall into this category.

• Eat your 5 vegetables and fruits a day

• Drink lots of WATER!

• Do not drink diet soda or soda; make sure you cut any foods or beverages that contain chemical sweeteners like aspartame.

#8 Exercise

As a person dealing with a chronic disease and knowing what it is like not to be able to get out of bed, I can understand your first response, I am too sick to exercise”. But the bottom line is exercise is absolutely important for the mind, body and soul. If all you can do is curl your toes then curl your toes, but you have to move your body!

• No excuses- move what you can, when you can and your body will respond.

• Stretch

• This isn’t about losing weight or how you look. This is about moving the body so it can function to its fullest capacity.

• Don’t set big goals. You don’t want to stress your body you want to move your body.

• Start slowly

#9 Take an Active Role in Your Health Care

You are with your body 24 hours a day, so no one knows how your disease or how certain treatment or medications impact you and your life, better than you do. Research and present your physician with all the options. There are many good practitioners out there, it is your duty to find those practitioners.

#10 Educate Yourself/Question

Information is power. Learn everything you possibly can about your illness and your options. Speak with health coach, physicians, nutritionists, alternative health providers, and other people going through the same conditions. Do research and gather knowledge. Remember you are in charge of your health and no one else!

Stay healthy!

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