If you break a leg or cut yourself it will heal and you can put it behind you. There are some conditions that never disappear though, such as asthma, diabetes, arthritis and terminal cancer. These are considered to be chronic conditions, as they last a lifetime and can alter the way people live. If you have been diagnosed with a chronic condition, how do you cope?

Educate Yourself

Learn as much about your condition as you can, and about the things you should and should not do. If you cannot find out all you need to know by researching yourself, chat with your practice nurse or physician to find out more. They will be there to support you and to help you to live with your condition.

There are simple things that can help as well. Repackaged medications, for example, can help you to manage your doses more simply and direct dispensing can save you the long queues at the pharmacy. Do as much as you can to make your life easier.

Invest In Yourself

The chronic condition you have is not likely to go away but you can help to lessen the effects of it by leading a healthy lifestyle. Stop smoking, eat healthily, get plenty of exercise, make sure you get enough sleep and just generally live as healthily as you can. Sometimes, when you are unwell these habits get ignored and that is the worst thing you can do.

Investing the time and effort into your own well-being can pay handsome dividends and make your condition much easier to cope with.

Coordinate Your Care

If you have more than one chronic condition, such as diabetes and a heart problem, the specialists you see for each condition very rarely talk to each other. Although they should all be able to access your medical records, coordinating your care could be crucial. See your physician to do this, as they will have the reports from any specialists you have seen and will be able to combine all the information to ensure that the treatment you have been given is the best.

Make Your End Of Life Decisions Now

If your chronic condition is one that is going to shorten your life, such as terminal cancer, make the decisions now about how you want your care to be as the end nears. Do you want an aggressive fight till the end, or would you rather have hospice care?  Spelling out exactly what you want may be the right thing to do for your mental health and for the comfort of those around you. I know it’s not easy, and the time you have left is precious.

Coping with a chronic condition isn’t going to be easy, but doing these simple coping strategies will ensure a bit of comfort in a time of uncertainty.

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Hazel Jane is a freelance writer, university student, and an avid reader. She has a passion for writing, skiing, and traveling the world.

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