Being diagnosed with a long-lasting or permanent health condition can be an unexpected and emotional experience. Health is important to everyone, so living with chronic ill-health isn’t something that you tend to prepare for or dwell on, until it happens to you.
It’s normal to feel daunted and lonely from your prognosis, but as many as 1 in 2 Australians have a chronic condition and if managed well, you can still live your life to the fullest with a chronic condition. These conditions can include diabetes, cancer, some mental illnesses, cardiovascular disease, acquired disabilities and some sexually transmitted diseases, among others.
A chronic condition can impact your lifestyle and abilities, and may also have associated stigma, which is why it’s important to evaluate and actively manage your condition.
Here are some ways you can begin managing your chronic condition today:
1. Understand your condition.
Learning about what you are going through and what you can do about it can make you feel more empowered and better equipped to take control of your condition. Be sure to research, consult the relevant health professionals and if possible, connect with someone who has experienced the condition.
2. Set achievable, short-term goals.
Bite-sized goals will mark your progress and help you to work your way up to effectively managing your condition, without getting overwhelmed.
3. Seek support from others.
Family and friends can be a great source of emotional support as you adjust to life with a chronic condition. They can also help you to stay on track with your goals and accommodate your needs to keep you included.
4. Join a support group.
Connecting with others who are experiencing a similar condition can help you feel less isolated and provide an opportunity to learn from the experiences of others.
5. Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
If you want to learn more about your condition or need help to adapt, our team of dietitians, physiotherapists, exercise physiologists and specialists deliver free educational programs for a range of specific chronic conditions. Find out here or call 9201 0044.