Living With A Chronic Condition: 25 Action Steps to Live the Highest Quality of Life –
The action steps shared in this article are intended for those of us living with Chronic Illnesses (including Parkinson’s disease), Professional Health Care Providers, family care partners, and anyone else who wants to learn how to EMBRACE© a chronic condition.
Here Are 25 Action Steps to Live the Highest Quality of Life:
- When you are diagnosed, as difficult as it may be, you need to set your emotions aside for now (denial, shock, sadness, anger, depression, etc.) and take action (there will be time for grieving after the initial steps are completed).
- If you are still working, you will need to consult with an employment lawyer to decide when and how to inform your employer.
- Spend your energy researching your condition fully and regularly update what you have learned.
- Next, you should identify a movement disorder specialist or other specialist and make an appointment asap. The good specialists may have their next appointment six months to a year out, so don’t wait!
- Now you are ready to decide when and how to tell your children, family members, and friends.
- Even though you may have many years where you can still do your “job,” conditions like PD can sneak up on you and since you want your money to last for the rest of your life, you should get with a financial advisor.
- It is time to address your emotions so that you may want to identify a therapist who you are comfortable discussing your feelings with especially those of depression, sadness, anger, and diminished self-worth.
- Identify and obtain counsel from a disability attorney well in advance of needing one.
- As I like to say, you must reclaim your posi-spective © (positive perspective).
- You will need to believe in yourself and know that you have the desire, strength, commitment, discipline, and courage to embrace your condition.
- You will need to put together a nutrition plan that is much healthier than your current diet and begin a lifestyle change.
- You would learn a lot from just watching YouTube videos and Podcasts about nutrition.
- It is extremely important that you decide upon a daily group exercise plan that focuses on sweating, stretching and strengthening while continually going beyond your comfort zone. Boxing, Fitness, and Yoga are great options.
- If you can afford it, you would benefit from having a deep tissue massage three or more times a week.
- You will need to hydrate your body with water all day long.
- If you can, you need to laugh as often as possible at everything (especially your condition).
- You can never give up and always get back up.
- You should continually re-assess your remaining skills and abilities with the objective of periodically re-inventing yourself as your condition evolves.
- Stay engaged.
- Do things you love to do.
- Live in the moment.
- Have faith. God would not have allowed anything to happen to you that He did not believe you could handle ©.
- Count your blessings (part 1). Look around, you will find many people dealing with more difficult issues than you are dealing with.
- Count your blessings (part 2). Identify the positives associated with your condition, a community with which you can bond, motivation to get healthier, the time to do what you want to do, better seating at events, closer parking spots, etc.
- Finally, uncover your purpose and discover how you can still make a difference.
Do you live with a chronic illness? Do you have any action steps that have helped you along your journey that did not get mentioned above? If so, please share them with us in the comments section below!