Self-Care Tips for the Chronic Illness Warrior

a person's hand on a person's stomach

Being diagnosed with a chronic disease or condition is a jarring moment in your life. Whether it’s yourself or a loved one, finding out your life is about to change can be overwhelming. Many people deal with a diagnosis differently. For example, some like tackling it head-on with a team of specialists and doctors.

Others may need time to process this information and develop anxiety issues or depression. Taking care of yourself mentally and physically is a necessary part of healing. Quality emotional support from family and friends is also vital. Discovering a new hobby or taking a few minutes every day for a mental health break can help immensely. Here are some self-care tips that every chronic illness warrior deserves to try.

For many chronic illness warriors, every day holds new challenges. Physical issues like joint pain, stiff muscles, migraines, and severe menstrual cramping can stop someone in their tracks. Women suffering from pelvic disorders and diseases like endometriosis have a plethora of symptoms that can cause them to be bedridden for days. Endometriosis can affect intimate relationships concerning painful intercourse. Different positions may alleviate pain and pressure and help lower the risk of getting a sex-related anxiety flare. Lubes containing ingredients like CBD can decrease soreness and may even help relax you.

Finding the right product can make life easier and daily tasks more convenient can help reduce a flare to get worse or spring up. Natural pain relievers like CBD oil vape may help reduce chronic pain, inflammation, migraines, and lower anxiety. CBD has been used to treat sleep problems caused by painsomnia which many chronic illness patients deal with.

Waking up multiple times during the night because of discomfort or severe distress can disrupt your day by causing grogginess, lack of concentration, irritability, and headaches. Sticking to the same bedtime routine allows you to develop better sleeping habits. Some chronic pain sufferers experience swelling in the feet, hands or other areas. Rub CBD ointment or massage oil into joints or swollen areas after a calming pre-slumber Epsom-salt soak. Slip-on a pair of aloe-infused socks or gloves to retain body heat before settling in for the night.

Dealing with the side effects associated with chronic illnesses and disease can leave you exhausted and drained. The days after chemotherapy or radiation during cancer treatment, for example, affect people differently. Common after-effects are vomiting and nausea, fatigue, and depression. Create a special spot in the house with your favorite things such as coloring books for adults, bottles of water and dry snacks easy on the stomach in a basket for convenience.

Sipping some ginger tea or candies can ease queasiness. Light therapy can be used when leaving the house is difficult on painful days. Typically used for individuals dealing with SAD (seasonal affective disorder), exposing yourself to short periods of these UV lamps (about 20-30 minutes a day) may decrease issues like depression, sore muscles, inflammation, and sleep problems.

Self-care routines should also include eating better and, if physically possible, working out. Gentle practices like yoga and Tai Chi center your mind and spiritual consciousness. For chronic illness warriors who find it difficult to lay on the ground or stand for long periods, yoga and Tai Chi can be done sitting down. Besides keeping your muscles limber and strong, many believe these activities can rid your body of toxins and the inner energy can heal organs, lower blood pressure, and slow down aging.

Breathing techniques are important aspects of both practices. Utilizing the breathing control of the chi, also known as the “internal power,” may help during stressful tests and painful flares. Deep breathing can relax the tension in your body, allowing you to cope better with chronic pain related anxieties.

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