When you are diagnosed with a life-changing health condition like Parkinson’s disease or COPD, you will have to take a hard look at your lifestyle and realize that things may be changing. That isn’t always a bad thing. It’s important you understand what is going on with your body and how you can keep your quality of life as high as possible.
Always be as honest as possible with your healthcare team. Ask questions. Monitor yourself when it comes to your symptoms. Learn as much as you can about your condition and any treatment options that may be available. The more you know about your condition and what it is capable of, the more active you can be in making informed decisions about your care.
Know Your Limits
Know and understand your physical and emotional limits. Pushing yourself too hard will cause you to be overwhelmed. Stress and anxiety are two things that can be avoided if you know your limits and find safe and productive ways to live and function with them. While you may not be able to do some of the more physical activities, you can still find plenty of things to do that will bring you joy and allow you to be active and have fun.
Once you know what you can physically do, challenge yourself. Try new things and find ways to safely push your boundaries. An illness doesn’t have to keep you from learning new things or improving your existing skills. Try a new hobby. Challenging yourself will open doors to new activities and give you a chance to explore new paths you may not have considered before.
Practice self-care by exercising, resting, and allowing yourself to enjoy the little things. Eat a healthier diet and choose exercises that will keep improving your strength and keep you moving. Spend time outside whenever you can and take a nap if you begin to feel tired. Breathe deeply and surround yourself with things that bring you joy.
Being diagnosed with a debilitating health condition is serious. You may be upset and depressed for a little while. That’s natural and expected. Once the initial realization is over, however, you have a new world to explore. There may be a few limitations, but you can always find ways to live your life to the very fullest. Take advantage of every moment!