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Positive Lifestyle Changes That Can Help You Manage Chronic Illness

Chronic illness affects approximately 133 million Americans. To make matters worse, an increasing number are living with two or more conditions. Fortunately, an increasing number of people are discovering the positive impact self-care can have on chronic illnesses. Taking better care of your mind and body can make a seemingly tragic diagnosis something that’s easier to live with.

If you have a chronic illness, rest assured that there are things you can do to make it more manageable. In this article, you’ll find positive changes you can make to reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Examine Your Diet

What you eat can have an impact on how you experience chronic illness. Not only can a healthy diet be used as a preventative measure for chronic illness, it can also help keep an existing condition from worsening. For instance, if you’ve been diagnosed with type two diabetes, a balanced diet can help you maintain a healthy weight. This is a way to both treat diabetes and also reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and infection.

Consult your physician as to what a healthy diet looks like for you. This may mean avoiding diets that could be harmful to your condition and implementing more foods that will aid your immune system. Fad diets like the Keto diet, for example, require you cut out carbs, which are part of a balanced diet. Intermittent fasting is another diet gaining notoriety. Like any other diet, what works for one person may not work for another. Do thorough research and work with your healthcare provider and a nutritionist before you make a lifestyle change.

Connect with the Outdoors

Research has found that living close to nature or spending time in green areas can positively impact your mental and physical health by reducing blood pressure and lowering stress levels. Though you may not have the luxury of being able to pack your bags and move to a serene area with breathtaking landscapes, you can go for walks. Find local parks and nature reserves in your area that you can regularly visit.

Try Natural Solutions

Natural remedies can help you manage some of your symptoms, depending on your diagnosis. For instance, if you’ve been diagnosed with chronic anxiety or pain, there are topical solutions that can help. CBD oil, which is derived from the cannabis plant, can help lower or relieve anxiety.

Another natural remedy for chronic illness is acupuncture. Dating back thousands of years, it’s said to help promote both healing and restoration. Although it’s often associated with pain management, studies have found that it can effectively be used to treat some chronic conditions too. Massage therapy can be used in combination with other medical treatments to relieve chronic illness symptoms and improve quality of life.

Maintain Social Connections

When dealing with a chronic illness, you may experience feelings of sadness and depression, causing you to withdraw. Do your best to maintain social connections with people who make you feel supported and loved. Having a pet like a dog can give your mental health a huge boost as well.

Living with a chronic illness may not be a walk in the park, but you can enjoy your life. Understanding your illness and the most effective ways to manage it can go a long way. If you’re able to master the management of your health and well-being, you’ll find the quality of your life improves dramatically.

Photo Credit

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

Guest Author Bio
Jori Hamilton

Jori Hamilton is a writer and journalist from the Pacific Northwest who covers social justice issues, healthcare, and politics. You can follow her work on twitter @HamiltonJori, and through her portfolio at Writer Jori Hamilton.




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