While you’re focussing on your recovery, or coming to terms with your diagnosis, there are certain things you can do to maintain your overall wellbeing.
Depending on your situation, maintaining some form of physical activity may help with your ability to complete daily activities, improve muscle strength and ultimately your quality of life.
Speak to your doctor or specialist about developing a physical activity and movement program to help aid in your recovery. The following suggestions may help:
- Sleep and rest – sleep is crucial to your physical wellbeing and healing process. Speak with your doctor if you’re having problems sleeping.
- Healthy diet – Your diet is a very important link to your body recovering. When you’re not at your optimum ability and depending on the medications you may be taking, your appetite may be suppressed or you may experience nausea. Your doctor or a dietician can help you with ideas for a diet that suits your particular illness. Eatforhealth is a great resource.
- Stay active – with clearance from your doctor, consider regular, appropriate exercise. Depending on your capabilities, take walks in nature, try swimming or other gentle exercises. Your medical team may be able to recommend rehab classes too.
Small adjustments to your daily routine can make a difference to your state of mind. These may include:
- Try meditation. This may help reduce stress and anxiety, and there are plenty of free meditation apps online.
- Talk it through. Have you reached out to a friend or family member to listen to your concerns and for them to possibly help you during this time? Talking through your worries can really help.
- Reach out to professionals. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, additional emotional support is available from professionals who are trained to provide you with coping strategies. Speak with your GP about whether a Mental Health Plan is suitable for you. Your social worker may also be able to recommend some therapists or organisations in the area.
- Spiritual support. You may already be aligned with a religious or spiritual organisation or you may want to reach out and reconnect with one that you haven’t been with for a while for additional support.
Having the right people and support around you can help to keep you connected during a difficult period. Consider your social support network and contemplate:
- Ask for help. It’s important to tell your friends and family about your health situation. When they understand that you’re unwell, they will be in a better position to support you. Don’t be afraid to ask them for help and assistance with driving you to appointments, cooking meals and assisting with domestic duties as well as company when you may be feeling lonely.
- Access professional services. If budget permits a cleaner, gardener, social worker and night/home-nurse can assist while you are at home and reduce the load on you, your friends and family.
- Support groups. Your doctor, hospital and social worker will be able to refer appropriate support organisations and services in your local area. You may also like to engage in Facebook support groups and online forums for further support and a community of people who are also experiencing a similar illness.
- Consider a carer. Having a dedicated carer can offer you peace of mind and help during a time of need. You might ask a family member, partner or friend to fill this role or you might like to engage a professional care service provider.
- Embrace technology. With technology so accessible, there is much that you can do from your digital device. Online shopping allows you to have food, clothing, household items and even entertainment delivered to you at home.