Self-care looks different for everyone, especially those with a chronic illness. Self-care is more than taking time for yourself or doing activities that help you to relax. It’s also about proactive approaches to sustaining and maintaining the best health possible while living with your condition.

Regularly engage with your loved ones

Chronic conditions are exhausting, and it’s easy to distance or excuse yourself from spending time with friends and family. It’s especially tempting to isolate yourself if people in your life don’t fully understand your condition and the challenges you’re facing. 

It is okay to grant yourself time to rest, but extended loneliness increases the risk of various mental and physical conditions, such as depression and substance dependency. It may not be easy initially, but one of the most rewarding ways to care for yourself is to keep your engagements with loved ones. Even something as simple as talking on the phone or video chatting with a friend can improve your overall wellness. 

Allow yourself to rest 

It’s common to want to maintain an active and busy schedule, especially if your chronic illness is new or symptoms only occasionally affect you. But instead of pushing yourself to maintain the lifestyle you had before your illness, give yourself grace and allow yourself time to rest. Take a day off, sleep in, enjoy a bath, or do whatever helps you recharge and rest your body and mind. 

Take your medications

Do your best to take your medication at the same time every day. Doing so will help you establish a habit and ensure the medication provides the best possible result. If you have trouble remembering your medication, set a reminder on your phone or build it into a routine you already have, such as taking it as soon as you brush your teeth or finish a workout.

Attend your appointments

Chronic illnesses require ongoing medical attention, and it’s important to keep up with your appointments, even when you don’t feel like going. While skipping an appointment may not feel like a big deal, the ongoing medical attention from your doctors is essential to minimizing symptoms and ensuring you can live a healthy life. 

Think about your appointments as something you’re doing for yourself instead of limiting your condition. Remember that these appointments result in making you feel better, and it’s time invested in your overall well-being, 

Continue to seek help if you do not see results 

Depending on your chronic condition, finding a treatment that works may take time. And having to fight through your symptoms every day while working with medical professionals to find relief can feel frustrating, pushing you to feel like it’s easier to give up. 

But just because you’re not finding results right away doesn’t mean there’s no solution. Part of your self-care should be giving yourself the grace to rest and knowing you deserve a solution to your chronic illness. Don’t hesitate to find a new doctor or seek a second opinion. You deserve a treatment that works. 

If you have chronic pain or another chronic condition of the spine, the team at Mocek Spine Clinic may be able to help. Schedule an appointment online or call us at 501-224-4001 with any questions.