13 Ways a Long Term Illness Might Change Your Life

13 Ways a Long Term Illness Might Change Your Life

Image via Air Force Medical Service – AF.mil

If you are dealing with a long term illness or a chronic condition, chances are that you might have already taken a step back and thought about your life and future in depth. There are many changes dealing with an illness or a condition might make in your life, and inevitably you will need to understand your changing needs and your circumstances, so you can make the most out of the situation. Your illness will not only affect your lifestyle and your relationships, but also your outlook in life and your mental health. Below you will find a few areas to consider examining to cope with your condition better.

1. Mobility

If you had to spend a couple of weeks or months in bed or hospital, it will be hard to get back to your regular exercise routine. You will need to build up your muscles, strength, and stamina, but most importantly you have to improve your willpower. It is hard to find the motivation to move around again and stretch yourself to your limits. It might be a good idea to improve your mental health and find a group where you can get support, so you can become mobile and active again.

2. Confidence

One of the things that suffer after a long term illness is your confidence. You should not think that you are less just because you have a condition or you haven’t been as productive as you wanted to be lately. You have to focus on the future and not the past, and boost your confidence by achieving small things every day. You can start by making a list of things you would like to be able to do and tackling them one at a time. This will keep you going and motivated, while boosting your confidence.

3. Work

If you are hospitalized for a long time or had to take time off work, it is likely that you will find it hard to get back to your old routine. You might need to change your job or reduce your hours while you are recovering. In some cases, it is important that you think long term and leave a job that doesn’t allow you to recover safely. You might have lost your job while you were off sick, or neglected your home business, and this means that you will have to find a new meaning in life.

4. Relationships

Every long term illness takes its toll on relationships. You will need to focus on the positives and sit down with your family as well as your friends explaining how you feel and how they can help you. Communication is the key, and if you neglect it, you might push away people who really care about you. Whether you had to be cared for, or your pain prevented you from taking part in family and social events, it might be time to start again fresh.

5. Finances

Being ill for a long time can drain your bank account. First of all, you will not be  able to work. Second, you will need to pay for your health care. Once the dark clouds are over, you should sit down and make a plan about what you would like to do with your life and how you will get back in the black. It is possible that your illness has been prolonged by human error, and you will need to take action. Contact a Medical Malpractice specialist who can help you get the compensation you deserved for the inconvenience and loss income.

6. Living Arrangements

After you have successfully overcome an illness, chances are that you might want to make your home healthier and more supportive. Whether you are less able to do things around the house, for example looking after the garden, or you need to have a clear air to avoid complications and infections, you will need to make positive changes.

7. Appreciating Life

13 Ways a Long Term Illness Might Change Your Life mental health

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One of the things you might need to learn again after recovering from a long term illness is making the most out of your life and abilities. Instead of focusing on what you can’t do and your limitations, you will need to learn to appreciate what you have. Practice mindfulness and gratefulness every day, so you can spend the rest of your life with a better mindset and improved outlook.

8. Stress Endurance

You might have had a quieter than usual life when you were recovering from your illness, but you will need to face the world again sooner or later. This means that you will have to strengthen your mind and prepare for stress. It might be scary to get back to your car again after not driving for a while and facing traffic. Build yourself up to the task and improve your stress endurance, so you can handle the challenges ahead.

9. Changes In Your Values

A long term illness often changes people’s values. If you have been living life from one day to the next, this is likely to change. You will develop new values and might replace your friends. This is natural, as you have been over a physical and mental trauma and you had time to reflect on your life. Don’t be afraid of change; it will make your life fuller.

10. Your Life Priorities

Apart from your values, your life priorities are going to change, as well. Health will play a more important role in your life, and you might focus less on earning money and more on finding meaningful ways of spending it. You might appreciate your family more in the future, especially if they supported you throughout your journey to recovery.

11. Family Life

Your family dynamics must have changed due to your illness, and it might be hard to get back to where you were. Your kids might have grown up to the responsibility of taking care of themselves and cooking, and you don’t want them to go back on this improvement. Instead, praise their achievement and step in to help them grow further and become even more independent and self-sufficient. You might have reconnected with your distant relatives, and you should not neglect the relationship you built while you were not well.

12. Self-esteem

If you spent a lot of time in hospital or at home, your self-esteem might have suffered, as well as your confidence. It is important that you accept your old and new limitations and understand that you are a whole person as you are. Don’t try to prove that you are worth people’s love and attention; simply accept it as a fact. You have so much to give, and you should be appreciated for who you are. There are plenty of hypnosis and meditation exercises that will help you improve your self-esteem.

13. Education Choices

Once your life has turned upside down, you might have a different perspective on what you would like to and can achieve. Your illness might have made you think about choosing a medical field of study, and help people who are going through what you endured. Alternatively, your newly found limitations might prevent you from carrying on with your training, and you will have to change direction.

There are many long term changes you will have to face after recovering from a long term illness. Make sure that you are ready for the challenges and focus on what you learnt from your experience, instead of dwelling on the past. Looking at the bright side of life will help you find your purpose again.


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