3 Tips To Take Care of Yourself During A Serious Illness


When you’re dealing with a serious illness, daily life can be difficult; sometimes it takes all your strength and energy just to manage pain.

If you’re unable to perform basic tasks required to make it through the day, self-care can fall by the wayside.

However, just because you can’t go full force with the self-care routine you had prior to your illness doesn’t mean you’re stuck.

There are several small things you can do to maintain your health and well-being, despite your illness.

1. Don’t Brush Off Intuition

You know your body better than anyone, and it’s important to pay attention to your intuition.

Dont Brush Off Intuition

If you feel like something isn’t right, despite doctors telling you otherwise, listen to your gut and do something.

This applies to potentially incorrect diagnoses and issues that are being brushed off by medical doctors.

Doctors are extremely knowledgeable, but they make mistakes. For example, some pneumonia symptoms are identical to mesothelioma, which is a rare cancer.

For instance, fluid build-up in the lungs and a persistent cough are symptoms of both illnesses. This leads to a lot of mesothelioma victims being misdiagnosed, which prolongs treatment.

If you’ve been diagnosed with pneumonia, but it doesn’t feel right, there’s a small chance it might be pleural mesothelioma affecting your lungs.

If you’ve been exposed to asbestos in the past and suspect you have mesothelioma, see a specialist right away for a more accurate diagnosis.

The same advice applies to any situation you feel isn’t completely right. It never hurts to get several different medical opinions.

2. Ask For Help (or hire help)

When you’re not well, it’s stressful just thinking about what you need to get done, and that’s not healthy.

Being in a stressful state will pump cortisol and adrenaline through your body, which can do damage long-term.

Stress can do a lot of damage to your body, and when you’re already ill, it’s more important than ever to protect your emotional well-being.  

Getting help from others will make life easier and less stressful, whether it’s having groceries delivered or hiring someone to clean your home.

When you don’t have to do everything yourself, you’ll keep your stress hormones in check, and that will do wonders for your health. 

For instance, high levels of cortisol are linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, inflammation, fatigue, and even diabetes. Eliminating things that cause stress will help you avoid these consequences.

Anything you struggle to do can be done by someone else, and it’s worth it even if you have to pay someone. Consider hiring someone for the following tasks:

  • Grocery shopping
  • Laundry
  • Driving you to appointments
  • Yardwork
  • Doing dishes
  • Walking your dogs

You might have friends or family willing to help, so don’t be afraid to ask people you know first.

If you need more than just a few things, consider getting in-home care, at least part-time. It might be covered by the state if you have Medicaid or are already on government assistance.

Eat Good Nutrition

3. Eat Good Nutrition

Nutrition is the foundation of good health, and no matter what type of illness you have, good food will go a long way to nourish your body.

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Depending on the type of illness you’re dealing with, there might even be specific foods that can help you manage symptoms, especially if your illness or medication causes you to become deficient in certain nutrients.

For instance, you might be deficient in magnesium if you’re taking certain prescription medications like antibiotics, painkillers, or diuretics.

If you can’t absorb the magnesium, taking a supplement won’t make a difference, but if your body is just burning through it faster, you may need to eat more magnesium or consider a supplement.

Even though it’s easy to order takeout, get fast food, or eat frozen meals, try to eat as much real food as possible.

You don’t have to prepare it yourself if you don’t have the time or energy. You can hire someone to make big batches of meals and put them in the freezer to heat up later.

Or, you can find a health food store and buy healthy premade meals that don’t have the additives found in frozen and canned food.

Don’t Push Yourself

Most importantly, don’t push your physical or emotional limits. Take things one day at a time. Anything that isn’t truly important can wait until later or until you can get help.

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