Managing Chronic Pain

Living with a chronic condition like COPD, diabetes, heart disease, or others can be difficult as they require continuous treatment and can continue to create new challenges after your diagnosis. This can all take a toll on your mental health, and it can be hard not to feel sorry for yourself. While a chronic condition certainly makes life a little more complicated, there are steps you can take to ensure that a new diagnosis doesn’t stop you from enjoying life. 

  • When you first learn about your diagnosis, it’s important to learn what you can about it. This can be empowering and also give you steps and actions you can control, rather than focusing on the things you can’t. 
  • However, all the new information you’re learning can be overwhelming, and it’s important to remember that you’re not going to make a huge life change overnight. Take small, action-oriented steps. 
  • When your diagnosis and everything that comes with it starts to seem overwhelming, it’s a good idea to figure out what your motivation is. Whether it’s family and friends or a certain hobby or passion, knowing your motivation can help you to push through on the harder days. 
  • Once you know your motivation, you can also work on adjusting certain activities and expectations. If you know your time outside with your grandchildren is important, then you can prioritize that and use a chair or walker to make sure you still spend that time with them. Likewise, if other activities are not something that motivates you, adjust your expectations to reflect that. 
  • Lastly, a positive mental attitude and daily gratitude can go a long way in making you feel better about your situation.

Having a chronic condition can certainly make a life a little more complicated and even harder at times, but don’t let it stop you from living a happy life. Happiness is something everyone has to work at.