Managing Dark Moments With A Chronic Condition
Dealing with a chronic condition can be difficult. At your lowest moments, you may feel like your symptoms may not subside or that you’ll never get better. You may feel less motivated to take care of yourself or take the necessary steps to get healthy.
In these dark moments, look to utilize some of the tips below in order to keep things in perspective and continue putting one foot in front of the other.
Examine Negative Thoughts: It goes without saying that negative thoughts won’t provide a solution to your chronic condition. If anything, repeating these thoughts or sitting with them often makes the issue worse.
When these negative thoughts arise, such as “I’ll never get better” or “This pain will never go away,” examine these thoughts with a series of questions.
Is this thought true?
Is this thought helping me or making the situation worse?
What would I say to a friend experiencing the same thing?
Taking a closer look at your thoughts can be helpful in being kinder to yourself and removing negative patterns of thinking.
Practice self-compassion: We often speak more harshly to ourselves than we ever would to anyone else. Instead of interpreting these thought as true, try expressing them through writing or art. This can help you dig deeper and get closer to what the root issue is. Be kind and compassionate to yourself, recognizing that your perspective can shift even during difficult moments.
Practice gratitude: Even if they’re small or fleeting moments, take note of positive experiences in your day. It could be as simple as a happy memory or something that made you laugh. Be sure to write them down. A lot of these little moments can add up in a big way.
Connect with other chronic pain sufferers: Whether it’s through community support groups or online message boards, sharing your story and finding others who are experiencing similar issues can be incredibly powerful.
Do what you love: It may seem like you’re devoting all your time towards managing your symptoms. But even if you have limitations, find something to look forward to or look towards. Whether it’s a night out with friends or simply reading a book at home, shifting your mindset will keep you from focusing on the things you’re not able to do right now.