The beginning of a new year is always a time for reflection. You look back, you look ahead and you try to find the big picture. For patients living with chronic health conditions, a new year can be an opportunity to implement and share lessons learned along the way – about how to cope, manage symptoms, find support, maintain perspective and much more.
Here are a few pieces of advice from members of our Mental Health and Behavior Community in response to the thought-provoking question, “What do you wish you could tell yourself 10 years ago?”
- Guilt drains your energy and doesn’t accomplish anything. Let it go.
- Take your meds as prescribed for your sake – and your family’s.
- Don’t like your provider? Trust your instincts and find a good one.
- Just taking a shower or going on a walk can make you feel better.
- Pick up the phone. Only you can break the cycle of self-isolating.
- Things can get better with the right treatments and care team.
- Get help if you’re self-medicating with alcohol, drugs or self-harm.
- Remember, you’re not crazy or lazy – you have a chronic disease.
- If you’re unable to keep working, apply for disability right away.
- Be kind and patient with yourself because life is hard enough as is.
Is there something you wish you’d known earlier? Chime in on the discussion or share your thoughts in the comments section. Here’s to getting a little wiser in 2013!