How to manage chronic condition

Here are some tips for man­aging a chron­ic con­di­tion:

• Un­der­stand how to identi­fy and man­age com­mon symp­toms. Most chron­ic con­di­tions share com­mon symp­toms such as fa­tigue, short­ness of breath, pain, sleep prob­lems, de­pres­sion, an­ger, stress and memory prob­lems. Learn­ing to re­cog­nize and man­age these symp­toms is an im­port­ant part of liv­ing well with a chron­ic con­di­tion.

• Ex­er­cise and eat right. Yes, it’s true. Mov­ing your body will keep it mov­ing. Find something you en­joy do­ing such as walk­ing, seated ex­er­cise classes or wa­ter aer­obics. Ex­er­cise will strengthen muscles and in­crease lung ca­pa­city. Plus, you re­lease “feel-good” hor­mones when you are act­ive. Eat a diet full of lean meats, fruits, ve­get­ables and whole grains. All of these things will make your body stronger and help de­crease symp­toms.

• Find ways to re­lieve stress. Deal­ing with a chron­ic con­di­tion and the changes it causes in your life can be very stress­ful. Find ways to re­lieve stress that work for you. Talk to a friend, watch a funny movie, pray, prac­tice deep breath­ing. There are many ways to re­lieve stress…find one that works for you.

• Un­der­stand how to man­age your med­ic­a­tions. It is im­port­ant to know what med­ic­a­tion you are tak­ing and to take it as pre­scribed. De­vise a sys­tem to help you re­mem­ber when and what med­ic­a­tions you should take. A pill­box, chart or list works for you.

• Ask for as­sist­ance when you need it. You don’t have to do it all your­self. If you are hav­ing a day when you are not feel­ing well, ask a friend or fam­ily mem­ber for help. They will be glad that you did. ••

Jill Schlosser and Michelle Mori­arty are well­ness nurses at Wes­ley En­hanced Liv­ing.

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