My first strategy to ‘live well, even if you can’t get well’ is to ‘maintain the highest level of physical wellbeing that the condition allows’.
Part of that is to manage my illness and physical condition to the best of my ability.
Some of my tips for managing illness overlap with those for maintaining fitness. These two notions are inter-related and work together to help me ‘live well’.
Do everything possible
to manage illness.
- Follow doctors’ orders – take medicines as prescribed and do exercises correctly.
- Maintain as much physical fitness as possible and avoid deconditioning. The fitter the body, the better it can cope with setbacks, with a quicker recovery.
- Get adequate rest. When pain and disease consumes energy, the body needs extra rest for repair and recovery.
- Eat well. Eat healthy, wholesome foods. Avoid foods that cause intolerances and allergies. Avoid highly processed foods and those that put extra stress on the body due to various additives etc.
- Keep adequately hydrated.
- Through trial and error, take note of which activities, foods, medications etc. worsen and improve symptoms. Observe the body’s reactions, signals and early warning signs of a flare.
- Carefully balance activity levels; try to stay within physical limits. The tricky part for me is that these limits will vary from day to day and hour to hour. At times a high level of self-awareness is necessary.
- Remove unnecessary sources of stress where possible.