Receiving news of a life-threatening or terminal illness is not something many of us even think about until the exact moment it happens. The abrupt sense of change can be a profoundly negative one, but you also have opportunities to find bright spots amid your struggles or create them where they aren’t occurring on their own. Here are a few tips on how to continue with life after a serious diagnosis.
Prioritizing Emotional Wellbeing
The first step you’ll need to take is to step back. Medical news and weighty changes can be overwhelming, and it’s all too easy to let yourself drown in anxieties and information overloads. Try to recognize how your diagnosis makes you feel, but don’t let those emotions drive the boat. There is a tomorrow, and sometimes, that fact alone is motivation enough to get out of bed and keep moving forward.
In the same way that you need to care for your body, prioritize caring for your mind. Find support for the more challenging days, either from a group of peers or your family. Allow yourself to enjoy the good days and transform them into great ones. Who you are will continue to exist, so do your best to take care of that person.
Adjusting Legal Plans
One of the best comforts you can offer yourself is peace of mind about the future. It’s important to sit down with a legal professional and those you love to confront the hard questions moving forward. Preparing a will, no matter your age or the stage of your illness, means that your loved ones will have answers when you’re gone. Taking the time to prepare an end-of-life care plan ensures that, even in the hardest times, your family and your healthcare team have the comfort of knowing they’re making the choices you want them to.
Legal plans regarding your future may be difficult to make, but once you’ve done so, your loved ones won’t need to feel as if they’re making decisions alone.
Continuing the Lifestyle You Love
Frequent trips to medical facilities and physician check-ins can easily interrupt your life if you let them. But those looking to continue with life after a serious diagnosis should find ways to fold them into their day-to-day instead of letting them form barriers.
Experiences of going out on the town, enjoying shopping trips, and laughing with those you care about are only more valuable now, so don’t let worry stop you from living your life. Coordinate with your healthcare team if you are truly concerned about returning to your usual lifestyle, and ask them any and all questions you have about how you can return to the hobbies, work, and people that give your life purpose and excitement.
Whether you or a loved one are facing a serious diagnosis, it is important to recognize that life goes on and that you should make time to enjoy every aspect of it that you can.