How to Boost Independence When Living with A Long-Term Health Condition

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When living with a long-term health condition, it can often be difficult to feel fully in control of yourself. Particularly if you’re a wheelchair user or you have an illness that requires daily care to help you with simple tasks, it cannot be easy to feel independent. 

Here are some of the ways you can boost your independence when living with a long-term health condition. 

Make Your Own Decisions

One of the easiest ways to gain independence is by making your own decisions; whether that’s choosing what outfit you want to wear for the day, what you want to eat for breakfast each morning, or what you want to watch on TV with your children at the weekend, there are many simple ways you can make your own decisions.

Every person needs to enjoy the liberty of making their own decisions, so long as they are in the right mental state to do so. It can be hard for those who suffer from severe mental health conditions to make rational and appropriate decisions, which is why it is important to weigh up what decisions are realistically manageable for you to make. Don’t take on too much responsibility if you are not ready to do so. 

Enjoy Your Own Company

Remember that having a long-term health condition does not define you. Value yourself and appreciate your own company, as this psychological development in your understanding will help you become more independent as you realize you quite enjoy spending time alone sometimes. 

What are some of the benefits of spending time alone?

  • You have time to think and make decisions
  • You have time to focus entirely on yourself
  • It is an opportunity to focus on your interests and needs
  • It is an easy way to develop confidence 

Consider Residential Care

If your health condition means you have daily assistance in order to maintain a certain quality of life, it could be a good option to consider residential care. There are many high-standard facilities in America that offer living programs and support, including albany senior living

If this is an option you are interested in, discuss the opportunity with your caregivers and loved ones.

Be Confident in Yourself

According to The Courier Journal, recent studies show that confidence really does impact your health. People who show self-confidence are more likely to live longer lives, as confidence is a positive emotion that has many benefits on the brain.

The idea of confidence varies from person to person, but generally, to have self-confidence means you trust your ideas and your abilities without a doubt. If confidence is something you know you struggle with, but you want to become more independent, try to implement it into your life little by little. 

Understand Your Needs

When living with a long-term health condition, you will need to understand your exact needs before you can take more responsibility for yourself. 

If you usually rely on the help of other people for your medication, try to tackle this task yourself if possible. 

If you have a disorder such as OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) and you know certain things trigger your condition, accepting those triggers as a part of your life when living with a condition such as OCD, is a key way to gain long term independence, as you will become better at accepting yourself and understanding your needs.

Make Yourself Your First Priority

It can be challenging to make yourself a priority, particularly when you have children and a family. Having said that, it is important to prioritize your needs when you have a health condition, to ensure you are getting the required attention or treatment to help you lead a happy life. 

Here are a few ways you can prioritize yourself to boost your independence:

  • Dedicate time in the day to yourself
  • Explore your needs
  • Do things that make you happy
  • Focus on important tasks that will benefit you
  • Enjoy your life as much as you can

Making yourself a priority is not selfish; it is a part of self-care, and it will help to boost your happiness.

Try Doing New Things Without Help

Only you know what you are capable of, and everyone’s abilities vary from person to person. However, if your health-condition means you need a little bit of assistance with certain tasks such as cooking food, perhaps one day you could try cooking yourself if you felt it was achievable. 

When you do things yourself, you are rewarded with a sense of accomplishment and self-achievement. What could be as everyday as going out of the house for a walk for somebody else could be a monumental achievement for you. 

Don’t View Needing Help as Failure

When you take your health-condition out of the picture, ask yourself if you would still need help from the people around you at some point in your life? The answer is, of course, you would. Whether it’s help moving to a new house or help opening a stiff jar of pasta sauce, there are plenty of occasions people ask for help every day. So, why does asking for help make you a failure when needing help is a fundamental part of life? It doesn’t make you anything but human. 

Surround Yourself with Positivity

It can be hard to find the motivation to keep a positive mindset; however, research proves having a positive outlook helps reduce stress and keeps you healthy. 

No one wants negativity in their lives, particularly if someone is actively putting them down and making them feel upset, as this will lower self-esteem and self-worth, which will put a hold on gaining any independence if your self-confidence is being compromised.  

If you are serious about gaining more independence, here are a few ideas on how you can surround yourself with positivity:

  • Stick to environments where you feel happiest
  • Be around people that make you feel your best
  • Surround yourself with people that do not make you question your self-worth

Follow This Guide on How to Boost Independence When Living with a Long-Term Health Condition 

If you want to boost your independence, try some of these steps. Small changes will make big differences to your independence. 

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