When you suffer from a chronic illness, it doesn’t only impact you physically; there are also mental and emotional side effects, such as a loss of self-esteem. You may find that you compare yourself unfavourably to others, or feel like you don’t really know who you are anymore.
When these negative feelings start to crop up, it’s important to remember that you’re not defined by your diagnosis. Instead, focus on things you can do to start boosting your self-esteem and regaining your confidence. Here are some top tips to get you started!
1 Getting Out And About
Having to deal with pain and discomfort on a daily basis can make you reluctant to push yourself to go outside. As a result, your regular outings, such as going to the local shop, meeting up with friends, or pursuing a favourite hobby, suddenly become much more difficult. You may even find yourself making excuses not to do them. However, isolating yourself will only make it harder to keep your spirits up.
To help you regain your confidence in getting out and about, you may find it helpful to use a mobility aid, such as a wheelchair or a mobility scooter. Mobility Solutions can provide you with a three-year lease on a scooter with the help of the Motability Scheme, giving you the chance to spread your wings and get back to the activities you used to enjoy.
2 Transform The Way You Think
If you find yourself being plagued with negative or self-critical thoughts as a result of your illness, it’s important to nip them in the bud as quickly as possible and find ways to reframe your thinking. Whenever a negative thought pops into your head, there are a couple of things you can do to challenge it.
Shouting ‘Stop!’ – whether in your head or maybe even out loud – can help to stop that negative thought train in its tracks. Alternatively, you can actively swap one thought for another, replacing the self-critical thought with a positive one, like “I’m coping really well” or “I’m doing my best today, and that’s enough.” When you suffer from a chronic illness, you need to focus on being your own best friend rather than your own worst critic!
3 Build A Strong Support System
When you are coping with a chronic illness, you need to have people close at hand to offer support, comfort, humour, and motivation. Your friends and family will probably already form an encouraging circle around you, but you can also spread your circle wider; for example, you could join a local support group where you can meet other people who share your struggles.
You can even make new friends online, either through forums set up for anyone coping with chronic illness or completely unrelated sites centred around a particular interest you may have.
The more positive people you have in your life to rely on and to lift you up when you’re feeling down, the more confident you will feel.