If you have been diagnosed with a serious illness, you are probably understandably worried. Worrying about the future and how you are going to cope with your illness can create stress which leads to an unhealthy lifestyle. Common results of this are being unable to sleep, eating too much or eating too little. Often, stress can exacerbate the symptoms of your illness, so it is important to keep this stress under control.
Here are some suggestions that may help.
1) Remember that you are not alone - One of the worst aspects of being diagnosed with a serious illness is the “why me?" factor. You feel alone, and just want to be healthy like everyone else. Well the truth is everyone else isn't healthy. There are lots of support groups out there, both for specific illnesses and general serious illnesses. Joining one of these can make you realize that other people are going through the same thing, and give you an opportunity to talk to people who understand.
2) Write down your thoughts - There are many different kinds of therapy, and this is one that only involves you. Being diagnosed with a serious illness is a lot to deal with, and it is likely that there is a lot running through your mind. Often, this contributes to insomnia because you just can't get your mind to slow down. This is when you should bust out a pen and paper or your laptop and just start writing. Write down everything that comes to your mind. The beauty of this is that you only have to do it when you want to. If you have thoughts to get out every night, then write every night. If it's only once a week, write once a week. It won't be beneficial if you sit down to write when you have nothing to say.
3) Distract yourself - Thinking about your illness all day and night isn't going to make it go away, so try to think about other things every once in awhile. If you have time, I recommend getting hooked on a good television show. This is an ongoing thing, so it will distract you longer than just watching a movie. Books are great for this also. Try to lose yourself in the world of the characters and worry about their problems rather than your own. Reading is also a great way to make yourself tired enough to fall asleep at night.
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