Recovering from any illness can raise as many questions as the illness itself. Perhaps we’re unsure if there is something we should or should not be doing. Maybe we need to make a change to our diet or lifestyle. We might even be experiencing the fear that it is going to happen again. It is important not to feel isolated or alone. Many illnesses have support groups and professional advice centres. If you’re struggling to find one near you then consider getting online.
Social media platforms such as Facebook have support groups that discuss experiences and recovery. Hearing the experiences of others can give us perspective and valuable support. There may even be something similar for our relatives if they also feel lost and want to know how to help. From advice on lifestyle changes to recovery and success stories, seeking support can be an important part of getting better.
It is important to acknowledge that our illness might have been frightening and stressful for our loved ones too. It is natural that we may find it difficult to communicate about issues that make us feel sad or vulnerable. We may want to forget that the whole experience ever happened. But try hard to be honest and communicative where possible. Even if you can only communicate that you are not ready to talk about things yet, that is still a positive step. In time, you may feel that talking openly with your friends and relatives about your experiences brings you closer. It stops feeling like a dark and painful memory in your life but becomes a source of hope and resilience. It becomes an experience that you and your family shared together and something that made you stronger.
Perhaps you long to talk but don’t know where to begin. You can begin with that! Tell a friend or family member that you would like to communicate but are not sure how or where to start. Many of our friends and family members know us so well that they can then lead the conversation. They can ask us questions to get us started or begin talking about their own feelings. The whole process then feels more collaborative and meaningful rather than a chore that has to be done. Try to listen and understand even if it feels painful. Then work through your thoughts too. Don’t feel like you have to discuss everything all in one sitting either. Merely showing willingness and “opening the door” can be enough to reassure and involve your family and friends.
Your illness may have meant that all your time and energy was spent simply fighting the illness or dealing with mundane tasks. You may not have been bedridden but may still have felt that you didn’t feel well enough to do anything extra. For that reason, it’s likely that you never took the time to pamper yourself. It may sound like a superficial activity. But spending time consciously relaxing and treating ourselves actually has many benefits. Using a moisturiser or taking a luxurious bath can improve our circulation and eliminate toxins. Breathing essential oils can help relax us at a deep level and clear our airways. Consider spa deals as a way to ease yourself back into life and feel wonderful. This can also be a wonderful activity to do with family and friends that is not physically demanding. However you choose to relax, take it seriously. Try to reduce your distractions and worries. Focus on feeling clear-headed and healthier. Rituals and routines that only involve our body can actually affect our emotions too!
Be sure to spend time with the ones you love when you are recovering from illness. Our relationships with our friends and family have a profound effect on our overall health and well being. Don’t feel like you have to be the life of the party or have a special activity planned. Simply enjoying a cup of tea or relaxing evening with a film can be a great way to catch up and appreciate your loved ones without causing any strain.