Importance of Distraction

When you’re dealing with the multiple demands associated with managing a chronic illness, it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed. You may feel like your everyday life is an endless carousel of juggling doctor appointments, refilling prescriptions, scheduling diagnostic tests, reviewing laboratory results, and receiving referrals to specialists.

It’s almost inevitable that you begin to feel like your life is dominated by these time-consuming tasks. It’s absolutely imperative, therefore, to find pockets of time throughout your day when your focus is on something other than illness management.

Scheduling even brief periods of activities that you enjoy can go a long way towards helping you to achieve improved balance in your life. Notice that I said to intentionally schedule such activities: if you wait until you think you have enough time to do such activities, you’ll most likely run out of time.

Like a lot of things that I’ve come to deeply appreciate over time, this is a lesson that I’ve learned the hard way. Some days, I intentionally choose to shorten my to-do list. After all, the world will keep spinning if some tasks are put off for another day.

I’ve come to appreciate that it is absolutely priceless to make time for activities that allow you to think of something other than your illness and its management. This could be watching a movie, attending a concert, trying a new recipe, getting a manicure, chatting with a good friend, going shopping, going for a walk, reading a good book, listening to music, having your hair cut, or taking a drive to a new location.

Engaging in such activities reaps valuable dividends; you’ll find yourself more relaxed, focused, and refreshed. As a result, you’re better able to cope with the demands of chronic illness.

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