Remembering What Your Mother Told You

When you have a chronic illness, it’s very easy to view your health management disproportionately through the lens of a specific diagnosis. You may become overly focused on the range of specific prescription medications that you need to take to manage any given condition.

You might start to see any new symptoms as automatically falling under a certain diagnostic umbrella. Sometimes, however, it’s important to just step back and remember what our mothers repeatedly told us about maintaining good health as we were growing up: be sure to eat your vegetables, wash your hands, don’t start smoking, get a good night’s sleep, spend time with your friends, and don’t forget to make time for fun.

Such advice might sound overly simplistic, especially in the context of managing a complex medical illness. I’m beginning to realize, more and more, that my mother certainly knew what she was talking about! It’s critical to assess whether or not you are maintaining adequate health practices, whether or not you have a chronic illness.

Consuming healthy foods, staying adequately hydrated, maintaining a consistent sleep schedule, incorporating physical activity, and maintaining social ties are important for everyone’s optimum level of health. It’s no less important to pay attention to these habits if you should have a chronic illness. In fact, it appears even more important to do so.

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