When I feel especially overwhelmed by dealing with multiple chronic illnesses, I remind myself to “just take the next step.” Development of this mindset has definitely allowed me to focus much more optimally on what is truly most important at any given time.
It prevents me from spinning into a downward spiral of being overwhelmed by all of my diagnoses, as well as their myriad symptoms, medications, and treatments.
This is critically important, since how we initially respond to our stressors can easily multiply their ultimate impact. Previously, I would feel frequently overwhelmed by trying to optimally manage all of my concurrent diagnoses at the same time.
Now, I choose to triage my illness management; on any given day, I decide which chronic condition deserves prioritization. It’s simply not realistic to attempt to manage multiple chronic conditions with equal intensity, all at times.
In addition to just taking the next step, I remind myself of all that I have already successfully coped with to date. I hope that those of you who are dealing with chronic illness will benefit from my decision to share what has been personally helpful for me.