Six tips for strength and resilience

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

It would be fair to say that living with a chronic health condition can impact on our capacity for emotional resilience. In addition to this, the social isolation some people with diabetes are experiencing or have experienced in recent times is another level of burden and can leave you feeling alone and vulnerable.

So how do you stay strong with life challenges, and what will support you through tough times? Generally speaking, people who are more resilient in life can roll with the punches and adapt when times are tough, whereas people with less resilience will find it harder. If you work at being emotionally strong and resilient in your day to day life it will prepare you if times become difficult.

There are a number of ways you can increase your resilience, and there are people you can connect with for the emotional support you need. We have six helpful tips to help you stay on track mentally and emotionally.

Six tips for positive mental health

  1. Adopt a positive attitude. Take time every day to look around and acknowledge the positive things in life. No matter how small, there are always positive aspects to life and taking the time to appreciate them will make every day a little better.
  2. Be kind to yourself, and provide good care for you. Stop and think of the positive qualities you possess. Identifying your good qualities even if you are feeling low can help to see your own worth and build your self-esteem. Look after yourself as well as you would look after a loved one. Care for yourself daily with good food, some exercise and some form of relaxation.
  3. Maintain positive relationships around you and build a network of support people. Having friends and family around whose company we enjoy makes us happy and certainly improves our lives. Give people your time and it is very likely you will have others ready to help you when you need it.
  4. Accept that life will change. Life doesn’t stand still, everyone experiences change as we age. You won’t always know the outcome of certain things but there is always a way forward. Develop a realistic plan taking one step at a time. You can do this yourself or use your support network or professionals to help you.
  5. Keep things in perspective and avoid seeing a crisis as an insurmountable problem. There is a way forward. We continue to learn and grow in life. Change can make us stronger, but you have to accept your past and build on it.
  6. Connect with health professionals in your diabetes team when you know you are challenged. They can support you and discuss ways to lighten your load. If needed, you can also ask your GP for a mental health plan, allowing you up to 10 visits with a mental health professional each year.

These steps will help you get through the tougher times and help to maintain a positive outlook on life. Having diabetes or self-isolating for a period of time won’t be as hard.

If you would like to speak to a psychologist, please contact Diabetes NSW & ACT on 1300 342 238 to make an appointment.

 

Helen d’Emden, AdvAPD CDE

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