Living with a new or recent disability can be very challenging. Nonetheless, there are still countless ways that you can improve the quality of your life. Contrary to what most people might think, disabilities are very common, and not all disabilities are visible. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, about 61 million adults have some form of disability. Whether it’s a minor or major one, it may or may not restrict your everyday functions. That doesn’t mean that you can’t live a fulfilled life. This post will help you identify the various ways to improve your quality of life while living with a disability.
Learn to ask & receive help
It’s easy to feel that most people don’t understand your situation and the changes you’re experiencing in your body. Don’t feel tempted to isolate yourself because leaning on your support system can lift your mood and change your outlook on life. As much as possible, try to spend time with your loved ones, whether for a good time or if you simply need some moral support. You can also join a disability support group to interact with people who can relate and empathize with you in similar situations. Support groups are a great way to seek encouragement. You can also consider seeing a therapist who can support you. A good therapist will help improve your quality of life by allowing you to share your struggles and work your way through them.
Focus on your health
Your disability shouldn’t stop you from living a quality life. Studies have continuously shown that improving your health through regular exercise, eating healthy, and getting plenty of rest can help you feel good about yourself. Exercising is also a great way to boost your mental health and can reduce any anxiety or depression you might be feeling. You have to be more cautious with a disability when exercising. It would be best to start small, preferably with the help of a fitness coach or physical therapist.
There might also be positions you can no longer do; however, you can speak with your trainer to find more modified positions. Your diet must also be rich and nutritious. When you eat well, it energizes you and enables you to participate in various activities. Try to reduce your junk food intake as much as possible and introduce more proteins and healthy carbs into your diet. You must also remember to drink water regularly to avoid dehydration. Ensure you also get enough rest daily and aim for at least 7-9 hours of sleep. Before going to bed, you can have a wind-down session where you take a warm bath or try some relaxation techniques.
Find new interests
A new disability can cause you to question who you are and what you have to offer to society. If your disability prevents you from doing the same work you used to do, it can make you feel you wish you could do more. But as one door closes, another opens, and there are many other activities that you can do to renew your sense of purpose.
Volunteering is a good way to feel useful to society and make a difference. And the best thing is that you can still volunteer even if you have limited mobility or can’t work. Find a project or cause you are passionate about and figure out ways to get involved. You can also use this to find new hobbies, take up a new activity, or even get a new pet.
Consider disability benefits
Some disabilities prevent people from working and earning a living. As a result, they receive government support to help them live comfortably and pay for basic amenities. If you have a disability that prevents you from working, you can apply for disability benefits. You can also take out an insurance policy that will provide you with financial support.
If you served in the military and were disabled while in active service, you will be entitled to monthly benefits. Veterans, get the VA benefits you deserve! Generally, how much you will receive in terms of financial support, will depend on your disability. Even if you can work, you may still be eligible for some benefits. When you have enough financial support, it can certainly help improve your quality of life.
Coming to terms with a new or recent disability might be a tough thing to do. For some, it could feel like you’re putting your life on hold or even giving up on some future plans. However, refusing to accept that your body has changed might keep you in limbo, and you’ll be in a state of doubt where you cannot move forward and learn to adjust to your new way of living. It’s normal to grieve your disability. It is a big change and can throw your life plans in a loop. So, don’t try to suppress or fight your feelings. You can also expect to feel a wide range of emotions, from anger to disbelief and even sadness. Fortunately, these things get better with time.
Once you have gone through your emotions, you can learn to accept yourself. You might not be the same, but you can still be happy in your body. Focusing on what you can no longer do won’t do you any good. Instead, focus on what you can do. Another great way to accept your disability is by learning more about it. When you know more about your condition and the changes your body might be experiencing, the better you learn how to prepare yourself and adjust to your new life.
Living with a disability can be challenging, and thankfully, there are many things you can do to boost your quality of life. In some cases, you might not be able to reverse your condition, but you can work towards changing your way of life. You will gain control over your life and live it to the fullest.