You’ve come this far – you’ve advocated for yourself or your loved one to ensure that your Fabry disease was identified and is being consistently treated. Do the same for your mental health, it’s a part of rare disease and is just as important to treat.
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Even small acts of self-care can have a big impact on your daily life.
Whether you have Fabry disease or you care for someone with it, taking care of your physical and mental health better equip you to handle the challenges of managing the disease. This means consistent self-care.
Self-care makes you more resilient, helping you through the tough times to enjoy the good times.
Changes are not always big, but they do add up. Gaining a better understanding of depression and anxiety can help you improve your mental and physical wellbeing. That's empowering.
Managing stress is a key aspect of self-care that can help you improve your mental health and quality of life. Here are some coping strategies and tips to help you manage stress and care for yourself:
Triggers are events or circumstances that may produce uncomfortable emotional symptoms or responses. Recognizing triggers can increase your ability to cope with them, and can help prevent more severe symptoms.
Talk to someone
Reach out to your friends, family, a therapist or support group for practical help and emotional support.
Eat healthy, regular meals and stay hydrated
Your gut and brain work together. A balanced diet and plenty of water can provide you with improved health, energy and focus.
Make sleep a priority
Develop a relaxing nightly routine and stick to a schedule to help improve the quality and amount of time you sleep.
Try a relaxing activity
Explore ways to relax, such as stretching and breathing exercises, prayer or meditation, or journaling.
Take time for yourself
Spend more time doing things that help you recharge - reading a book, getting a massage, going to the movies - whatever you enjoy.
Set goals and priorities
Decide what must get done now and what can wait. Making a day-to-day schedule can help ensure you don’t feel overwhelmed by everyday tasks and activities.
Remind yourself daily of things you are grateful for. Keep a list and share your gratitude with others.
Take the “win”
Not everything goes as planned. But you can boost your optimism by surrounding yourself with positive people and celebrating small wins as they come.
Avoid alcohol and drugs
These substances can worsen mental health symptoms. If you're struggling with substance abuse, help is available.
Physical activity can boost your mood and improve your health. Walking, yoga, dancing or gardening - make it enjoyable and move regularly.
Spend time with animals
Pets help reduce stress, boost mood, and are associated with improved cardiovascular health. Adopt, volunteer at a shelter, or even offer to pet sit for friends.
If the steps you've taken aren't helping, it may be time to talk about your symptoms with your healthcare team and mental health professional. They can help you create an action plan for feeling better.
Improving your mental health starts with:
Having self-awareness to recognize when things aren't going well, and knowing where you want to make improvements.
Being tuned into your thinking - recognize negative thoughts and reframe them.
Developing a plan of strategies that help you move toward your idea of optimal well-being.
Recognizing the mind-body connection and that improving mental health also improves physical health and vice-versa.
Finding purpose and meaning despite having a disease or diagnosis.
Discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider, they can refer you to a mental health professional if needed. While waiting for an appointment, seek support from friends or family.
Therapy can improve symptoms and help you create a plan for working through challenges.
It's essential to care for your mental health as well as your physical health - they're connected. Waiting to seek support can lead to worsening symptoms, which can have a negative impact in other areas of life.