Health in Action

Coping with a Chronic Condition

A chronic ailment such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes or arthritis doesn’t need to rule your life. Learn to manage common conditions so you can live and work to your full potential.

Educate yourself about your condition. Ask your health care provider for websites, printed materials or other resources you can access.

Fit your treatment plan into your daily life. The right combination of medications, exercise, self-care and healthful eating are crucial to lifelong health. Don’t stop doing what you need to simply because you’re feeling better.

Keep a diary. Record your symptoms and what you do, eat and experience every day. You’ll start to see patterns: For example, on days you work outside in the yard, you need more asthma medication.

Stop the roller coaster of emotion. Depression, frustration, denial, anger and sadness are normal when you have a chronic condition. To help manage those feelings, talk with family, friends or a counselor or join a support group for your condition. Reward yourself for reaching small goals.

Remember: With support and a solid treatment strategy, you can get past the bad days to embrace the good.

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