Coping With Terminal Illness: 3 Ways to Make the Most of It

a woman looking out a window

After being diagnosed with a terminal illness, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed or defeated. In fact, many patients report feeling a change in their physical, emotional, and spiritual priorities, along with a multitude of new challenges and concerns. To take control of your situation, you must take steps to make the most out of your time. Here are some practical ways to cope after being diagnosed with a terminal illness and how to make the most of your situation.

Build a strong support system

After being diagnosed with a terminal illness, it’s important to build a strong support system of your close friends and family. Finding someone you feel comfortable opening up to about more serious issues, whether it’s a close friend or a family member, can help you avoid bottling up your emotions.

Additionally, consider reaching out for professional support. Coping with a terminal illness on your own can harm your mental health, because feelings of loneliness and isolation can leave you feeling more stressed and anxious. The mental health experts at the Therapy Group of NYC offer authentic and personalized treatments to help you adjust to life after your diagnosis and develop methods to cope.

Empower yourself through knowledge

Being diagnosed with a terminal illness can make it difficult to stay motivated. To stay organized and take control of your situation, start tracking appointments, doctor’s contact information, and other important information in a planner. Bring your planner to each appointment and keep a list of questions and treatment options. Using a planner can keep you on track with your diagnosis and can help you create a comprehensive strategy for moving forward.

Also, make sure to set aside some time to learn more about your diagnosis. According to health psychologist Katherine DuHamel, “a lot of information is exactly what [some people] need,” whereas “others might not want too much right away.” Educating yourself about your illness and potential treatment options can help clarify the situation and may relieve stress while providing a sense of empowerment. However, it’s important to educate yourself at your own pace to avoid feeling overwhelmed.

Focus on your health

Although your diagnosis may leave you feeling defeated, focusing on your health and practicing preventive measures is necessary. High-quality medical treatment may seem costly, but might be your best option to improve your prognosis. 

If you’re not sure how to pay for medical treatment or long-term care, selling your life insurance policy can provide you with immediate cash. The professionals at connect clients with multiple life settlement companies, enabling them to receive a lump-sum payment for their policy in as little as one to two weeks.

Along with proactively pursuing medical treatment, you can take a wide range of other preventive measures. If you’re a smoker, consider quitting. Quitting smoking significantly reduces your risk of developing further health problems, such as cancer, and will lower your risk of heart disease and stroke. 

Individuals diagnosed with a terminal illness should also start exercising regularly. Although exercising may seem difficult for individuals with busy schedules, regular exercise can elevate mood, counter fatigue, and may even improve your prognosis. Combined with maintaining a healthy weight and eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly can significantly reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases. 

A terminal illness diagnosis can often send patients into shock. Ultimately, you must remember that you’re not alone. Building a strong support network, empowering yourself through knowledge, and practicing preventive measures can help you take control of your situation and make the most of your time.