Living with any kind of disability is challenging and not easy, to say the least, but with any major life event, we have a choice to either succumb to it or to thrive irrespective of what life throws at us. It’s easier said than done, yes but it’s not impossible and this is exactly why we should focus on our growth in every way possible.
Here are a few ways to cope with a disability-
1. Mourning your loss
It’s important to grieve when you lose something or someone. It’s important to process your emotions and feel what you’re going through as this will lead to the next step of accepting your disability. Allowing yourself to feel grief is important. Therefore, feel the emotions you’re going through, don’t suppress or ignore your emotions whether it’s sadness, anger, frustration, or anything else.
2. Accepting your disability
learning to accept your disability does not mean that you’re giving in. Rather, accepting it frees you and can be the first step towards making adjustments to cope with it better. However, it’s also absolutely okay to have bad days and experience your emotions. This does not mean that you’re weak, it’s just that you’re strong enough to acknowledge what you’re feeling without pretending or putting on a happy face.
People who are close to you would also prefer knowing how you are feeling to understand and help you better. Radical acceptance is something that can be practiced as it helps us deal with the pain in a better way and realize what are the possibilities available because it helps us to accept the things which are not under our control thereby reducing the suffering.
3. Focus on the present
While it is easy to dwell on the past and think how things were easier back then, it’s important to come back to the present as ruminating over what has happened will only crush your spirit and fill you with regrets whereas focusing on the present will help you with adjusting yourself to your new normal.
It’s easy to get lost in your thoughts but you can use some grounding techniques and others to come back to the current scenario. It’s essential to look at a situation as a means to adapt to this new reality rather than giving up by looking at the past.
4. Learn about your rights
Over the years new ways have been developed to help people with disabilities get the same opportunities and certain privileges to help them cope better. Researching your rights will be good for you as it will help you know the many ways to lighten your burden. Every government has special rights for the disabled, learn about them.
5. Do the things which give you joy
You can still engage in the activities you like using certain technologies and adjusting the hobby or modifying it in a way that you can still enjoy it. Set up new hobbies and goals and try to achieve them. Setting realistic goals and working towards them will make your life meaningful with a purpose to work towards and look forward to.
This will make you feel fulfilled. And, it’s okay to feel sad or angry but it’s important to be resilient. Focus on the things you can do rather than focusing on what you cannot do anymore.
6. Taking care of your mental health
It can be challenging to go through something like becoming disabled but your disability does not define who or what you’re capable of. If you need help to deal with your disability in a better way, do it and do not be embarrassed to ask for help. Along with this, consulting a mental health counselor will help you too.
Confidence and reframing your mindset are two important things to deal with any difficult situation in life. Focusing on your overall well-being by eating nutritious food, exercising, meditating, staying hydrated, and getting quality sleep will help with your overall mood.
7. Stay connected–
While you’d want to withdraw yourself from people, it’s important to be around people you trust and who make you feel good. Letting go of the stigma and embarrassment is important in such situations to meet people and hang out with them. Being around your friends and family will help you feel better, confident, and positive.
Sharing your troubles with others and just enjoying your time with them will help you as loneliness can be more detrimental to your mental health. Joining support groups will also give you encouragement, motivation, and solution to your struggles. Volunteering, working with NGOs, and disabled people will also uplift you and others, making you feel better and giving you confidence.
8. Practicing stress management
Stress is a part of everybody’s life and learning to manage stress is essential to not feel discouraged and upset for a long time. Practicing journaling, talking to a friend, engaging in relaxation techniques will help immensely.
While it is easier said than done, if you have the will then nothing or nobody can stop you from feeling better and still living a meaningful life. It will be difficult and uncomfortable in the beginning but it will get better.
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