Maintaining a positive attitude
You should keep in mind that with appropriate care almost everybody gets better and that time is on your side. You will be back in the full swing of things but for now you have to follow certain advice as prescribed by your healthcare team. You will gradually get back to your activities; however, patience will stand you in good stead. Those who rush and impose their own agenda on that of their convalescence often find themselves frustrated with worsening, relapsing or plateauing symptoms.
For those of us who have a tendency to adopt all-or-none thinking, this will be a useful time to appreciate the adage ‘looking at the glass half full’. That is, although we might not be able to get back to all the activities we love when we would like, there may be many activities we can learn to appreciate more, or many we always wanted to do but for which we never had the time. Some examples of projects patients have taken up during this time is learning a language, improving cooking skills, discovering mindfulness, experiencing meditation, practicing visualization, relaxation techniques, breathing techniques, playing an instrument or spending time with friends and family.
While these activities are beneficial in their own right, they can also help us manage our stress by restoring joy and balance to our experience of life. You can be creative when selecting activities provided they have been cleared by your healthcare team. Intuitive people, people who tend to take things as they come and children may have an advantage here but the rest of us can often learn through maintaining and open-mind and trying new things. More importantly, we must keep in mind that it’s not the meditation, for example, that will help us manage our stress; it is how well we do the meditation and how well we immerse ourselves in that experience that will prove fruitful. Examples of what some patients have found helpful also includes yoga, exercise (if medically cleared for the same), avoiding stressful situations and reducing one’s workload. Sometimes, receiving specialized help from your healthcare team (psychotherapist, psychologist, occupational therapist, etc.) will further help.
Maintaining a positive perspective and appreciating the things in life you have going for you will help maintain your optimism and enthusiasm for recovery and life in general.