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EMBRACING LIFE'S JOURNEY: A GUIDE TO LIVING FULLY WITH A DISABILITY

Adjusting ones life with a disability presents its share of challenges; luckily, there are strategies to facilitate your journey in managing constraints, conquering obstacles, and living a fulfilling life. 

Making the adjustment

We often underestimate the value of good health until it's compromised, leading us to ponder what's been lost. However, even though you can't reclaim a healthier past version of yourself or wish away limitations, you have the power to shift your perspective and manage your disability more effectively. You remain the captain of your life; thus, try to boost your self-assurance and transform your mindset. Regardless of the nature of your disability, triumphing over the obstacles is well within reach, paving the way for a richly satisfying life journey.

Embrace your disability with acceptance

Recognising and embracing your disability can pose quite a challenge. It might even feel like you're giving up or surrendering your hopes and dreams. However, not acknowledging your limitations can keep you from moving forward. It's like being stuck in one place, preventing you from making the changes that could lead to new opportunities and goals. ​​(HelpGuide.org, 2023)​

Make managing your stress a priority

Coping with stress and anxiety can be demanding and potentially increase symptoms. Therefore, exploring effective stress management strategies, including relaxation techniques, sustaining a balance between work and personal life, and adopting healthier coping methods is crucial. Your well-being matters. Therefore, taking steps to manage stress can make a significant difference.

Maintain a healthy diet for enhanced energy and vitality

A balanced diet enhances your stamina and promotes vitality, supporting you in actively pursuing and achieving your goals. Even making minor dietary adjustments can have significant positive impacts on your health.

Discover things that give you meaning

A disability can potentially diminish your enthusiasm for activities, even those that once brought significant meaning to you. Ask yourself the following questions:
• What brings me joy and fulfilment?
• What keeps life exciting and captivating for me amidst my circumstances?
• What aspects of my life do I value immensely and want to hold onto?
• What gets me excited for tomorrow?
​​(EnableMe, 2023)​,

Build positive relationships with others.

Engaging in outdoor activities with caregivers and friends provides valuable time together and opportunities for fresh discussions. You might consider participating in fitness classes alongside friends who also have disabilities or explore new hobbies and courses as a way to connect with different people.

You don't have to face your disability alone. It becomes more manageable if you ask for assistance and are open to receiving help when it's extended.

Get the best possible healthcare.

For individuals with disabilities, receiving essential care and services to promote their overall well-being is crucial. 

If you happen to have a disability, there are several proactive steps you can take to ensure you’re accessing the highest quality healthcare: 

• Understanding your body’s signals when you are feeling good and when you are not, 
• Engage in open conversations with your healthcare provider about any concerns you may have, 
• Prepare for your appointments by organising your questions and health-related issues in advance, 
Bring your medical records for comprehensive care, 
• Consider having a friend accompany you if memory retention or question recall is a concern, 
• Write down the details of your healthcare professional’s guidance. 

(My Plan Manager, 2023) 

Familiarise yourself with your rights

Over the years, innovative approaches have been developed to ensure that individuals with disabilities have equal access to opportunities and specific privileges to facilitate their coping process. Taking the initiative to understand your rights can prove beneficial, as it provides a range of ways to address and lessen challenges. Every government has enacted distinct rights for individuals with disabilities – acquiring knowledge about these rights can significantly empower you. 

(BetterLyf, 2021). 

"Take advantage of the things you can do."

While changing your disability may not be within your control, you can mitigate its effects on your daily life. Let go of any self-consciousness or apprehension about potential judgment. Your worth is not determined by the assistive devices you use. 

This blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. Please consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance. 

References

BetterLyf. (2021, November 29). Living Well With a Disability. Retrieved from BetterLyf:
https://www.betterlyf.com/articles/mental-health/living-well-with-a-disability
 

EnableMe. (2023). 10 Helpful Tips to Help Persons with Disabilities Live a Quality Life. Retrieved from EnableMe:
https://www.enableme.ke/en/article/10-helpful-tips-to-help-persons-with-disabilities-live-a-quality-life-1511
 

HelpGuide.org. (2023, February 28). Living Well with a Disability. Retrieved from HelpGuide.org:
https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/living-well-with-a-disability.htm
 

My Plan Manager. (2023). Living Well With Disability. Retrieved from My Plan Manager:
https://myplanmanager.com.au/living-well-with-disability/
 

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