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It is important to acknowledge your mental health as a chronic disease patient.

Some ways that can contribute to good mental health can include exercising, meditating, eating a well-balanced diet, as well as engaging in relaxing, stress-free activities, such as painting, kayaking, or even sitting at the beach. All of these activities can promote a healthy overall wellbeing, helping you to regulate positive and negative emotions, which can then contribute to good mental health.

However, we, unfortunately, do not live in a society where everything can be great all the time, and an individual’s mental health can certainly suffer from time to time due to external factors. Living with a chronic disease, I understand the time’s where things may not always be so great. These times may be present when I’m experiencing an internal muscle bleed or having a difficult day getting an IV stick after nurses have tried 8-10 times. On days like those, as well as on days where others with a chronic disease are struggling, it’s important to talk about what is bothering you with a trusted person, engage in activities that relax you, as well as allowing yourself time to heal.

Oftentimes when I experience a physical injury due to my Bleeding Disorder, I try to ‘heal’ myself as quickly as possible, and unfortunately, that’s not always how that works. I have to give my body time to heal, which can certainly be frustrating. During these times, I try to stay as positive as possible, focusing on the good, and bringing light to any situation that I may be in.

Being as optimistic as I can be has certainly helped me through a number of uncertain and scary times on my medical journey. It’s important to understand that you never truly know what is going on in an individual’s life, so remember to be kind, always.