The growing numbers of COVID-19 deaths will likely terrify you, especially if you already have an underlying condition. You are more likely to take additional precautions to ensure your wellbeing. And if being ill before the pandemic took a toll on your mental health, it will surely be much harder to cope now. But there are ways of managing when dealing with a serious health condition. Here are some of those ways:
Seek medical treatment: Seek the help of medical professionals when necessary. Get the best medical care available to you. At times, it may be wise to seek a second opinion. Communicate clearly with health-care professionals—be sure that you understand them and that they have a clear picture of your symptoms. Learn about your illness, including all your treatment options. When you understand what to expect, you will be better prepared to deal with your situation emotionally and to take responsibility for your care.
Maintain healthy habits: You benefit by maintaining healthy habits, such as regular physical exercise. Stick to a regular exercise routine, follow a healthy diet, and get enough sleep. Although you may be adjusting to your new health problem, experts agree that investing time and energy in healthy habits is well worth the effort. Of course, make sure that whatever you choose to do takes your health condition into account and does not conflict with your medical treatment.
Seek support: Your friends can help you get through difficult times. Talk to a trusted friend with whom you can freely express your feelings. Doing so can help you bear the emotional and mental strain your change in health has caused. Friends and family likely want to help you in other ways but they may not know what to do. So communicate clearly what you may find to be especially helpful. Be reasonable in what you expect, and always be thankful for the help they provide. At the same time, you may need to establish some ground rules, such as limiting the frequency and duration of visits, in order to avoid being overwhelmed by the efforts of well-intentioned friends.
Keep a positive attitude: A positive and hopeful attitude can help you to stay emotionally balanced and to cope with a stressful health problem. As you adapt to your new situation, focus on what you can do, not on things that are beyond your control. Avoid comparing yourself with others or with the way you were before your health problem surfaced. Set goals that are reasonable and reachable—these can help you to look toward the future with optimism. Do things for others, as your circumstances allow. The happiness that comes from giving can help you to limit negative thinking.
Alicia Roopnaraine is a Psychologist.
You can send questions or comments to her at