How to Cope with a Terminal Illness

When you are first given the news that you have a terminal illness, it can feel like your world has come crashing down. Everything you once thought was certain is now suddenly up in the air, and you may have no idea how to move forward. While every person’s experience with a terminal illness is different, there are some steps you can take to make the process a little easier. The most important thing to do is to maintain a strong and positive mindset, regardless of the prognosis. While that may be easier said than done, it is possible as well as critical to moving forward with a healthy and hopeful outlook.

One of the first things you may choose to do is find a good support group or online community where you can connect with others who are going through the same situation as you. While your loved ones will certainly be dealing with their own grief, they may not be able to understand your innermost emotions during this time. By joining together with others who are on a similar journey as you, you will receive valuable advice and support, which will help you to navigate the emotional challenges that come with a terminal illness.

Maintaining a strong mindset will sustain you through even the toughest of times. Many people find that the deepening of a spiritual practice provides them a sense of peace and comfort as they contemplate the magnitude of a terminal illness. In addition, journaling has been found to be highly therapeutic and helpful. Journaling allows us to connect with our innermost thoughts and feelings, presenting an opportunity for emotional catharsis. Furthermore, it is important to take care of yourself by eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise to the extent your condition allows. This will help you to feel your best both physically and mentally, enabling you to make the most of each day.

Learning to cope with your new diagnosis may at times feel insurmountable to you and those you love. This will be a time of adjustment for everyone involved and will require patience, self-compassion and resiliency. Remember, this is not a process that should be navigated alone, make sure to take advantage of the resources and support available to you.