How to Find Your New Normal After Getting a Life-Altering Diagnosis

Your Roadmap to a New Normal: Practical Steps for Thriving
How to Find Your New Normal After Getting a Life-Altering Diagnosis
Photo by Emma Simpson on Unsplash

Life has a way of throwing unexpected challenges our way; you try to have regular checkups, and you think you’re living a healthy lifestyle, but regardless, something still happens when it comes to your health. In general, a life-altering diagnosis can feel like a seismic shift, shaking the very foundation of your existence. It’s normal to feel a whirlwind of emotions—fear, anger, sadness, and confusion. 

Honestly, it doesn’t matter what the diagnosis is, whether it’s Crohn’s Disease (or some of the common gastrointestinal diseases), something rarer such as Hemophilia, or even a form of cancer; whatever you’re getting diagnosed with, you’re allowed to feel whatever emotion you feel. 

You think you’re life, and then you’re not. Yes, by all means, this truly is life-changing, it’s going to change your life, your perspective, how you live, and maybe how others treat you; who knows? However, amidst this storm, it's essential to remember that you have the strength to navigate through it and find your new normal. It's not ideal, but yes, you’ll experience a whole new normal because your life will change. So, what do you need to know when it comes to this?

Just Feel What You’re Feeling

The first step in returning to regular life is to allow yourself to feel. It's okay to be sad, to grieve the life you thought you would have. These feelings are valid, and acknowledging them is crucial; it’s just like what was stated above. Again, your whole life changes due to this, so you need to just feel and acknowledge what’s happening to you. 

Plus, bottling up emotions can lead to greater distress down the line. So, what helps you out? It really varies per person, but it may be through journaling, talking to a trusted friend, seeking support from a counselor, or finding a safe space to express your emotions, which can be incredibly healing.

You Need to Educate Yourself

Generic, sure, but knowledge is power, truly! So, during the diagnosis, what’s happening is usually explained. Usually, it’s a discussion between you and your doctor. But is that all? Well, it helps to do some research yourself when you get home. Understanding your diagnosis, the treatment options available, and the potential lifestyle changes you might need to make can help you feel more in control.

For all you know, your life can basically be normal, but you need to take medication, for example. But don’t be afraid to attend medical appointments armed with questions. Plus, don't be afraid to seek second opinions if needed. This newfound understanding can empower you to make informed decisions about your health and well-being.

Build Up a Support Network

Everyone has a support network, but this is the right time to really tap into them for help. Seriously, no one should have to face a life-altering diagnosis alone. Surrounding yourself with a strong support network is vital. This network can include family, friends, support groups, or even online communities. 

Besides, connecting with others who understand what you’re going through can provide comfort, practical advice, and a sense of belonging. So don’t hesitate to lean on these people; they want to be there for you.

Self-care has to be the Number One Priority

Again, your diagnosis is literally going to alter your life, how you take care of yourself, how you’ll live your life, and even a glimpse into the future. So, self-care isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a crucial aspect of coping with a significant health change. 

So you just have to keep in mind that this can take many forms, from ensuring you get enough rest, eating nourishing foods, and engaging in gentle physical activity to finding time for hobbies and relaxation. Just think about what makes you feel good and soothing. Overall, just make sure that you truly listen to your body and mind and give them the care they need. This is not the time to push yourself too hard; instead, focus on nurturing your well-being.

You Can’t Be Gradual in Adjusting Your Routine

When it comes to having a healthy lifestyle, yes, you’re supposed to make gradual changes, as this is the best way to stick to a routine for good. But when you’re getting diagnosed with something that’s going to change your life, you basically need to make changes cold turkey. So basically, you can’t be gradual. Your whole routine is going to change instantly. 

This might involve integrating medical appointments, adjusting work hours, or finding new ways to manage your energy levels. Flexibility is key. Creating a new routine that works for you can provide a sense of normalcy and control amidst the changes.

Focus On What You Can Control

You’ll feel like there’s just no control over what’s happening in your life, right? It’s like this diagnosis just took everything from you to the point you feel as if you lost your sense of control. While it’s natural to feel this way, focusing on what you can control can be empowering. 

This might include your attitude, how you spend your time, and the choices you make about your health and lifestyle. But overall, by directing your energy towards these controllable aspects, you can foster a more positive and proactive outlook.

Just Try and Stay Patient

Now, it’s easier said than done, but you have to understand that returning to regular life is a journey, not a sprint. It’s essential to be patient with yourself and recognize that it’s okay to have setbacks. 

Overall, progress isn’t always linear, and there will be days that are harder than others. There are going to be days that you wish never even existed in the first place. So that’s exactly why you need to treat yourself with the same compassion and understanding you would offer to a loved one in your situation.

Find Purpose and Meaning

It goes back to what was just mentioned above. Theres going to be days where it’s really hard, and that you truly are suffering. It’s really scary honestly. So, just keep looking for meaning in your life.

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