Anyone who has been in hospital, suffering from a serious illness and is now recuperating at home, will know that perhaps now is the time that is most important in regaining their former health. After the shock to the system of a severe ailment, your body needs certain things in order to get back to its optimum state of being healthy. But this has to be in a holistic sense as you cannot ignore the mind when you are attempting to rehabilitate the body. So how can you ensure that you are looking after the whole of you when you are convalescing and not leaving out an important part of your recovery? By using our guide and advice and by taking each day in its stride, you can make sure your recovery is well on track. Read our tips and look forward to the whole of you feeling better.
Get Your Support in Place
Without a plan of support and people to help you with it, you will find it very difficult to implement the next few stages. Support can be your partner, your family or friends, neighbours or care workers from the hospital or doctors surgery. Figure out what you will need help with, such as washing, bathing, shopping or cleaning and laundry and allocate accordingly.
Your body has had a battering and now it needs super fuel to kick-start its recovery. So feed it what it requires. Fresh fruit and vegetables, light proteins such as chicken and fish, including one or two portions of oily fish a week will get you back on your feet. If you have lost weight due to your illness then maximise foods such as milk by adding milk powder, or a few tablespoons of double cream. You can buy energy producing glucose granules which is a sugar substitute that might just give you that extra boost to get you up and about. If you can’t face fruit and vegetables, try making fresh smoothies with bananas, strawberries and milk and yoghurt.
Get up and About
Moderate exercise is so important after a serious illness, for your physical well-being and your mental state. Simply taking a brisk 30 minute walk every day is enough to reduce the risks of many chronic diseases. In fact, Sir Liam Donaldson, Chief Medical Officer for England says, “The scientific evidence is compelling. People who are physically active reduce their risk of developing major chronic diseases, such as coronary heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes, by up to 50% and the risk of premature death by about 20% to 30%.” It is recommended that you start off with bouts of 10 minutes before increasing these to 30 minutes each day.
Be Mindful of Depression
To stave off depression, studies have found that gentle exercise, even walking out in the open air can have an up lifting effect. As a serious illness can have a debilitating effect on your mind, it is important to recognise the signs of depression and seek help if you feel you might be suffering from it. Symptoms would include change in sleep patterns – either sleeping too much or not being able to sleep, not wanting to do anything, no motivation, a feeling of desperation, tearfulness, lack of appetite or eating too many sweet or carbohydrates. Try talking to a dear friend or your partner or make an appointment to see your GP if you are suffering from any of these symptoms.
Remember, the road to recovery will take a long time but it is important to know that you should be taking small steps towards your overall goal of health and happiness.