The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted everyone in some way. Unfortunately, it continues to rage on. Some states are even seeing higher surges than ever before.
While anyone can contract the virus, those with underlying conditions have been especially at risk from the start. If you have a chronic illness, you may be feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and fearful about what this “second wave” of COVID-19 means.
One way to manage your fear is to have a plan for how to navigate your chronic illness during the pandemic. If you’ve been having trouble coming up with a plan thus far, I’ve got a few tips you can use to get started.
Follow All COVID-19 Guidelines
Everyone should be following the guidelines and restrictions put in place by local governments. If you have a chronic illness, though, it’s doubly important to take precautions. Social distance as much as possible. Always wear a mask. Wash and sanitize your hands frequently.
It’s so important to keep these things in mind since those with underlying conditions tend to be the ones who have a more challenging time fighting off the symptoms. This can lead to a scary situation and may even require hospitalization.
Stock Up On Your Medication
As much as your doctor will allow, stock up on your prescription medications. Having at least a two-week supply is a good start. Having what you need on hand will limit the number of times you have to leave your home and risk exposure.
If you can’t pick up your medication or you don’t want to leave your home, have a family member or friend pick it up for you. The same goes for groceries and other everyday needs that you would typically get for yourself. The less you go out, the lower your risk will be of contracting the virus.
Check In With Your Doctor
Many physicians have opted for telehealth as much as possible during this pandemic. Even though you may not want to go into the doctor’s office, it’s still essential to check-in with your doctor as often as you need to. Just because this virus seems to be everywhere doesn’t mean it’s time to ignore your chronic illness.
In fact, you should be more diligent than ever in making sure you’re doing what you should to manage that illness. Contact your doctor right away if you notice feeling different or worse than you normally do.
It’s also imperative to get tested if you’ve been exposed to anyone with COVID-19. The same goes for if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms. The earlier you can know if you are positive, the earlier you can get the medical care you need, and the better your chances are of fighting off the virus.
Don’t Ignore Your Mental Health
The social isolation and stress that come along with dealing with COVID-19 can take a toll on anyone’s mental health. You will want to continue to do things to take care of yourself, including getting enough rest, engaging in pleasurable activities, and getting physical activity when possible. If you are working from home, you will want to find ways to establish good boundaries between your work life and home life so that work does not intrude into your relaxation and family time. You will also want to continue to find ways to connect with other people, even if it has to be just online for now.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed because of your illness and the pandemic, you’re not alone. Feel free to contact me if you need someone to talk to. Together, we can work through your worries. In doing so, you will be better equipped to manage your chronic illness throughout the rest of this pandemic — no matter how long it lasts.