Some people are disabled from birth, or shortly after so they only know life one way. Some people, however become disabled through an accident or some other factor and suddenly they are faced with a new ‘normal’. Perhaps they lost a limb, became a paraplegic or suffered a brain incident that left them in a wheelchair. Whatever the cause, if someone suddenly finds themselves in a new normal they may be wondering how they will go on with this new life. How will they maintain their health and wellbeing?
People, regardless of their physical situation are people and their goals are the same-to keep healthy and happy for as long as they can. While it may be a bit of a challenge to keep fit from a wheelchair it can be done. Where a person may no longer be able to take a run around the block, they can do exercises to strengthen their core and arms, for example. Any exercise is good exercise and any movement you can make is better than nothing. Take it slowly, take your time and build up to your goals.
Mentally, suddenly finding a new normal is a hard thing to adjust to. Experts suggest you keep your mind active, do puzzles or take up a new hobby, engage in clubs, teams and with community organizations, volunteer, hang out with your friends. A disability doesn’t mean you stop being you, you are still you inside regardless of what differences have occurred on the outside.
Emotional wellbeing is also crucial for everyone. Perhaps you can get a pet, join a club, try a new place of worship, talk about your feelings with a friend or in a group setting, keeping things positive and the energy flowing. Whatever you did before you became disabled you may find you can still do, albeit with a few adjustments.
In short, the trick to staying healthy with a disability is the same as it is when you don’t have one. Everyone needs to stay active, eat healthy foods, quit smoking, have regular checkups with your doctor, drink alcohol in moderation, use medications wisely and as prescribed, get help for substance abuse as soon as you can and stay in touch with friends and family members. Keeping a healthy body, mind and soul is the same regardless of your situation, it’s your life so live it to the best of your ability!