Dealing With Life Examples and Suggestions

Doctor Appointments

Resources

    The Q & A Section of The Phoenix Pages
        Amy’s post on The Phoenix Zine called

Dealing With Doctors

Coping Strategies

    Bring your list of questions
    Don’t be afraid to stick up for yourself with student doctors and doomsayers
    Be honest about what you’re feeling and what isn’t working for you.

Going Out

Resources

    The Easily Accessible Places I Like section of The Phoenix Pages

Coping Strategies

  • Make a checklist of things you need to take with you when you go out (i.e. wallet, medication and emergency numbers)
  • Taking The Phoenix Pages with you ensures you have your information when and if you need it
  • Choose a place from your Easily Accessible Places I Like list or research the venue so you know your needs will be met

Bloodwork

Resources

  • Heating pad
  • Stress ball
  • Amy’s post on The Phoenix Zine called Needles

Coping Strategies

  • Ask if a butterfly needle can be used
  • Bring a heating pad to use so veins are easier to find
  • Use a stress ball when the needle is going in if you don’t have someone’s hand to hold
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for a different technician

Trouble Sleeping

Resources

  • Music
  • Books
  • Relaxation CD
  • Comfortable sleeping situation (i.e. pjs, bed, sheets, lighting, temperature, etc.)
  • Talk about options with your doctor

Coping Strategies

  • Start winding down at least one hour before you want to go to sleep by doing something relaxing (i.e. warm bath, quiet music, comfortable clothes, journaling, reading, listening to a relaxation CD, etc.)
  • Keep a notepad beside your bed. When distracting thoughts come up while you are trying to go to sleep, quickly jot them down so you can let them go
  • Make time during the day to talk about your thoughts and feelings so they don’t all overwhelm you when you want to sleep
  • Limit your caffeine intake during the day
  • Develop a bedtime ritual so your body and mind learn when it’s time to unwind

Loneliness

Resources

Coping Strategies

  • Turn to your Supports section to choose a support to contact for emotional and/or social support – someone you can really talk to honestly
  • Connect with a support group to meet people with common experiences
  • Visit The Phoenix Zine and add your comments
  • Check out websites, organizations and books to help you connect with others dealing with illness
  • Journal about your feelings
  • Arrange to get together with friends who “get it”
  • Express your feelings through art or music
  • Remind yourself you are not alone
  • Talk to a counsellor
  • Remember it is important and helpful to cry sometimes

Getting Answers to Health Questions

Resources

  • The Q & A section of The Phoenix Pages
  • The Medical Contacts section of The Phoenix Pages

Coping Strategies


Trouble Enjoying Relaxing Activites

Resources

  • Positive encouraging messages about the benefits and importance of relaxation
  • The Supports section in The Phoenix Pages
  • The Easily Accessible Places I Like section of The Phoenix Pages
  • Amy’s post on The Phoenix Zine called Frivolity: The State of Being Frivolous
  • Funny movies like What About Bob that help you take a “vacation from your problems”

Coping Strategies

  • Remember everyone needs relaxing downtime to do activities they enjoy – you do not need to do productive or meaningful things all the time – in fact this is an unrealistic expectation of yourself
  • Just because you do something relaxing does not mean you’ve forgotten about what matters to you in life. Remind yourself that having positive relaxing time alone or with friends and family is an essential part of a meaningful life
  • Relaxing helps to reenergize you for the important tasks in your life
  • Your body’s needs are important and demand attention if you ignore them
  • Choose someone from your Supports list to spend time with who relaxes you and helps you to have fun
  • Visit a place from your Easily Accessible Places I Like list

Exercise

Resources

  • Exercise instruction sheet
  • Music
  • Comfortable clothes and shoes
  • Equipment
  • Timer

Coping Strategies

  • Routine helps
  • Modify your exercise routine if your day contains medical tests or strenuous activities
  • Find an exercise group or buddy
  • Select motivating music to listen to while exercising
  • Follow exercise instructions and ask for clarification when needed to avoid injury

Diet

Resources

  • Food guidelines
  • Dietician
  • Health food store
  • Recipes online or in a cookbook

Coping Strategies

  • Ask your dietician questions you have about your diet guidelines and ideas for healthy foods to try
  • Make a meal plan in advance to minimize the stress of trying to find food to eat at the last minute when you are already hungry
  • Keep a list of foods or meals you like so you can continue to increase your options and add in variety to your diet
  • Browse through your health food store to find new products that may fit your food requirements
  • Search online or in specialty cookbooks for more recipe ideas
  • Keep healthy snacks available
  • Find places you can go when you want to eat out that still meet your dietary needs and add these to your Easily Accessible Places I Like list

Friends Differing Life Perspectives

Resources

  • The Supports section in The Phoenix Pages
  • Amy’s posts on The Phoenix Zine about her experiences dealing with illness
  • Support groups
  • Supportive websites and books

Coping Strategies

  • Recognize the value and importance of your voice and the experiences and perspectives you have about life – speak up and honour your experience – just because it is unique, does not mean it is wrong
  • Spend time with people from your Supports list who understand your perspective and life experience
  • Take a break from friends who don’t “get it” when you need to – not everyone is going to be able to understand – sometimes you may want to hear about their lives and minor problems to have a break and sometimes you won’t be able to take it
  • Sometimes it helps to vent about the insensitive comments people make
  • Find ways to express your life perspective (i.e. journal, write, speak, use art or music, etc.)
  • Talk to a counsellor

Dating

Resources

Coping Strategies

  • Remember, if someone you are with has a problem with your illness, they are not the right person for you
  • Focus on finding someone who has a similar approach to life
  • Develop a clear idea of the essential characteristics you are looking for in a romantic partner
  • Keep in mind everyone has things about them they think will be rejected by potential dates
  • Make a list of your positive characteristics and what you have to offer a romantic partner to balance out your view of yourself
  • Ask people you know are dealing with illness how their relationships got started
  • Clarify your understanding of what a healthy relationship is

Pain

Resources

  • Relaxation CD
  • Heating pad and/or ice pack
  • Music
  • Massage therapist
  • The Supports section in The Phoenix Pages

Coping Strategies

  • Listen to the messages your body is sending you
  • Provide your body with what it needs (i.e. rest, exercise, heat, cold, massages, etc.)
  • Try relaxation techniques
  • For temporary pain use distraction (i.e. music, talking, etc.)