The three (free!) things that patients told us helped them get through their worst days.
Fighting an illness is rarely as simple as diagnosis-plus-medication-equals-improved-health. As a company that’s committed to helping people access newly approved treatments, we clearly believe that medication plays a pivotal role in improving the health of many patients. But we don’t believe that it’s the only thing that improves lives. In fact, many medications can make people feel pretty lousy along the way, as can the illness itself, the lifestyle shifts, the isolation, and the endless list of other side effects that come with being unwell.
Since TheSocialMedwork’s inception, we have been engaging with an online community where patients can learn about their disease, cutting edge treatments, and wellness tips while having a voice to discuss what matters most to them. Our social media community has grown to include 15,000+ members in less than a year - and these members are active, engaged and always eager to help one another out.
When we reached out and asked them what helped pick them up when their illness got them down, we were touched by the vibrant, supportive, and eclectic responses. So, if you are undergoing treatment, or love someone who is, bookmark this page and return to it for ideas on how to gently support yourself or your loved one.
When we asked what picks them up when they are feeling down, the most common response from our community of patients was family, be it kids, grandkids, husbands, wives, mums or dads. It’s worth bearing in mind that, no matter how much money, gifts, or entertainment that could have been cited by our community, it is the people closest to them that brought most relief.
If you are a patient, don’t underestimate the simple pleasure of spending time with your loved ones. (Just make sure they know how to make your favourite tea!)
For those of you who are looking for ways to cheer up a patient, you’ve already found it; it’s you. Don’t overthink it, don’t postpone it; making yourself available, even if it’s only for a few minutes, is the easiest way to cheer up the one you love, according to our community.
Skeltonio told us that she doesn’t care if it’s cliched, when it comes to being cheered up her kids never failed her. charqueen69 agreed, telling us her children and grandchildren lift her mood. Getrealorfail replied quite simply, “My kids, who give me so much love”.
Not surprisingly, friends came a close second to family. It seems that illness, for all its horrible negative effects, can put the things that matter into perspective, and the things that matter to many are strong friendships.
Annajayney told us that she boosted how she felt by, “surrounding myself with people who make me laugh”. Jussttly agreed, saying “that one friend that can always make you laugh no matter what,” could always pick her up.
As the saying goes, hard times will always reveal true friends.
Are you noticing a trend here? Nothing on the list costs money. The third most common response was being surrounded by nature. Forgo the time spent buying trashy magazines and grapes and instead, grab a blanket, your walking shoes, and a sense of adventure and immerse yourself and your loved one in the great outdoors.
Pixiegirlkc’s response was simple and to the point; “My boo, friends, finding those moments of gratitude in life, writing, music, and being outdoors”. Toni.toni.lopez agreed, citing “salt water waves and sunshine” as her favourite mood booster.
Perhaps you can’t promise the sunshine or even the waves, but the spirit is easy to replicate; open a window, have a picnic in the back garden, go picking flowers together in the neighbours’ gardens, whatever. Some nature, fresh air, and a mini-adventure is always a nice reprieve from being cooped up indoors for days at a time. And if it’s spent with someone who knows where your funny bone is, then all the better.
An enormous thank you to everyone in our community, especially those who took the time to take part in this blog post. A hat tip to; Skeltonio, Bmays09, annajayney, charqueen69, justtly, partyonpatty, halfdimples21, jim_the_pourboy, pixiegirlkc, unity4v, toni.toni.lopez, Ashley Boynes-Shuck.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing can replace the care of your clinician or doctor. Please do not make changes to your treatment or schedules without first consulting your healthcare providers. This article is not intended to diagnose or treat illness.