Guest Blog: Coming to Terms With Disability and Setting New Goals to Strengthen the Mind

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Whether it comes by disease, accident, or simply through time, the process of accepting a serious physical disability is one of the most difficult transitions anyone can make in their life. For some people, being forced to adjust to a more sedentary lifestyle is the end of the line and they end up spending a good portion of the rest of their life with bitterness, anger, and ultimately regret.

As a former caregiver I have seen people wither away the day they realized they were never going to be able to run 10 miles again or dunk a basketball. But I have also seen those empower themselves to live happily with their disability by finding joy and purpose in the things they are still capable of. They define themselves in the actions they take through finding inspiration and opportunity in new practices and skills they probably wouldn’t have thought to engage in before. Nevertheless, nobody transforms who they are overnight and it will take time to adjust to such a life-changing affliction. Do not feel ashamed to use a mobility aid such as a cane or rolling walker. They are to your body what glasses are for your eyes and are there to support you, not shame you. Here are some of the most effective ways to learning to cope with physical disability, discovering new purpose, and rediscovering happiness:

 

Find a New Physical Activity: Remaining physically active and doing something you enjoy is not only a big part of getting through depression but leading a quality life in general. Consider activities like yoga and swimming. Both are adaptable to just about any body type and are very good forms of exercise. The therapeutic experience of practicing yoga, particularly hatha yoga, might be more beneficial in this case as it’s probably the least physically taxing style of yoga. Try and find an activity that allows you to exert but not harm yourself. When you find an activity you enjoy, set goals for yourself. Climb a mountain, swim a mile, lift a certain weight, find something your mind can become passionate about and your body will feel as alive as ever.

 

Learn New Skills

Those who are less capable of engaging in strenuous exercise find peace and happiness in practicing a new skill. Take up an engaging but relaxing hobby like cooking, photography, drawing, or even writing. Find revitalization by exploring your imagination and training yourself to express it. Hobbies like cooking and these other skills are not only good for coping with depression but are useful things you can teach your children or grandchildren.

 

Become Strong in Knowledge

There are some that say the best form of exercise for a human being is reading. Like cardio does for your body, reading for an hour a day makes the mind conditioned and fit for anything life throws at them. Indulge in genres that fascinate you or entail historical information you’ve always wanted to learn about. Even better, read some of the inspiring stories about those who have experienced the same situation as you and learn how they turned it into a blessing.

 

What society calls a disability in reality is only modification of your tool set. It does not define who you are or you value to the world. Approach your situation as an opportunity to stand out as an influential mind and find a road less traveled to make the world a better place.

 



About the Author:
Cheryl Swanson is health and wellness writer for the rollator supplier Just Walkers. She enjoys helping the disabled, young and old, to get the most out of life and find peace.
 
Image Credits:
Disabled Parking Stall Graphic: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pinksherbet/5657947214/
Wheelchair User / Racer: http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilmoralee/8089591812/
Child Pushing Wheelchair: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonathankosread/6169387130/

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