You’ve had a stroke, and now you’re wondering what’s next. How do you reclaim your life? How do you regain your confidence? Both are valid questions that have more than one answer.
Mental and physical recovery is different for everyone—it can take a few days or a few months. Start slow and implement simple changes to help you feel like your best self. Read the tips below to understand where to start.
Join Support Groups
Your mental health is a crucial component of gaining your confidence back. After having a stroke, it’s easy to feel as if you’re drowning in frustration, sadness, and loneliness. These emotional responses can leave you questioning who you’ve become. A support group is a great option to connect with individuals who understand what you’re going through. Having discussions with like-minded people can encourage you to open up as well as diminish feelings of loneliness—specifically by helping you form connections within your community. If you don’t want to talk to a group of people, life coaching is an alternative option. That way, you’re only discussing your situation with one other person.
Continue Physical Therapy
This tip is for people who contemplate if physical therapy is worth it—the short answer is yes. You may not realize it, but experiencing difficulty walking, grasping objects, or speaking clearly can plummet your confidence. While rehabilitation can get taxing for you mentally and physically, it’s best to follow your recovery plan for the duration. Even after rehab is over, incorporate a few exercises into your regular workout routine. You can do most stroke-recovery exercises at home to make things easier and more comfortable for you.
Talking about intimacy isn’t always easy and causes most people to feel embarrassed. However, if getting physical is something that you’re struggling with post-stroke, you should address it. Strokes can temporarily affect intimacy by causing problems like erectile dysfunction and low libido. If you’re well enough that you want to be intimate again but are experiencing difficulty, consult with a medical professional about your options. They may refer you to a sex therapist, recommend lifestyle changes, or suggest treatments like early ejaculation or low libido. Do thorough research before making any decisions.
If you’re able to, start pampering yourself. Surviving and recovering from one or multiple strokes isn’t easy, and you deserve to boost your self-confidence by looking and feeling great. Take an entire self-care day to do what you want. Start with a massage, try some retail therapy, then end the night with your favorite dinner. Also, get a new look if that’ll make you feel more confident. Have you ever heard the phrase “if you look good, you’ll feel good?” Well, that also applies here. So try a new hairstyle, wear a fancy outfit, or fix those pesky skin issues that you’ve been having—now’s better than never.
You deserve to feel your best no matter where you are in your post-stroke journey. Confidence is an important part of your mental health, so treat it wisely. For more techniques on how to reclaim your life post-stroke, read “Stroke Victor, How to Go from Stroke Victim to Stroke Victor.”