10 Mental Health Self-Care Tips for People with Kidney Disease

Updated: Jul 30

**According to Durham Nephrology at Durham Regional Hospital, Duke University Health System


1. ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF

One of the reasons people with chronic illness are prone to mental health issues like depression is that they feel they do not have control over their condition and how it affects their lives. So, our first mental health self-care tip is to be a proactive part of your treatment plan and advocate for yourself.

2. WORK CLOSELY WITH YOUR DOCTORS

Part of being an advocate for yourself is being an active part of your own healthcare team. Share your concerns about treatment with your doctors and other care providers. Let them know how you are feeling about your health and how your condition is affecting your life.

3. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF AVAILABLE RESOURCES

A tremendous mental health self-care tip is to make sure that you tap into all the available resources. There are social workers and mental health professionals that are well-versed in assisting kidney patients. You may also find helpful information in self-help books or support groups.

4. ASK FOR SUPPORT FROM LOVED ONES

Trying to manage a chronic illness and handling the everyday stresses of life can seem almost impossible when dealing with everything on your own. That is why an excellent self-care tip is to reach out for help from your loved ones when you need them.

5. FOLLOW YOUR TREATMENT PLAN

Once you have spoken to your doctor and care team about the treatment plan that is right for you, follow it closely. Doing so will help you feel better physically over time. And physical wellness will naturally feed into mental health.

6. GET PLENTY OF REST

Staying rested is not only crucial for your physical health. Being fatigued takes a significant toll on mental health. So, make sure your daily schedule allows for rest and that you are getting enough sleep at night. Many kidney patients find it difficult to sleep sometimes, so talk to your doctor about ways you can try to get more sleep.

7. EAT WELL

Following a kidney-friendly diet may seem difficult at times, but it will help you feel better in several ways. It should improve your physical wellness, which, as we mentioned before, will help with mental health. Also, getting the nutrients you need can help ward off the symptoms of depression.

8. STAY ACTIVE

Following a doctor-approved fitness routine can do wonders for your mental health. People who get regular exercise often find that activity relieves the symptoms of depression or helps prevent them in the first place. Just make sure you consult your nephrologist or another healthcare provider to get the appropriate amount of exercise and not overdo it. 

9. FOCUS ON WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY

A tremendous mental health self-care tip is to focus on things that make you happy. Find hobbies that bring you joy and work them into your routine as much as you can. Read books and watch movies that make you feel good. Spend quality time with loved ones. All these things can help you cope with chronic illness and lift your mood.

10. SPEAK UP


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Also visit this link Mental health and kidney disease: coping with the emotional toll - American Kidney Fund (AKF) for helpful resources.



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