Living with a disability can take its toll on a person in more than just one aspect of their lives. Aside from literally disabling them from doing certain things that they may have been able to do before – or maybe have never been able to do – they also have a broad range of emotions and thoughts to deal with too. On top of all this, however, is the question ‘how much is disability’?

It is a very overwhelming situation to be faced with physical, emotional and financial difficulties – among other things – all at once. But, here are a few tips which aim to help anyone who lives with a disability to stay positive:

Take small steps towards progress

It is hard to climb a mountain when you don’t have the physical or emotional energy half the time to work through an entire list of things you need to do. However, by trying to tackle just one at a time, taking baby steps and at least making some form of progress – no matter how small – each day, it will help you stay focused without exerting too much energy.

If you need to get on top of your finances, read up on tips to save more money and try to do one of them at a time each week. If you need to start looking after yourself better, introduce gradual changes so you don’t feel too overwhelmed. For example, you could start cooking a new healthy recipe every week or, if you can start some gentle exercise such as starting to take a light walk each week.

Give yourself a new challenge

Don’t try to do anything too ambitious here, as again the idea is to gently start making positive changes without doing anything too drastic too soon. However, whether it is learning a new language or taking up a sewing class, challenging yourself to learn a new skill is a great way to switch up your frame of mind.

By focusing on something fun that you are passionate about, you broaden your horizons while also giving yourself a change of scenery and helping you to feel fulfilled. Accomplishing a new goal – even if it is just reading a book – gives you a sense of satisfaction that makes you feel more positive and like you are in control again and can switch up the status quo. Learning new ways to make your body feel better whether it is through diet, massage or stretches you do at home can make you feel positive and hopeful.

Spend time talking to others

Loneliness is a key factor in why some people with a disability develop depression or mental health issues. Disabilities can leave you feeling isolated – either because you can’t leave the house or because you feel emotionally on your own as nobody understands what you’re going through. It is important to be aware of the possibility of becoming depressed. If you think you are getting isolated and sad take steps to relieve depression by reaching out for help.

Whatever your circumstances, it can be a big help to open up to others – whether they are friends, family or strangers. Just finally sharing what you are going through can help you navigate your way through your feelings by airing them and not keeping them whirling around your head. You may also find others have been through similar feelings and have advice.

Or, if not, and your loved ones are struggling with knowing what to say to you, you might want to show them some advice such as this article. It might then help them to know how to listen, to respect your emotions and give you practical support, such as helping with chores when you’re having a bad day or just continuing to pick up the phone or invite you out, even if you’re not up to it.