It can be easy to become overwhelmed when your illness acts up, and you need care right away. The worse your symptoms get, the less able you are to cope with everything it takes to get well. Doctors can help you when something goes wrong, but it's also important to have the skills to keep yourself healthy so that doctor's visits become less necessary. Promoting day-to-day health can alleviate the symptoms of a chronic condition, and less the severity and frequency of flare-ups. And when it comes to taking care of yourself, information is key. Managing a chronic condition is a daunting task, so here are some ways to make it a bit easier to cope.

Learn as much as you can about treatments, therapies and other measures to promote whole-body health. Find out what can trigger symptoms and how to avoid or mitigate the effects of your illness. Figure out your own triggers and do your best to sidestep or avoid things which might cause your symptoms to manifest or worsen.

Before your next appointment with your healthcare provider, it's a great idea to write down any questions you might have so that you can be sure to address them during your visit. If you do not understand something, keep asking until you do. If the doctor does not know the answer, ask if she might know someone who does. This is your life, and it's important to arm yourself with information.

Consult with anyone you feel can help you better understand what you're dealing with. Nurses, nutritionists, people with different perspectives. Ask for referrals, recommendations, websites and books that can help you learn more. Not all the information you get will be helpful or relevant, but sometimes even these things can help you figure out what information you're missing and where you might go to get it.

Make sure that each doctor, specialist or caregiver you deal with is informed about your whole treatment plan , so that everyone can work together. A primary care physician can help you keep all the pieces in order and make sure you're not working against yourself.

Take care of as much as you can when you're well so you do not have to worry about it when you're sick. That said, do not overdo it. It can be helpful to write lists of tasks that need to be done, listed by priority or difficulty or whatever, and see what you feel up to doing each day.

Delegate! None of us wants to bury our loved ones, but if there's something you simply can not take care of yourself, do not be afraid to ask for help. You might be surprised by how willing people are to help you out.

If you're feeling sad, overwhelmed, or sick, try to think of some ways to soothe yourself. What makes you happy? What relaxes you? Sometimes we need to take the time to pamper ourselves so we have the strength to be brave the next day.

Remember– it's not just about healing you when you're sick, it's about managing your day-to-day life in a way that you do not get sick as often and your bouts are not as severe. Make sure you're taking care of your mind as well as your body , because bad moods and depression can make your symptoms worse.

It's always good to have a plan . As a health coach, I help clients figure out how to keep themselves happy and healthy as much as possible. It can be overwhelming trying to manage your illness and all that comes along with it while also living a full life. Often we do not address our health issues until they're so severe that we can not pay attention to anything else. I can help you come up with strategies to make it easier to handle your illness, and a large part of the work we'll do together is keeping you as healthy and happy as possible.

Living with a chronic illness or condition does not have to take over your life. You CAN find ways to be in charge of your illness instead of it being in charge of you.