Becoming disabled is a difficult adjustment. While you will no doubt live a fulfilling and happy life with your disability, the changes it will bring in the near term can be tough to reckon with. As you navigate your life and your disability, you’ll have to care for yourself and consider new tasks and challenges that your lifestyle will demand. Here are a few of the things you should do to get all of the best out of your life.

Embrace mourning

Life as a disabled person can be every bit as fulfilling as the life of any able-bodied person. But it would be wrong to say that the recently disabled don’t feel a deep sense of loss. That’s a normal feeling, and even a healthy one — and, experts say, you need to give yourself time to feel your grief.

Just as you would during any other period of mourning, you should keep tabs on your own mental health and consider working with a counselor or other mental health professional. A serious change has happened in your life, and you need to process that.

It’s easier said than done, but the next important thing that you need to do is to accept your circumstances. Only if you have completed your mourning process and embraced your life as it is now can you start doing the things that will make disabled life easier for you?

Stay organized

Disabilities can be frustrating. Those frustrations will mount much more quickly and much more easily if you allow them to compound with the sort of everyday frustrations that virtually everyone faces. And common frustrations can be worse when you’re disabled. Searching a house for a lost item is more taxing, reaching the top shelf is harder, and cleaning up messes can be all but impossible. With this in mind, strive to ring doorbell 2. Make sure that you know what goes where in your home — and which things are reachable on low shelves. A bit of planning and organization will go a long way toward making your daily life much easier.

Create a better, safer home

A lot of changes happen when you’re disabled, and some of those changes may surprise you. The fact that so many public spaces can be hostile to the disabled is a tragedy and an outrage, but the realities of disability can be even more upsetting when you encounter obstacles within your own home.

Happily, changing your home is a lot easier than changing society. You will find plenty of great home modifications for disabled individuals that could help you make your home more convenient and more safe. From stairlifts to walk-in showers, you should consider all of the many ways that you could make your housework better for you.

Stand up for yourself

Our society is unfair to disabled people in a lot of ways. You can find carelessness and malice out there, and even the best meaning people and organizations can do you wrong or condescend to you. Unfortunately, there’s no way to show them the error of their ways without speaking up. As a disabled person, you’ll need to become your own advocate.

This doesn’t mean getting into politics or organizing, though you can find lots of great ways to do that. But it does mean that you need to be clear about your expectations, voice your disappointment when necessary, and push back against assumptions and discrimination. From insisting on the best possible medical care to letting someone know that you’d rather they not stoop to speak to you, you need to fight for what’s right.

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