If you live with a chronic illness, it is easy to be resentful and feel sorry for yourself – and you know what, that is okay. However, to feel these emotions constantly is draining and you will be missing out living your life to the fullest, despite your illness.
I know it is easy to get bogged down, going through your news feeds with people living ‘amazing lives’. What is important to remember is these people show you their best selves on social media and everyone has those inner demons. This post is to share my top 10 tips to live your best life with a chronic illness.
- Show Gratitude
It is true manners cost nothing. Showing gratitude to those who have helped you are more likely to help you in the future and we should all be grateful for what we have. When I feel sad, I just try to remember there are many people that do not have a family, access to permanent shelter or food and water.
Accept your Chronic Illness
I appreciate – that accepting your chronic illness is not easy, especially if there is not a cure. However, once you accept your chronic illness, it will be easier to generate a plan of action of how to manage it. There are many ways you can accept your chronic illness from attending therapy, finding others with the same illness to talk to, start a blog, buy self-help books, write a letter to yourself or simply just acknowledge it.
Take time to Understand your Chronic Illness
To truly meet any goals or aspirations you should take the time to understand your chronic illness and how it affects you. I cannot reiterate the importance of understanding on how it affects you because people with the same illness can have very different symptoms and challenges. To get a basic understanding of my illnesses I read journals, but I take the time to actively listen to the doctors.
Knowing your limits can be difficult when living with a chronic illness but pacing yourself is essential. You are not a failure just because it may take you years to achieve something compared to someone else – because this makes you one patience and resilient trooper. Top ways you can pace yourself include: listen to your body, prioritize your plans, schedule most draining tasks accordingly, take breaks and keep a diary.
Find a Hobby
If you are passionate about raising awareness of your illness you could start a blog surrounding it. Although, when I want to purely escape from my illness I find doing art is something beyond it and a great distraction. Remember you don’t even need to be amazing at the hobby if you enjoy it.
Take your Medication
It can be difficult to take all your medication, but it is important to help you manage your illness. I find setting timers on my phone is the best way to remember to take it. However, if you live with other people you politely ask them to remind you to dispense it.
Rest when you Need It
Resting when you need it may be harder for some than others if you are studying or trying to keep down a job. Although, if you do have these duties you should spend the evenings to recover to be able to carry out these tasks the next day.
Take Time to Communicate
Some people may be more patience with you, if you take time to communicate any support you need or why you are feeling down one day. I am not going to lie to you there will still be people who ‘wish you better soon’ or just don’t care that you are ill. Although, if you don’t take time to communicate how you are feeling or your chronic illness there is no chance of someone understanding – is there?
Take Photos of the Good Times … and Maybe even the Bad
Taking photos of the good times, will help remind you of what you love about your life. If you have a lot of time of your hands and are creative, you could even make them into a scrapbook. I also take photos of the bad times to remind myself, I will not always have flare days.
Buy a Pet .. or Borrow One
Pets have been known to relieve stress and can be the perfect companion if you fear abandonment. If you have a mobility disorder walking a dog may not be the best pet for you – but a bunny rabbit or cat could be perfect. If you do not want the responsibility or a full-time pet or your landlord won’t allow one you could investigate pet sitting other peoples – and even earn a little bit of money on the side.
Sharing is Caring
I would love if you shared this post to spread some positivity to how those with a chronic illness can live their best life.
Have Your Say
Is there a favourite tip of mine in this post – or one you would like to add of your own? – If so, why not comment below?
Like what you see?
Follow me on my health journey on: