Living Your Best Despite Chronic Illness

In this video NewLifeOutlook community member Anna Scanlon discusses five tips for making sure you’re living your best life, despite your chronic illness.

Watch the video above to hear Anna’s tips, or read the written summary below.

1. Don’t Let Your Illness Define You

Remember that your chronic illness is just one part of you, and there are so many other aspects of your life. If you let your condition define you, it will take over.

2. Focus on What You Can Do

It’s very easy to focus on the things that you can’t do anymore, but make an effort to focus on the things that you can still do.

Sit down and make a list of the things you can do and the things that you’re still really good at — you’ll see that you still have lots of talents that your illness hasn’t taken away.

3. Plan Your Life Around Your Strengths

Try to find work, a hobby or a way of life that allows you to use your strengths and the things that you can do, instead of dwelling on the types of jobs and things that you can’t do anymore.

It may take a bit of creativity to find the perfect job or hobby, but there’s definitely something out there for you.

4. Be Gentle With Yourself

This one can be really difficult, but it’s important for your mental wellbeing to be gentle with yourself when you can’t do something because of your illness.

Instead of getting angry, try not to let it affect you — even if other people try to make you feel bad or get angry at you when you’re not able to do something. It’s not your fault, and you need to take care of you.

5. Take Care of Yourself

This one is kind of open to interpretation, and will vary from person to person. For one person it could mean working a lot, for someone else it could mean working very little. It could mean showing up to every single social event in the entire calendar, or taking some nights off. Sometimes you’ll be able to do more than others.

Listen to your body — it will give you the cues that you need. If your body it telling you it needs to rest, then absolutely listen to it and do what is right for you.

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