Living with a chronic illness can be tough, and if you have one, you already know that it can be hard trying to navigate every day life while trying to find the energy to do all the things you need to do. When that happens, that sometimes means that you end up putting you and your self-care last, so it's super important that you find ways to experience everyday bliss.
Today's blog post is going to focus on some simple and gentle self care activities that can help brighten your days and give you the strength you need to get through the day. These are things that I do myself and that I teach to my own coaching clients.
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- Start your day with a little bit of peace and some positive thoughts. Whether it's a few quiet minutes with a cozy cup of tea, a gentle meditation, positive affirmations or journaling your thoughts, these little moments can kickstart your day with good vibes.
- Exercise doesn't have to be a marathon! Find movements that work for you—short strolls, seated stretches, or easy breathing exercises for example. It's all about keeping things comfy and flexible and in the range of what you can do. Talk with your Health Care Provider for recommendations on what may work best for your particular situation.
- Nourishing your body with foods that make you feel good and staying hydrated with your favorite sips throughout the day can often make quite the difference in your illness. I tell my coaching clients, when asked, that the foods that I have eaten have made all the difference in my own chronic illness journey. I simply began with keeping a food log/journal and how my body reacted to the things I ate/drank. I knew from this log what foods made me feel better or worse and tweaked my meal plan around it.
- Get out doors if you can. Seriously, the more you head out in nature, the better you will feel. The sunshine hitting your body, the fresh air on your face...it makes a difference. If heading outdoors is a bit tricky, no worries! Bring a bit of nature indoors—maybe a cute plant, some calming nature sounds coming from an indoor fountain, or just enjoying the sunlight from your window.
- Give your eyes and brain a break from screens. You could enjoy activities like reading, coloring, listening to music or audiobooks, or getting crafty without the constant buzz of technology.
- Create a cozy bedtime routine that helps you catch those Z's. A comfy sleep space, learning what habits help you fall sleep as well as tuning in to your body's cues for rest can make a big difference. I know that if I'm not getting my rest, it affects every single aspect of my life.
- Count your blessings, even the small ones, by jotting those things in your gratitude journal. Practicing daily gratitude can help bring a positive twist to your day, no matter what life throws your way.
- Hang out and associate with folks who lift you up, support and encourage you. Virtual chats, short visits, or even a phone call can be great for staying connected and supported. There are many online and offline groups of people who may have the chronic illness that you have, so you can check out those forums or groups and if you feel like to you need to meet people who are going through something similar, you can.
- Setting boundaries is crucial. Say no to stuff (that includes people too!) that might stress you out, and focus on activities that make you feel good and supported. If this is something that you struggle with, this article is a great starting point in how to do so.
These are a few tips that I share with my coaching clients about self care that can be added to your day to help bring you some everyday bliss. You can start with adding one or two into your daily routine if you're not doing already. See how things go and then add another.
Also, just so you know, you're doing an awesome job navigating life with a chronic illness. I know it's not easy and that you may have many days where it seems overwhelming. These simple self-care tips are just little reminders to treat yourself with kindness each and every day. You deserve that!
In this together!