How to Stay Motivated When You Have Chronic Illness

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We all know that fatigue and pain are some of the main culprits beating you up on a daily basis. With weights such as these slowing you down, it can be hard to find motivation to do much of anything. Here are some ideas to get yourself going:

Lyme disease sufferer surrounded by good companySurround yourself with good company

The people you spend time with make a huge difference in how you act, think, and feel. If you are surrounded by positive, supportive, and uplifting people, chances are you’ll be more like that too! We all know that we can find a lot of joy through our relationships with others, and chronic illness shouldn’t get in the way of that! Even just a few moments of quality time with a spouse or calling a sibling can make your day.

Exercise

We’ve heard time and time again that exercise is highly effective when dealing with stress or mental health challenges such as depression. Working out just gets you to feel good! Obviously, when dealing with Lyme disease, symptoms can keep you from feeling well enough to exercise. Don’t push yourself, know your limits, but find simple ways to get active. Your body may not be capable of doing things to the extent you once did, but don’t let that stop or discourage you. Speak with a friend or doctor to come up with a fitness regimen that works for you.

Treat yourself

Tom and Donna got it right on Parks and Rec when they created their annual “Treat Yo Self Day”. It’s important to take some time aside to appreciate yourself. Food lover? Buy one of your favorite things to eat! Do you like to be outside? Go on a walk and enjoy some beautiful scenery. Does music make you happy? Jam out to your favorite songs. Life is meant to be enjoyed, and taking some time to do small things you love can help you find the silver linings in each day. 

Keep a gratitude/joy journalgratitude journal for those with chronic illness

When dealing with a chronic illness, life is hard. No one would blame you for feeling upset or frustrated. One of the most difficult things about life is accepting that some things you just can’t change. However, keeping a positive mindset is essential while dealing with any trial. Keep a gratitude journal where you write down a list of things in each day you are grateful for. It can be as simple as nice weather or making one of your favorite foods. When you are feeling down, reading back your entries can help lift your spirits. A joy journal works along the same lines, except you write down all the things in a day that made you happy. Recognizing the blessings and joy in each day can help things seem less bleak.

Keep up your hobbies

Chronic illness can rob you of your identity and make you feel as if you have lost the person you used to be. Keeping up your hobbies can help you hold onto who you are and enable you to feel more like your old self. Don’t let Lyme get in the way of your love for reading, painting, singing, or anything else you enjoy doing.  

We can’t control what life throws at us but we can always control how we react to events and unexpected challenges. Find the joy and small pleasures in each day and your motivation will be sure to jump up. Life is perfectly imperfect after all! If you choose to look for it, you’ll always find the sun hidden behind the clouds.

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