From Dani: As I have previously shared briefly in some of my more personal posts, I suffer from multiple chronic illnesses. Anxiety, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, and Hashimotos Thyroiditis.. just to name a few. People who have chronic illnesses are often referred to as Spoonies. This is because of the amazing Spoon Theory which perfectly describes to people of average health what it is like to have a chronic illness, sickness, or disability. I recently discovered, through spending two hours scrolling on Instagram, an amazing kit created just for spoonies like myself. I reached out to the creator of the kits, Pippa, to see if she would be interested in writing a piece about living with chronic illness. To my delight, she accepted and is here today to share with you 5 ways to stay sassy with a chronic illness!
If you’re feeling low, don’t be afraid to treat yourself and do something that makes you happy. Have an online shopping spree, eat a whole tub of Ben and Jerry’s in one sitting, binge watch a series or 20 of a new show on Netflix, do whatever makes you smile. You deserve it.
Note from Dani: Of course, do not go overboard on anything or cause harm to your body. For example: If you need to avoid dairy to help your auto immune disorder, try eating vegan ice cream instead of Ben and Jerry's.
Even if you’re not up to leaving the house, it’s okay to dress up if you feel like it. Mess around with make-up, paint your nails in crazy colours, even wearing cute socks or underwear can help you feel more human.
When you live with an incurable illness, you know that laughter isn’t really the cure for everything. However, it definitely helps!
It’s completely okay to spend your day watching your favorite comedy show or watch an abundance of videos of baby animals doing silly things. You can’t not laugh at Thug Life Cat, that’s a fact.
RELATED: Listen to this episode of my podcast, The Quarter Life Crisis Club Podcast, on Living with Chronic Illness:
Be There for Others
Small gestures of kindness from others can have a huge impact, especially when you’re ill. You could show somebody that you’re thinking of them by arranging a catch-up over a cup of tea, writing them a letter on your cutest stationary, or even just doing something as simple as sending a ‘how’s things with you?’ text.
By helping others to feel good, you’re helping yourself feel good too.
Have a Back Up Plan
On the bad days when things feel overwhelming, make sure you have a physical reminder that you CAN get through this. I make Spoonie Survival Kits, little bags of happiness for chronic illness sufferers, by chronic illness sufferers.
They contain treats to eat, things to make and do when you’re stuck in bed, things to wear so you can stay sassyand encourage self-care, and symbolic items to remind you that you’re not alone in your fight and that somebody cares. The kits come in a range of colours and sizes and we now also sell other cute items including friendship bracelets and inspirational quote cards. We are a non-profit organisation, with 25% of our sales funding future bags and 75% going to Action For M.E. a charity that promotes awareness of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, a condition I live with. We hope to raise lots of money for a fab charity whilst spreading the love at the same time!
About the Author
My name is Pippa, and I’m a student from Yorkshire, England.
I live with a couple of chronic illnesses and would like to work with people with disabilities in the future. I used to be a ballet dancer in training and still love watching dance, and I also enjoy reading and running my non-profit business, Spoonie Survival Kits.