My 7 Steps For Coping With a Chronic Condition

My 7 Steps For Coping With a Chronic Condition

Being diagnosed with a terminal or chronic illness can be disorienting and disappointing. But as you accept it with time, you will learn to cope with your illness by making changes in your lifestyle. Stress affects everybody, and suffering from long term health conditions may make you vulnerable to the struggles stress can bring. You may appear to be absolutely fine on the outside, but inside, you might be torn apart by the stresses of being constantly dependent on someone for doctor appointments or having to clean up, go outside, run errands, etc. To persevere the spirit to live must be there. No matter what you are suffering from, being aware of the conditions and taking precautions can ease the everyday struggle. The more positively you can handle the struggle, the easier it will be to take care of the challenges.

My 7 ways to cope with a chronic condition:


Often a lot of turmoil lies in mind. Accepting being terminally ill or having to suffer from a lifelong condition such as diabetes or thyroid issues takes time for acceptance. Once you’ve accepted it, it puts your mind at ease and allows you to look for ways to combat the disease while living your life. Take your time but accept your current situation as that is only when the mind will start to look for a solution.

Look for support:

We all need people that support us when we go through a tough time, and when experiencing illness, having a strong support system is half of the journey. Having your friends and family with you during these times can boost up your confidence. Do not worry about the toxic relationships in your life and only focus on people who add positivity to your life. Value the people who love and care about you and make them a part of your inner circle. Social media is also a great place to get support from those experiencing similar conditions to you.

Look for support when coping with a chronic condition

Gain more information about your condition:

When you are suffering from a chronic condition, it is always safer to have a thorough understanding of the disease and its conditions. If you have doubts and questions, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor. You may also research online or look for support groups to gain more knowledge about the condition. Keep track of the symptoms your body exhibits and get to know your body better. Analyze methods that may help to manage symptoms related to your condition and share details with your healthcare provider.

Manage symptoms of depression:

People suffering from chronic illness go through a wide range of emotions. You may feel weary, drained out, and be in a dark place due to the condition and the symptoms you experience. A lot of people miss out on their regular doctor’s appointments and skip medications, which ends up in further aggravating the condition. It is important to be well informed about the symptoms of depression and how to tackle them. Speak to a therapist if necessary.

Take your medications on schedule:

It is often hard to remember to take medication, it’s even harder to remember if you have to take 10 of them. Set a reminder or an alarm on your phone to remind you to take your medicines on time. Remember the names of the medicines you are taking and get a deeper insight into the drugs you are recommended. Speak to your doctor to learn more about each drug and its side effects, why you’re taking them, if you may discontinue them in the future, etc.

Take your medications on schedule if you are coping with a chronic condition

Live in the present:

Suffering from a lifelong disease can make you worry and fear the future, but the best way to live one’s life is to focus on the present. Always follow the rule of ‘Be Here And Now.’ Focus on what you’re doing; if you are eating, be conscious of what you’re eating, what color food you are eating, etc. It keeps the mind focused on the present activity and prevents it from wandering off in unprecedented directions. 

Find something you love to do:

Practicing a hobby is therapy in itself. Whether it’s painting, gardening, or reading a book, find out what you like and do it. Hobbies can bring joy, a feeling of productivity, and a distraction from the suffering of real life.

Coping with a chronic illness can be difficult, but there are methods that can make this easier. Live in the moment and take baby steps every day. Changes don’t happen overnight, but as long as you make progress, you’re doing great.

About the Author:

Henna is a wellness lifestyle writer. She loves sharing her thoughts and personal experiences related to natural remedies, Ayurvedic, yoga and fitness through her writing. She currently writes for How To Cure. She can connect with others experiencing health concerns and help them through their recovery journeys through natural remedies.

How writing helps me stay positive while living with autoimmune diseases

writing helps me stay positive

This may sound a little strange but it is true. I live with several autoimmune diseases and sometimes it’s very hard to stay positive. When there is a flare, an increase of all symptoms, it’s easy to feel down and get even worse.

Writing helps me stay positive, but not just any writing. Writing and creating my Chargimals. They are little monsters that each represent a specific health condition or general symptom. They live in al alternate universe called Chargieville and have adventures together despite their limitations.

The world we made up in our minds

I am the person who creates the adventures for The Chargimals. Together with my partner in crime Jenni Lock, we live in Chargieville. In our minds. I can see the characters walking around in my brain and go on the adventures we create for them. My daughter (8) occasionally helps us write stories too.

Focus on the positive

How does this help me stay positive you may think. First of all the stories focus on the positive things you can do while living with limitations. This makes us think about all the things we would be able to do. By focusing so much on the positive in a constructive way, it makes me feel better. It makes me feel that, yeah, I am able to do things. I may just need to do them in an adapted way, but that’s okay.

I can think about my issues and how I would work around them. The Chargimals go on adventures that I create in my mind. To me it feels like I am actually there. Like I am going on adventures as well. On my good days I have a clear mind, I can write and leave the house as well. On a bad day I can’t come up with new stories because of my brain fog, but I can read the stories I’ve written so far, or work on one with Jenni (giving feedback is easier than actually writing yourself) and have them make me feel better.

Release frustrations

Writing these stories and making memes gives me a way to release my frustration with certain aspects around living with my autoimmune diseases. It makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something. When I read the stories to my daughter before bed she absolutely loves them. The Chargimals are living and breathing personas in our house. We know them all by name and know what their personalities are like.

It gives a sense of purpose and a sense of belonging when people reply with “I feel the same way”.

An unexpected friendship

Secondly it has given me a friendship with Jenni, the writer. We met though Facebook and really bonded over writing these stories. It gave me a partner in crime, someone to confide in, someone to share it with.

Last but not least, it strengthens my bond with my daughter. She adores the Chargimals, and it hungry for more stories. She can’t get enough! She knows we write them ourselves, and comes up with topics and sometimes even whole stories. It’s something we can do together and enjoy, it sparks her creativity and makes me feel happy.

Happy feeling

When I’m feeling down, having a hard day, simply fed up with being sick all the time, I can rely on the chargimals. Read the stories to my daughter, talk about new ideas with Jenni, and connect with The Chargimal Fans, which are the best people in the world!

Long story short they make me feel valued and loved, even on my worst days.

Want a bit of the magic too? Follow the Chargimals on Facebook or Instagram, you will see what I mean.

A Guide to Coping With Shoulder Pain

Coping with Shoulder Pain

The shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in the body. This leaves our shoulders vulnerable to injury through the actions we carry out in our everyday lives. Waking up with shoulder pain and tension can be very disturbing to your daily routine. It can become a struggle to complete daily household work and chores. Shoulder pain can have many causes, from injury to tension, to having slept in an uncomfortable position the night before. Shoulder pain can also be triggered by sports, gym exercises, or lifting heavy items. Pain medication can help, however, the relief may only last a few hours and may not be enough on its own to adequately manage the pain. Here are some home remedies that can help lessen shoulder pain:

Cold compress:

Applying ice to the sore area can both numb the area and reduce inflammation, swelling, muscle spasms, and cramps. Ice is also great for use after exercise or after prolonged, painful activity.

Microwaveable heat pack: 

The warmth from these heat packs can help reduce the pain, muscle stiffness, and muscle spasms that may be the cause of your shoulder pain. These are little fabric cases that are often filled with wheat that you can stick in the microwave and put on your shoulder or any other sore spot.

Anti-inflammatory medication:

Anti-inflammatory medication: In the case of injury, arthritis, or tendonitis, anti-inflammatory medication can help reduce inflammation and therefore reduce pain. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories you can purchase include aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen

Anti-inflammatories can help reduce shoulder pain

These home remedies for shoulder pain are especially great for when you experience shoulder pain at night and have no access to a medical professional’s help. If your shoulder pain is ongoing and is becoming bothersome it is advisable that you consult a doctor to ensure there is nothing seriously wrong. This can sometimes result in an X-ray in order to attempt to identify the source of your pain.


Once the cause of your shoulder pain has been discovered and your doctor has given you the all clear, yoga can be incredibly helpful with relieving pain, bringing back strength, and increasing mobility. Yoga can also help with inflammation in other areas of the body. Studies have been done that show that people who do yoga regularly experience less inflammation overall than those who don’t. Yoga poses that work well for shoulder pain include shoulder roles, neck role, and the downward-facing-dog against the wall. If while you’re doing yoga you experience sharp or stabbing pain, tingling, or numbness, it may be wise to avoid that pose for a week or two.


Stiffness or tightness in the shoulders can limit movement; and if it goes untreated, it can cause tension headaches. If yoga isn’t your thing, then simple stretches are an easy way to relieve shoulder pain and tightness. Stretches that work well for shoulder pain include the cross-body-shoulder-stretch, cross body arm swings, and a stretch called the cow-face pose. Stretching can also help improve posture, which is important for preventing back and shoulder pain.

Yoga can reduce shoulder pain

If the pain still persists after a few weeks, it may be beneficial to look into consulting a Physical therapist.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy is often recommended for treatment of an injury or rehab after surgery. Physical therapy treatment often starts off with an initial evaluation where you are asked about your pain and what triggers it. The strength and movement in your shoulder may also be tested. After this assessment, the treatment can begin. You may receive massages and be given a home-exercise-program specifically tailored to you to help the strength and mobility of your shoulder. You should be able to notice an improvement in your shoulder within a few weeks. If your shoulder pain still continues to persist, you may need to see a specialist.

Shoulder pain and tension is a common, yet often treatable affliction. These treatments for shoulder pain can help keep your shoulder mobile and strong. In the case of severe pain, consult your doctor or physiotherapist before doing any exercises such as stretches or yoga

How to Stay Positive with Chronic Illness

chronic illness, positivity, coping, mental health

When you’re chronically ill, it can be very easy to lose yourself in feelings of low self-worth and self-pity, and to generally feel depression and despair. Often we lose the ability to do what we once could and just getting through each day can be a challenge. You tend to focus on what you are no longer able to do or what other people who are healthy can do. Even though you are sick, you can still try to focus on the positives or things you can do in order to live your personal best life. In our community, these small celebrations are called, “Chargie Wins”.

The Power of Positivity

I tend to be a very positive person by nature, so I subconsciously tend to find these “Chargie Wins”, even when I’m having a really bad day. Like I said, it can really be anything meaningful to you that you’ve been able to accomplish during a given day. For example, I have not been feeling well for the past few days. I canceled all of my plans and got no work done. Yesterday, I was finally able to take a shower and wash my hair and today I straightened my hair and did my makeup to record a video. To someone without chronic illnesses, these are things they take for granted that they are able to do everyday, but for me, these are Chargie Wins.

wins, Chargie wins, positivity, celebrating successes

Do Unto Others

As I said, I have not been feeling well and have been in bed for three days. It’s very easy for someone to feel down under those circumstances. When people don’t feel well physically, it can also effect how they feel mentally or emotionally. When this happens to me, I find it helpful to focus on the positive. Something that always makes me feel better is helping other people. I’ll go to the Unchargeables Instagram account or Facebook page and read through the posts and try to give other people advice or encouragement. It can also be a good distraction from whatever I may have going on. I’ve found that when I support others, they return the support when I need it as well. It can even help to know that someone else relates to what you are going through. This also helps me to feel productive and like I’m doing something good in the world.

helping others, support, acceptance, positivity, Unchargeables, Facebook, Instagram

I also enjoy looking at the Facebook and Instagram accounts for another reason: other people will share their Chargie Wins. This can be a good reminder to celebrate the little things when it doesn’t seem like there’s anything worth celebrating. It’s also a reminder that everyone has their own challenges and good and bad days. Sometimes it just gives me a gentle reminder to stay positive and tomorrow can be a better day.

The Path to Acceptance

At times, my health will not allow me to be on the computer or use screens. Since so much of my work for the Unchargeables requires being at the computer, these days can be difficult for me. I have learned that I just need to accept this and hope that things get better, but for now I have to just do whatever I can do. On days like this, I will practice self-care and do things like listen to podcasts, cuddle with my animals, or spend quiet time with my daughter instead. Life with chronic illness is unpredictable. You never know how you will feel from one day to the next. That’s why it is important to set realistic goals for yourself and manage expectations. With this comes acceptance. For me, acceptance means that today was a bad day so I didn’t accomplish everything I wanted to and hopefully tomorrow will be better.

acceptance, positivity, adaptation, facing challenges

My capacity for acceptance was challenged during my recent move. I had planned out my entire week. I told myself I was going to do a certain amount of work and packing each day in order to meet my goal in time for my move. Well, that’s what my mind said, but my body had other plans. When the first day of packing came, I was physically unable to do it. I thought, well, it’s not a big deal. I’ll just do more tomorrow. Tomorrow came and I still was not feeling well enough to do anything. The same thing happened the next day. Part of me wanted to scream! My plan did not work and I was off of my schedule and still had so much to do. I calmed down and realized that there was really nothing I could do about it. That was something I had to accept. I would get everything done at my own slower pace as I was able. Sometimes you have to amend your expectations to fit circumstances you cannot change.

It’s Hard to be a Mom

Another area of my life where acceptance comes into play is when trying to raise my daughter. Being a chronically ill mother is the worst! I often feel guilty for not feeling well enough to play with her as much as she would like. I can’t always take her to the park or the movies or even just outside to play. My body will not allow it. I feel guilty for not being able to do some of the things parents who don’t have chronic illnesses can do with their children. It’s hard, but I’ve learned acceptance in this area of life too. On my bad days, I’ll try to do things like cuddle with her and watch a movie or even reading stories.

motherhood, acceptance, adaptation, help, support system

I’ve also accepted that I need help sometimes. I have told the other kids’ parents that I’m chronically ill. I will plan play dates for her with other kids so that she can still have fun even when I am not feeling well enough to play with her. I have told the other parents about my illness so that they can not only be there for my daughter, but myself as well. Everyone needs help sometimes, but when you’re chronically ill, having that support system becomes even more important.

There’s Always Tomorrow

I’ve learned that the biggest part of staying positive when living with a chronic illness is to manage expectations. For many of us, those expectations are drastically different from those which we had for ourselves prior to becoming chronically ill. Instead of focusing on what we used to do or can no longer do, it it important to shift attention towards the victories we can attain. These Chargie Wins, though they may seem minor to those who are not chronically ill, should be celebrated for the accomplishments they are. Furthermore, even if something did not work out quite as we would have liked, accept that it may not be able to be changed, but know that tomorrow is another day.

expectations, adaptation, positivity, Chargie Wins