30 Easy Self-Care Tips for People Living With Chronic Illness


I’ve created a list of easy self-care tips when living with a chronic illness. These are simple ideas that can be done without going too far or using up too much energy.

1. Allow yourself to daydream. Sit for five minutes and think about happy things.

2. Be kind to yourself. If you find you’re giving yourself a hard time, speak to yourself as you would to a friend.

3. Give your hands a little massage, whilst sitting in bed or on the sofa. Here’s one you may like to try.

4. Breathe. Spend a few minutes simply focusing on your breathing. Here is a three minute breathing exercise you may like to try.

5. Write down at least three things you like about yourself. Read them a few times and really acknowledge them.

6. Sigh. Breathe in and sigh the breath out loud. Repeat a few times. It helps to relieve tension.

7. Treat yourself to something. Be it flowers, a book, new pajamas – just because you deserve it!

8. Watch an old, favorite movie. Blanket and hot chocolate anyone?!

9. Be very proud of yourself for dealing with these horrible, debilitating illnesses every single day.

10. Work on letting things go. Anger, frustration, guilt, etc. You will feel better!

11. Write down your hopes and dreams. Start with a list of three, and add to it whenever one springs to mind.

12. Spend 10 minutes simply absorbing nature, enjoying what you can see and hear. Open a window if you can’t get out.

13. Write in a journal. It can be therapeutic to get your thoughts onto paper.

14. Practice saying positive affirmations. Example, “I am calm and relaxed.”

15. Make a nice cup of tea. Sip, relax and enjoy!

16. Have a long soak in the bath. Add some Epsom salts, magnesium flakes or bath oil, and light some candles. Bliss!

17. Listen to your body and act on what it tells you.

18. Be creative. Do some painting, knitting, crafting, taking photos – whatever floats your boat!

19. Light some candles and enjoy how it makes the room feel calm and relaxed.

20. Listen to the birds sing.

21. Graze on healthy snacks throughout the day to help manage your energy levels.

22. Acknowledge and be proud of your achievements, no matter how small they may seem.

23. Listen to some relaxing music.

24. Sit in bed and give yourself a manicure. Who cares if you’re not going out!

25. Laugh. It’s not fun living with chronic illness, but try to find little things to cheer you up.

26. Tell those close to you how much you love them. It will make you feel all warm and fuzzy!

27. Make rest a priority. Do whatever works for you to switch off and relax.

28. Look for the stars and the moon. Enjoy some star gazing!

29. Reach out and contact an old friend. This may be tough if folk have disappeared since your illness, but it will make you feel nice.

30. Pace yourself. You know you can’t do it all, so don’t try. Do less than you think you can.

I hope you found these useful. As always I’d love to hear your comments, as well as any easy self-care ideas you may have.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Gettyimage by: g-stockstudio


Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.


Related to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Myalgic Encephalomyelitis

A notepad on a wooden table, surrounded by a pen, glasses, and greenery.

How Chronic Illness Has Changed How I Set My New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions used to be my jam. I’m a planner, a dreamer, and a self-improvement enthusiast. January first was the day I could crack open a crisp new notebook, take stock of my life, and sketch out a rough draft for the next 12 months. Since developing chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and several other [...]
painting of two people hugging by the author

What 'Showing Up' Looks Like for Someone With Chronic Illness

What fosters our livelihoods long-term are not the sparkling connections we make when our lives are perfect, but those we forge amidst adversity. Showing up for one another with authenticity and vulnerability – and persevering through the tough times – is what strengthens our human connections to each other. This reciprocal relationship is built on [...]
A black and white vintage image of a woman, slightly blurred.

A Glimpse Into What Fatigue Really Feels Like

This is the most difficult piece I have ever shared. I like to share things that are uplifting and inspiring, that have a happy ending. So, if you’re expecting that, I’m sorry to disappoint. This piece is about honesty, truth, and real life. Fatigue is a symptom that so many people who live with chronic [...]
A close-up of a Christmas gift with a red ribbon and bow on top.

10 Christmas Gifts of Love That You Can Give to Your Spoonie Friends

Personally, I don’t particularly like receiving gifts. I’m very concerned about the environment, energy, water consumption and pollution involved in modern manufacturing methods. Although I love to give, I don’t particularly like giving “things.” I get stressed about finding something that the recipient really wants and will use, because I really don’t want to contribute [...]