4 Tips on Surviving Chronic Illness in Your 20s


Going through a chronic illness can be life-changing, especially for young adults. Here are four survival tips on living your best life with chronic illness in your 20s:

1. Find Your Tribe

Your support system will play a very important role in your chronic illness. They are the ones that have your best interest at heart. They will show up and be there for you no matter what time of day or night it is. Your tribe will fearlessly join you when you have your infamous hospital stays. They will comfort you through the good days and bad. So, find your tribe and go through your illness together.

2. Speak Positively About Your Illness

I know this one can be a little agonizing. Whether you realize it or not, our words have so much power. Even when you do not feel like it, speak positive affirmations to yourself daily. Be gentle to your illness. Tell yourself kind words, especially when your body does not feel the kindest towards you.

3. There Is No Time Limit For Success

Being in your 20s can feel like a huge mid-life crisis. You feel as if you are too old not to have it together, but not quite old enough to have everything completely together. Society often tells us that we should have a career, marriage and kids by the time we hit our 20s. This is an unrealistic goal for most – especially if you have a chronic illness. You have to do what is best for you and your body. Focus on your health. There is no rush. You will get where you want to be and you will be successful!

4. Enjoy Your Life

Simply enough, right? Well, yes and no. When you have a chronic illness you are limited by your condition to do simple everyday tasks. But, on the good days, enjoy life. You do not have to do something over-the-top, but simply take in the beauty of life. So often we can get caught up in our illness, that we forget that life is passing us by. So, celebrate the small victories.

Living life with a chronic illness in your 20s can be daunting, but with the right people and an ambitious attitude, you can survive it.

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde

Getty Image by satamedia


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


Related to Chronic Illness

A black and white image of a woman outside, only showing a small portion of her face.

When You Tell Me 'I Don't Know How You Survive'

I have been struggling with various forms of debilitating chronic illness for years, and I’m tired of people telling me things that can easily translate to them saying that I “should die.” I know that’s not what they’re intending to say, when generally well-meaning people tell me something along the lines of, “I don’t know [...]
12 Things You Can Do to Fight 'Flare Fear'

12 Things You Can Do to Fight 'Flare Fear'

If you live with a health condition, you may have experienced a “special” type of anxiety that comes from the challenges associated with your illness. Maybe you worry about how your illness will progress, or perhaps, like Mighty contributor C.M., you fear a flare-up or increase in symptoms of your condition. In an essay that [...]
spongebob lifting weights with stuffed animals on the ends

15 Memes That Nail What It's Like to Exercise With a Chronic Illness

I don’t know if anyone would consider exercise “easy,” but for those with chronic illness, it can be especially difficult. When you’re dealing with serious symptoms like pain or fatigue, moving your body around is probably the last thing you feel like doing. Personally, I have a love-hate relationship with exercise: Working out can actually help alleviate [...]
when I run out of spoons

15 Memes That Nail What It's Like to Have Limited Energy With Chronic Illness

If you live with chronic illness, your energy levels probably don’t work the same as they do for your healthy friends. Those with chronic illness often have limited amounts of energy – and once that energy runs out, there’s no “pushing through.” Your energy reserves are 100 percent depleted until they can be replenished with [...]