The Mighty Logo

5 Ways to Treat Yourself on a Difficult Day With Chronic Illness

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

So you wake up after a night mostly made up of painsomnia or racing (raging even) thoughts, and you still need to get out of bed…

Unfortunately, it’s far too easy to be hard on yourself for not being healthier or being able to get up earlier, etc. Let’s be honest, some days getting out of bed can be extremely difficult or feels downright impossible. On days like these, it is very important to then do something for yourself — even if it is something small, it may be anything but insignificant.

Here are five (relatively) easy things to do on those days when there just aren’t enough spoons.

1. Music or an (audio)book

Put on your favorite playlist or song. And, if you don’t yet have a playlist filled with music you find uplifting or inspirational, why not try to make one on a day when you’re feeling better specifically for the days when all your spoons are all rusty and bent.

Another option is an audiobook. I know that some days when I just need to lie down the last thing I want to do is still hold a book or even a tablet in my hands to read because 1) my hands are bloody sore, and 2) I then have a knack for dropping said book or tablet on my face. Therefore, audiobook!

I have slowly but surely accumulated the audiobooks of my favorite books into an Intense Tolkien Ear-Workout of nine books. When I can’t sleep, or I need some cheering up, but music just won’t do, I simply listen to one of the audiobooks. (You can always do this with podcasts as well, of course!)

2. A warm bath (preferably with some Epsom salts or muscle soak)

A bath or shower can do wonders at times, even if it is the only thing you do for the day. You can always soak a bit while listening to your favorite music as well!

Make some tea in a flask beforehand so you can just plop down after energy well spent and already have warm tea waiting on the bedside table. Which brings me to…

3. Tea!

A cup of tea can do wonders for the body and soul. Though it’s not (unfortunately) an instant cure-all (wouldn’t that have been wonderful), it can still soothe and help to give you time to gather your thoughts. Try out different kinds of teas to see which one you prefer on those less-than-optimal days. Rooibos (sometimes called red bush) is, for instance, caffeine-free and when steeped in milk with some honey a veritable elixir of the gods.

4. Pets

Whatever pet you have, whether it’s a spider, a cat or a dog, pets can many times make the day worthwhile. Cuddling with a cat or a dog can make the worries of the world melt away. They can also keep you going when times are tough as they depend on you to be there to take care of them.

Okay, spiders aren’t exactly the kind of pet you cuddle with… but you know what I mean.

5. A candle and a prayer

Whether you just want to light a candle to the universe or pray to God, it can really help your soul to become still for a moment. And sometimes becoming still for a bit is all we need to be able to face the world again for another day.

Getty image by LTuray

Originally published: October 8, 2018
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home