You oversee whether you will be miserable or find some joy in a life full of chronic illness. You hold the wheel and determine the course. If Joy is out of reach, stretch yourself. It’s right there in front of you.
Here are 15 Ideas to Help You Stretch for Joy
Take your meds as prescribed. The pain will be less.
Do something fun each day.
Tell a joke to someone.
Find the fun in things you do. Realize you are HERE to do them.
Join a support group. Try a few groups out until your find the one that is your tribe.
Find a support group in your area where they meet. Seeing real people with the same problems relieves your stress.
Admit when you need help. Ask for it.
If someone asks, “How can I help?” Give them a job or chore to do. Shopping, going to the post office, running an errand for you is a great way for them to help. Make a list every week. Call them up when you need help. Your friends are standing around wanting to help you. “Can you pick up bananas for me?”
There are Art Therapy classes online.
DeterminedtoShine on Facebook has free and inexpensive classes that offer journal art as a way to learn about yourself.
https://www.willowing.org/product/life-book-2020/ Offers art to women to help find themselves in their lives.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/redthreadcafeclassrooom/ A tribe of women who support each other through art.
Find the art that speaks to you.
Color in one of the new adult coloring books. I have a Swear Word coloring book, among my design coloring books. Get the crayons, pencils and markers out.
Read or reread a favorite book. Buy a new book to read.
Write in a journal every day. Pour out those feelings. Take a meditation and writing course with https://nadiacolburn.com/ She does free courses and has a class you can pay for.
Get out more. Take a walk. Go to the mall.
Eat out once a week. Even the dollar menu will get you out of the house eating something new. Take a friend with you.
Get a therapist either in person or online and talk to them really truly talk to them.
I do have tried all of these things and do some of them. Take what works for you. It takes work to put joy into your life. Don’t let the Chronic Illness steal it, Take it back. Reach for it.