5 Tips for Overcoming Boredom with Chronic Illness
We’ve all heard people complain about getting bored while they’re sick, but only those that have experienced chronic illness really know boredom.
Before I became sick with POTS, my passion was rock climbing. I trained in the climbing gym 3-4 times a week, and usually spent my weekends climbing outside. My life was exciting. I never had down-time, and was never bored. Often I wished there was more time in the day to do all the things I wanted to do.
When I found out I had POTS, my life slowed down, and that was (and still is) very difficult for me. Though I find my myself missing my old life all the time, I’ve found several things that help me keep going.
#1: Find ways to help others
There’s no better feeling than knowing you made a difference in someone’s life. Of course, many of us with chronic illness aren’t able to help others like we used to, but there are plenty of ways we still can. For example, listening to others, and making sure they know their problems are heard and acknowledged. We can also make others laugh, offer advice, or send kind notes to those that are having a hard time.
These things help me keep my mind off my own struggles, and remind me that I’m not alone. Make sure you allow others to help you when you need it, too. That has been tough for me.
#2: Find new hobbies
When I got diagnosed with POTS, I started writing and reading more. Though I’d rather be outside rock climbing, I still enjoy expressing myself through writing and reading books. Many POTS patients have taken up painting or other forms of art, which I’ve heard can be quite therapeutic.
I’ve taken up cooking and baking since becoming sick, and I even have a chair that I use to sit on while I cook (as it’s very difficult to stand for long with POTS). Some days I don’t feel up to cooking, but I definitely am happy when I am able to.
Try your hardest to find something you can enjoy while being sick. Some other ideas that come to mind are: photography, journaling, scrapbooking, gaming, or gardening.
#3: Connect with others
Finding online support groups has been so helpful for me. Knowing I’m not alone has completely changed my outlook on chronic illness. We have a very strong community and support system that is available to all that are struggling. FaceBook has private groups for almost every chronic illness, where you can discuss your symptoms and treatments with others. I’ve found several friends through these groups that I am very thankful for. Sometimes it’s nice just to be able to chat with others that relate to what you’re going through.
I’ve also enjoyed having more time to connect with my family members, and try to make a point of calling and texting them often. Having lots of down time really allows you to strengthen your relationships.
#4: Learn about your condition and spread awareness
I’ve spent countless hours online researching my conditions and symptoms. Because of this, I feel much more educated and aware of what is going on with my health. Just because you’ve been diagnosed with one thing doesn’t mean you don’t have anything else. It may end up being you that finds what’s wrong with you--after all, doctors aren’t perfect!
Many chronic illnesses have awareness weeks or other events that you can get involved in to support the cause. Especially with conditions like POTS, that aren’t widely known, it’s largely up to us to make sure others are being educated about it!
#5: Find a job that you can work from home with
Luckily, with the job I have, I am able to work from home. I take advantage of this often, and I usually sit or lay in my bed while I work. Sometimes I feel like I am too sick to be working full-time, but it definitely gives me a sense of purpose and keeps me from getting bored.
There are several types of jobs that often allow for working from home, a few examples being computer programming, marketing, survey taking, online teaching, etc.
I hope this list was helpful! If anyone has any addition advice for keeping from getting bored while being sick, please let me know in the comments :)
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