Most people believe you have to stop doing things you love when you have a chronic illness. True, there will be some activities it simply isn’t possible to do with a low energy level and plenty of pain to deal with, no matter how high your various tolerances.

But a great many things can be accomplished, as long as you learn the “new” method that will work for you given your current health. If you love to go out, then do it. Just take precautions and plan ahead. Don’t spend the entire day cleaning your house and then expect to hit the town. You’ll crash. Or maybe not, but you probably won’t have a lot of fun. Instead, rest as much as you can.

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Do you enjoy gardening? Then plant. But temper your expectations. Whether it’s flowers or vegetables, it may be necessary to scale back on what you previously grew. Leave part of the vegetable garden unplanted and only do those foods you love the most. If you’re talking flowers, you might have to decrease the size of your beds. I’ve let part of two of mine go back to grass so I’m better able to tend the rest. I weed when I have energy, and when the sun isn’t blazing down on me.

Is cooking your thing? Concentrate on doing one dish well, rather than trying to put out a large, several meal. Make a huge pot of chili. Don’t try to do soup, a main course with sides, and dessert. If you’re having a gathering, that’s what other people are there for – to help you. Friends and family should all know about your condition and be willing to help. If not, maybe you shouldn’t be hosting parties yourself. Why drain all your energy for people who may not be grateful?

These are just a few examples of how you can work your favorite activities into your life, even with a chronic illness. Do you have your own things that work for you? Tell me in the comments.

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