RESOURCES: Things to do when you’re feeling down

There are, of course, a kazillion things listed on this infographic. However, rather than going through all of them, I’m just going to highlight the groupings, since I think it’s easier and less overwhelming to pick the group you want to employ than to try to scan through all the individual ideas. Once you’ve narrowed the choices down to one, you can check out just that area.

Nurture Yourself: Self-nurturance is quite simple. It means seeking out pleasurable activities that are self-satisfying. Yet women in our society, even those battling chronic illness, feel quite guilty when they take time out of their schedule for personal development or satisfying activities. Things you can do to nurture yourself are to take a bath, color, or play with your pet.

Engage Your Brain: Engaged means fully occupied or having your full attention. An engaged reader really focuses on the words and maybe even jots down questions or comments in the pages’ margins. If you’re busy or involved with something, you’re engaged in it. Examples of this in regards to chronic illness include playing games on your phone, doing Sudoku or crosswords, and the like.

Move: Get to know your body well through trying different movement practices and honoring your unique circumstances. Everyone with chronic illness has different needs and energy levels, and you need to listen to your body. Examples of movement include gentle things like walking, tai-chi, and water aerobics.

Be Social: This has to do with being around other people, doing something that you find pleasurable. Unfortunately, for those of us with chronic conditions, social activities can be a huge energy drain, but doing things like meeting a friend for lunch, giving a donation of any kind to charity (doesn’t have to be monetary, charities need tons of different types of help), or inviting friends over for a gab session all apply.

Get Creative: If you do something creative you are basically doing anything original, making something new or imaginative. You can doodle or draw, go see a movie, make a craft, or cook a new recipe. Your options are nearly limitless.

Be Spiritual: Spirituality is different for everyone, but the basic premise is to affect the human spirit or soul as opposed to being consumed by material or physical things. Some examples of this (as you can see, they’re not all religious in nature), include meditation, listening to music, or getting together with others to celebrate your spirituality.

Now that you know some things you can do the next time you find yourself feeling low, keep this list handy. We can all think of these things without the list, but I find that when I don’t feel well it’s hard to divide out individual thoughts at all. My wish with this blog is to give other chronic illness warriors the tools they need to handle their conditions and live the best life they can, and I hope it does that.

Do you have specific things you do to pull yourself out of a funk? Tell me in the comments section!