Having a chronic illness is down right hard, but trying to maintain your social life and your health can create some anxiety. Today, lets chat about how you can begin to get your social life back.
1. The Difficulties of Keeping a Social Life
For me, this boils down to two things!
Friends who lack understanding: We have all been there. We know exactly what is like to have the friend that just doesn’t understand your pain, your fatigue, and quite frankly they aren’t sure what your illness is anyway. Don’t let that stop you. Take time to educate them. After all, nobody can tell your story like you can.
Having to cancel frequently or last minute: So picture this, it’s 30 minutes before your long awaited lunch date with your best friend, but somehow you find yourself not even able to roll out of the bed. Sound familiar? Yep, I’ve been there too. But always remember just because it has to be delayed, doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Reschedule and try again another day.
2. The Benefits of Keeping a Social Life
One of the greatest benefits of having a social life is it helps regulate your mental health. Quality time with the people I love is a sure fire way to keep me motivated. And while most times it is easier to stay in bed, I find that when I surround myself with positive and uplifting friends my mental and emotional health seems to have a boost.
Keeping up with your social life also dispels the notion that you are alone. If nothing else, know that you are NEVER alone. Even when it feels that way. When you are surrounded by people who love you, and understand you, the sense of loneliness naturally disappears.
3. How to Get Your Social Life Back
Surround yourself with friends who understand.
Don’t schedule too far in advance. Due to the unpredictable nature of chronic illness you are bound to cancel if you schedule too far in advance. Try scheduling the week of so that you have a sense of how your body is feeling at that time.
Modify outside social activities to home via FaceTime or zoom. Due to COVID, the world has shifted what it means to be social, and it can work in your favor. Utilize FaceTime and zoom to virtually meet with friends, right from the comfort of your own home. Preferably in your pajamas, with a glass of wine in hand!