7 Habits that Boost Wellbeing with a Chronic Illness

In today’s blog post I will be sharing my top 7 habits that will help boost your wellbeing. This tips are applicable to all people, but especially those who are dealing with a chronic illness.

I hope that these tips will help to give you some new ideas on how to achieve balance and wellbeing in your life moving forward. But, before we jump in be sure to follow my InstagramFacebook and Pinterest to get more updates from me on my day to day life.

1. Prioritize Movement

Movement is so important to keep your body limber and healthy. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, but I think that having some sort of schedule or routine for movement is super important for overall wellbeing. I personally like to incorporate a lot of walks, yoga, and some weight lifting into my routine every week. This helps me to stay active and fit, but it also helps with my stress and anxiety levels.

Movement has helped me through some of the worst pain I have ever experienced, and I think that without my yoga practice I would have never gotten through the months leading up to my surgery in July 2018.

2. Use the Power of Lists

I personally am someone who really enjoys a good list. As I have mentioned before, I love to write in order to get my thoughts out on to paper. So, to help support my overall wellbeing I have a few lists that I think are good to have in your back pocket.

A. Love Lists
I think it is a really good exercise to write out a list of 20+ things that you love about yourself, and a list of 20+ things that you love about the world. These lists are great to have around when you are feeling unconfident or in a low mood. Keep them on your phone or in a spot near by, so you always have access to them.

B. Problem Solving Lists
For people with a chronic illness, it can be far too familiar to run into limitations on the daily. That is why I think another great list to make is your limitations, and how you can work around them. Start by writing out all your limitations on one side of the page. Then think of one solution for each of those limitations.

For example, the limitation may be that you tire easily while walking, and the solution may be to use a wheel chair in big stores or museums. By having a list of solutions at your finger tips it makes it easier for you to problem solve when/if issues do arise.

3. Meditation & Mantras

I have cultivated a meditation practice for years now, and I can truly say that it has changed my life. Meditation allows me to clear my mind and focus on my breathing, which leaves me feeling relaxed and centered at the beginning and end of everyday.

Mantras are also something that I have added into my daily morning routine. I list off my daily mantras after my mediation, and I think this is a great way to start off the day on a positive foot.

I previously wrote a whole post on how to make your own Mantras and I think that it would be very helpful for anyone who is new to the practice. Additionally, I wrote a whole post on the benefits of meditation and what meditation form is right for you.

4. Place Yourself on Top

Many of us wear several hats in our lives, and so it only comes naturally that we put others before ourselves. But, I am here to tell you to STOP. You need to put on your oxygen mask, before you put on others.

For those of you dealing with a chronic illness, it can be very easy to feel guilty for being sick. That is why you try to always put others before yourself. But, your must remember that your health is so important, and so it is critical to be open and honest about how you are feeling. If you can’t make it to something, cancel. If you aren’t able to do something, ask for help.

I know that this isn’t easy, but being honest with others (and yourself) is CRUCIAL for both your physical and mental health. Put yourself on the top of your pyramid, and if someone ever tries to shame you for making yourself a priority, kindly show them the door.

5. Commit to Daily Gratitude

Gratitude is SO important for everyone, but especially anyone struggling with a mental or physical condition. Chronic illnesses can effect much more than just your physical body, and often they come with depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions. This is because dealing with daily pain and struggle can become a lot to bear over time. That is why I believe that daily gratitude is crucial for overall wellbeing.

For over 5 years now I have been writing 5 things that I am grateful for every night before bed. It is a quick practice that helps me to remember that I am blessed with so much goodness in my life (even amongst some very terrible things).

6. Respect Your Body

It can be very difficult to have a good relationship with your body when you are struggling so much with physical pain and symptoms. We have all had moments where we HATE our body for what it has put us through, and those feelings are completely normal. But, it is so important to snap out of these slumps and to try to cultivate loving respect for your body.

To get yourself started on the right track, first look at the words you use to describe your body or your condition. Try to speak about yourself using positive and kind words (either out loud to others or in your head). The more you make it a practice to speak kindly about yourself, the more it will become natural.

Respect for your body also comes in the form of rest and awareness. If you are feeling poorly, don’t be afraid to rest and cancel plans. Be aware of how you are feeling, and respect your body and its needs.

7. Connect With Others

Having a support system around you is so important for your mental health. It is critical to have people that support you and lift you up surrounding you everyday.

I am really lucky to have my parents, boyfriend, friends, and online community to support me. But, some are not so lucky. So, if you find that your family or friends are not supporting you, be honest in how you feel with them. Hopefully, they will be willing to improve, but if not there are many other places to find support. Connect with people online who are struggling with the same condition, or find a local support group.

For anyone struggling with Crohn’s and Colitis in Windsor, ON, please come out and join us at one of our chapter meetings. I am the social media representative for this chapter, so like us on Facebook for more info on the chapter and it’s meetings. 

Otherwise, find a chapter that is near by to you for your given condition.
Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America Chapter Meetings

Crohn’s and Colitis Canada Chapter Meetings

Overall, I hope that this post helped to give your some insight and some resources to help you find greater peace of mind and wellbeing while dealing with a chronic illness.

Here are some other posts that you may find interesting related to some of the topics I mentioned in today’s post:





If you liked the post make sure to share it with a friend and subscribed to my blog to get email updates every time I post. Also be sure to follow me on InstagramFacebook and Pinterest to get more updates from me on my day to day life.

Your trusty, gutsy gal,
Nathalie xx

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Nathalie is a Canadian entrepreneur, blogger, architectural designer, and Crohn’s warrior. Nathalie graduated from her final university degree in Spring 2020 with a Master’s of Architecture. Nathalie decided to start this blog to share her journey and experiences. She shares daily advice on all things health, lifestyle, self love, motivation and environmentalism on the blog and over on Facebook and Instagram.

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