It can sometimes be a challenge to look on the bright side when you have a chronic illness, but spending time doing things that make you happy will help keep depression at bay, help you come to terms with your illness and begin enjoying life again.
To help you feel happier, we’ve put together a list of eight simple things that you can do based on information from livestrong.com.
Plan Something Special
This can be anything from going on a trip somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit to doing something extraordinary like taking a helicopter ride. Having something to look forward to in the near future is a great way to stay positive and be optimistic. The planning and preparations are part of the fun too and provide a welcome distraction.
Make a Playlist
There are many apps now that give us access to a huge library of music. Make a playlist of all of your favorite songs, spanning your lifetime and include some songs which have happy memories attached to them. Anytime you feel down, turn on the playlist and listen to one of those happy memory songs for an instant mood lift.
Exercise is a great mood enhancer, plus it helps with sleep and anxiety. The more you can exercise, the better. Combine your exercise with some fresh air and nice scenery for even more mood-boosting or do something fun with friends that will have you laughing as well as getting fit.
Declutter and Reorganize
Although this may seem like a chore, once you’ve finished, not only will your home be less cluttered but you will have a great system in place going forward. Enlist the help of friends and family if you need assistance with moving heavy items and reorganize your living space so that it better suits your needs.
Cherry-Pick Your Social Life
Say no to things you don’t want to do and don’t allow people to guilt-trip you into doing things that will tire you or that you won’t enjoy. Cherry-pick the social events you attend, and whenever possible, avoid people and situations that make you anxious.
Throw a Party
This doesn’t need to be a grand affair that costs hundreds of dollars, it can be something cheap and cheerful where you surround yourself with the people closest to you. You don’t need a special occasion, just organize a date that suits everyone and go for it.
Call Friends and Family
Speaking to people you love on a regular basis can help you focus on other things besides your illness. Touching base with your friends and family is a two-way street where you can talk through any concerns or worries you have and also offer an ear and some friendly advice for any issues they may be experiencing.
Take Up a New Hobby
Taking up a new hobby or resurrecting an old forgotten one is a great way to fill your spare time doing something enjoyable. It doesn’t matter if the hobby is something you do on your own or if it’s something with a social angle so long as it gives you pleasure and serves as a welcome distraction to your illness.
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