1. Be Kind to Yourself
- Do not spend your precious energy worrying about how others view your medical condition.
- Do not treat discouraging and disheartening thoughts or emotions as permanent fixtures in your mind.
- Do not ignore your body’s pleas to say “no” to an activity.
- Do not undertake a treatment just to please whoever is pressuring you to try it.
- Do not be angry when people in your life don’t respond as you’d like.
- Do not get hooked into believing you always have to “think positively.”
- Do not put your pre-illness life on a pedestal.
- Do not call yourself names or otherwise speak unkindly to yourself when you break one of your not-to-do rules.
2. Ask for Help
3. Learn How to Say ‘No’
4. Don’t Feed the Want Monster
This happiness comes from making peace with the stark realities of life — that it’s a mixture of pleasant and unpleasant experiences, easy times and hard times, getting what I want and not getting what I want. It’s that way for everyone, and has always been. This happiness comes from opening my heart and mind to engage each day fully, even though I know it may be a day in which the Want Monster goes hungry.
5. Practice Mindfulness
It took several years of chronic illness for me to recognize that I was causing myself undue mental suffering by spinning stressful stories about my physical discomfort and then accepting them as true without question simply because I had thought them. Mindfulness practice was the principle too that helped me realize was I was doing.