This month, the Pact blog will be sharing a variety of information for DTP Awareness Month. Today, Pact blog writer Carolanne shares how important self care is, especially when living with a chronic illness.


In a life with chronic illness, there are a plethora of things we can’t control. We can’t control flare ups, when a wave of nausea will knock us swift off our feet, or what foods our stomach will allow that day. It’s beyond frustrating and can really take its toll when you find yourself feeling helpless. When you spend so much time focusing on the aspects of your health you can’t change, you neglect the things you can change. And that’s where self-care comes in!

What exactly is self-care? Self-care is anything that allows you to solely focus on yourself- your physical well-being, your mental health, and your emotional health. For some people, self-care is putting work aside and going out for the night with friends. For those of us with chronic illnesses, self-care tends to be a little more simplistic…like listening to our bodies (even when we don’t want to!) It can be hard to make yourself a priority when a million other things seem to demand your attention. But taking a time out to give yourself some much needed TLC can make all the difference.
Here are some actions of self-care that have greatly improved my overall quality of life…

  • Napping or sleeping in
  • Spend time with a friend or loved one
  • Treat yourself to something you’ve had you’ve been wanting
  • Cuddling with a pet (if you have one…if not and you have enough energy, go to the local animal shelter!)
  • Binge watch a show on netflix
  • Get crafty
  • Put on a face mask, a pair of fuzzy socks and comfy pajamas
  • Read a book or listen to your favorite podcast
  • Take a relaxing bath or shower
  • Give yourself a mini makeover

Self-care can be tailored to suit your interests and abilities. Like sports? Put on the game and block out everything else around you. Able to eat? Indulge in your favorite snack. My personal favorite self-care activity is snuggling up on the couch with my dog while watching true crime shows. It allows my body to rest while also giving me a mental escape.

This month, challenge yourself to make self-care a priority at least once a week. See how much of a difference the small changes make and hopefully you’ll have the same positive results I’ve had.

Do you have any self care techniques or routines you’d like to share? We’d love to hear them! Email Pact blog editor Samantha at smiths@g-pact.org