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Just because you’re cooped up somewhere due to your chronic illness or pain does not mean that life is over. Actually, it could mean a rebirth into something new , a new purpose or an even more exciting path. It may not seem like that now, but in order to get there you’ve got to start living again. Here are a few ways to get going, no matter what your condition is.

Subscribe to Netflix or Hulu to watch a season of a TV series that you had always wanted to see. You could also watch old movies or re-watch some of your favorite movies. It’s a very minimal cost for weeks and weeks of entertainment.

Do something BIG – like really big.  Think of a project or a bucket list item you have never done and do it.  Not just the little simple stuff either.  Thinking beyond your current reality often rejuvenates you and pushes you further to even accomplishing it!

Read a book – Reading a book can literally take you on a journey. You can have instant access if you have a smart phone or tablet, download the Kindle or iBooks app. There are lots of free books you can download. Sometimes you even have the option to listen to the book or you can find books on CD for those times you would rather listen than read.

ASK THE EXPERT: Is Your Chronic Pain Fibromyalgia or Is It Something Else?

Do Something for someone else (just because) – nothing brings a bigger smile on other people’s faces than when they receive something or get something done for them without expecting anything in return.  So maybe pay for someone’s lunch in line behind you. Send a get well letter to a random person at the hospital. Create a gift basket for an overworked nurse.  Whatever it is, do it for someone else. You’ll get a smile too.

Open up a Pinterest account and start pinning away. Pinterest allows you to create collections of your favorite ideas on different boards. We love Pinterest!

Do something new – if pain is limiting you in some area(s), try something new like adult coloring books, sewing, painting, photography, singing, playing an instrument, learn a new language, etc.

Create a playlist for your go to music or if you already have one, add music to your playlist. Create a few playlists to go with your mood, maybe adding an inspirational list for those days you need a pick me up. Amazon Prime Music has a free 30 day trial going on and they have a wide variety of music.

13 Things To Do If You Are Chronically Ill  was originally published on

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