A few weeks ago I was reflecting on how much my life has changed since becoming sick. Of course it has changed for the worse… but in many ways I have branched out, tried new things and gained new skills. So I decided to reach out to my fellow chronic illness community on instagram and ask how their illness has shaped them to find new hobbies and new positive habits.
I could write a wholeeee essay on how much I have learnt, gained, grown and found strength in myself since becoming sick but today I want to discuss some of the top hobbies and habits we have picked up!
I wanted to share and celebrate these things because I think it is so important to try be creative and grateful through everything – it is a wonderful distraction and builds us into the people we are today.
For me personally I have tried plenty of new things… and got in touch with my creative side which I thought I never had. In school I was horrible at art and just resigned myself to the fact that “I am simply no good” and “I am just not a creative person” however since illness has quite severely impacted my world over the past 7 years I have learnt to just try things and be less judgemental or harsh on myself and this has led to some of my favourite new hobbies – such as: painting and watercolours, embroidery, music, yoga, meditation and flower arrangement to just name a few.
And some lovely people responded and shared some of theirs too…
“It has taught me to put my energy first and really motivated me to incorporate very very slowly exercising” @cararothwell
“I try to lean into nature and capture as many photos as often as this body allows. So healing for the soul! Writing and working on my blog has offered therapy and joy during challenging, horizontal seasons.” @terrymmayfield
“Becoming more empathetic” @the.question.lady
“I’ve mostly continued my passions – but I guess I’ve been learning design too. I’ve spent a good chunk of time learning about how to recover and understanding the human body and different approaches to healing. When none else can help, you have to guide yourself!!!” @zoepower
“Meditation is a big part of it and as a hobby it’s for sure drawing! I never knew I got talent in drawing before getting ill” @enalivingfree
“Good things I’ve picked up since becoming ill are meditation, container gardening (on a very small scale!), and nature photography close to home” @notjusttireddotcom
“It teaches me to be much more connected to my body. Listen to what it needs” @cararothwell
“I became aware to not be judgemental – empathy” @myfavesjournal
“Seeing and enjoying the littlest things in life a blooming flower, a raindrop on a leaf, a random smile” @inkie_90
“I’ve definitely been reading more since my diagnosis. I used to read a lot when I was younger but then secondary school happened and I never had time, but now I’ve picked it up again. I also appreciate the smaller things in life now and pay way more attention to the nature right outside my door. As well as training myself to be kinder to myself, I have a better understanding of what I can and can’t cope with and have gotten a lot better at communicating what I need too.” @lifewithcfs
“I’ve learnt a LOT more about photo editing as it’s usually my go-to activity when I can’t do anything. Also learnt how to ‘just be’ in the moment more and also appreciate the much smaller things in life.” @_emilykatephotography
“Blogging and photography” @justsoelina
“Being ill has given me a lot more time to do the things l probably would never have done. Like time for crafting, spiritual growth and an appreciation and understanding of the world around me” @countingblessings123
“If I am stuck at home the guitar. Started by learning scales then chords, then songs” Anon
“ I’ve picked up some great things since becoming ill 🙏 a daily meditation practice, living more mindfully, & crocheting to name a few” Anon
“Writing creatively and blogging – so therapeutic” @terrymmayfield
“I’ve learned how important it is to rest and take time off to recharge…. even if you are healthy” @ms.coco.nut
“You can learn a lot about yourself in any situation if you choose to see it and immerse yourself into it ❤️ Some of the things I picked up a while back whilst I was in the earlier stages of my recovery was walking, window shopping and mood boarding …. kinda making a Pinterest outta my head 😂I know our situations are a little different but I’ll say the main thing that keeps me on track now is this passion here- visual storytelling and the indescribably magical combo to me of my own unique expression of creativity and the connection that manifests with that which I’m so blessed to have between myself and incredible people like you” Anon
“I’ve been ill for so long I can barely remember a time before chronic illness. So for me, probably everything. It’s shapes who I am today and not in a bad way at all.” @whentaniatalks
“Hand embroidery, journaling, belief in myself and an inner strength I didn’t know I had before.” @_laura168
“Investing more time in reading which I have always loved.” @hikerannosaurus
“I discovered the beauty of reading. I started to love reading because it really helps. It helps a lot actually, not only it lets you not think of your illness for a little while but also it gives you more wisdom or knowledge that will be useful in life.” @seybelleima05
“I know every British and Scandi crime series televised 😉 Also picked up breathing exercises and mindfulness, learned how to self-massage, took up yoga for a while. The new plan is to get back at reading real books!” @thehealthsessions
“I am writing a novel and learning how to use a drone. I also want to learn Photoshop more.” @taliafuhrman
“Learned to crochet, learning Welsh & French, origami, mindfulness, and rediscovering my love of novels through audiobooks.” @arosethroughconcrete
“Friendships, Self Esteem and Direction.” @writebytheseaside
“I usually read something I’ve been wanting to read in a while!” @inspiremyfancy
A big thanks to everyone who shared their experiences! If you want to be apart of one of these posts then follow my instagram for more: @findyourownhope