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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

Vulnerability” @lyssannav

“ 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

Writing!” @ohhh_my_buddha

“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 

Find Your Own Hope

Welcome to my little corner of the internet where I share my journey of finding hope and enjoying life's simple pleasures. Find out more about me...




  • Mishka

    Great post! Your art work is beautiful! I, like you, had resigned to being not artistic, but I decided to turn that into a personal challenge. So nearly everyday I practice watercolor. I have not gotten better but I have enjoyed the process, immensely. And really I think that’s what’s it all about, enjoying your time. Also thank you for sharing other people’s growth, it’s interesting to see so many of us reaching outside our comfort zones in ways we never thought possible. Hoping today is best as can be for you.🌸

    • Susie

      Thank you so much Mishka! You are too kind <3 Hehe thank you for the support – yeah I am truly so glad I gave it a go. Yes enjoyment is so much better than perfection 🙂 YES! I personally found it so interesting hearing other peoples' growth and successes. I hope you are well this weekend xx Much love!

  • Radi

    For me too, this was a bit of a tough year. I had to overcome a lot. I also found hobbies to help me cope. My favorite is salsa dancing!

    • sadminray

      Aw I am so glad that even though it was tough you got through it and came out the other side with a great new hobby! xx

  • Ellis James Designs

    Thanks for sharing your new hobbies with us!

    • sadminray

      Thanks for stopping by and reading!

  • Jyoti

    This is a wonderful post! I too love painting! Have a great day!

    • sadminray

      Thanks so much!

  • Clipping Path

    Usually, I never comment on blogs but your blog is so convincing that I never stop myself to say something about it. You’re doing a great job Man, Keep it up.

    • sadminray

      Aw thank you!

  • Rena

    Oh, it is so wonderful and laudable that you don’t loose any hope and that you even learned so many new things and you live your creativity! You can be so proud of you and I love what you are creating <3 Keep it up!
    xx Rena

    • sadminray

      Thanks so much Rena, means so much!

  • Diana

    Your art is so beautiful! It’s wonderful to hear how you’ve found light in the darkness, and have brought to light the positive aspects from something so difficult. I think it’s great you’ve found all of these new hobbies, this was so inspiring! xx

    • sadminray

      Thanks Diana! You are too kind <3 really means so much! I hope you are well x

  • Patricia & Miguel

    The way you find light through the dark moments of your life tell a lot about your inner strength and perseverance! This is amazing, keep focusing on finding things that set your soul on fire <3

    • sadminray

      Aw thank you so much! I really appreciate your kind words <3

  • Davi Santos

    Nossa que artigo fantástico, por isso que estou quase todos os dias visitando e lendo seus artigos. Porque sempre tem conteúdos interessantes e de qualidade.

    Beijos❤️ !!

    Meu Blog: MaraCap

    • sadminray

      Thank you so much! <3

  • Nancy

    Even though you faced a different circumstance, you made the most out of your time and invested in yourself. I love that – especially when you’re finding strength with each step you take. It is great that others have shared how they have grown as well. Thanks for sharing this collective work! 🙂

    Nancy ♥

    • sadminray

      Yes we’ve always go to try and make the most out of things! Thanks so much Nancy!

  • Emily

    I love this post Susie, what a beautiful and positive take on things. It’s been lovely to read what people have gained and I think many of us could learn a lot from this. I am in awe of your art too – so wonderful!

    Musings & More

    • sadminray

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment <3 it means so much ! You are just too kind hehe x

  • Kara

    I always love your positive outlook on life Susie! It’s wonderful that you are focusing on the hobbies you started since becoming sick. Your watercolors are always beautiful. And it was really interesting to read what everyone else said!

    x Kara |

    • sadminray

      Thank you Kara! You are so kind!! Yes I found it so interesting to see what other do too!! xx

  • Kinga K

    Pictures like that are great 🙂

    • sadminray

      Aw thank you so much!

  • Mica

    What a great wall of art you have! You’re so talented! 🙂 It’s nice you have been able to find creative outlets even when your health is not the best!

    Hope that you’re having a great weekend 🙂 We went to our last Christmas party for the season yesterday, it was a lot of fun!

    • sadminray

      Mica you are too kind! I promise all the art is easier to do then it looks ahaha I hope you had a lovely holiday time xx

  • Amy Aed

    This is such an interesting post, thank you for sharing. For me, my hobby is writing travel pieces – and so I’m doing a university course on just that.

    Happy holidays! 🙂

    Amy x Wandering Everywhere

    • sadminray

      Thanks so much Amy! Aw I love that your hobby is writing – it is such a wonderful hobby to have! Sharing a story is such a gift! I can’t wait to read more of yours! xx

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