Self-care is pretty popular these days. It’s not uncommon to see images floating around the internet touting the amazing sensation of canceling plans out with friends to instead stay in and curl up with a good book. While we can all certainly agree from our own perspective, it’s often much more difficult to be the friends on the receiving end of that plan-canceling text. Those suffering from a chronic illness are likely to be the ones sending the apologetic messages — often due to lower energy levels. When it comes to personal comfort, though, it pays off to be a little selfish. Here are 5 of the most common ‘unpopular’ things people with chronic illnesses do that are often completely worth the social faux pas.
Refusing to Set Plans in Stone
It’s the more polite version of saying no to going out. Instead of making promises that you can’t keep, it’s okay to simply let the people in your life know that you can’t plan that far in advance. It’s tough knowing how you’ll feel day to day with a chronic illness like fibromyalgia. Instead of pushing yourself to keep plans, you can just let friends and family know that you’ll make it if you can — but if not, it’s nothing personal.
Being a Picky Eater
If you have a medical condition that prevents you from eating certain kinds of food, like type 2 diabetes, you may be on the receiving end of some less than empathetic looks. It’s not worth it to cave to peer pressure when a group wants to go out to eat at a place that simply doesn’t support your health goals.
Saying No to Happy Hour
This one is actually not strictly a hard no. You can always hit up happy hour with friends and grab a non-alcoholic drink if you’re trying to avoid the stuff. Alcohol has plenty of negative effects, especially on sleep.
Nixing the Moving Help
Depending on the stage of life you’re in, you might be regularly asked to help friends move between apartments or houses. It’s okay to be upfront about the fact that you can’t offer that to friends. Maybe you could come up with some non-physical way to help out, like watching their pets and keeping them out of the way.
Skipping the Gab Sessions
While we’d always encourage you to feel like you can share your struggles with others, you don’t owe anyone an explanation. It can help others be more understanding — but it shouldn’t come at the cost of your own mental health.
Choosing your own comfort and happiness shouldn’t be a radical decision. It’s okay to put your own physical and mental wellbeing over social mores.