How a Chronic Illness Can Make You A More Efficient Person

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This one might seem a little counterintuitive, given the emotional and physical fatigue that often comes with a chronic illness. Those same symptoms, however, often lead to some truly amazing workarounds for people who suffer from debilitating conditions. Constant struggles may force people to really examine what their needs are and become unstoppable in attaining them. The good thing is that each of these is also usually common sense, but simply ignored or pushed aside by your standard busy person of today.

Selective Social Interactions

Have you ever been around one of those friends that’s spread too thin in their personal life? They’re already making plans for their next coffee date or excursion while they’re sitting down for dinner with you. Or maybe they constantly have to turn down pleasant days out with family because they’ve overcommitted themselves. People with chronic illnesses know how to be selective with their personal time with loved ones. They know that next week or next month might have a flare up or medical appointments keeping them from those little quiet moments together. These facts of life make interactions with friends and family seem more precious when they’re able to swing it.

Putting Yourself First

People are downright awful at putting themselves first. While we live in a society that enjoys talking about self-care, the truth is that this type of gentleness with oneself tends to come in fits and starts. For people battling a chronic illness, putting themselves first isn’t a luxury, but rather a necessity. There often aren’t extra reserves of energy to tap into when you’re already pushing ahead on empty. Plus, they’re much better about knowing their bodies and the signs of impending crashes or relapses — as well as what causes them.

Thinking Outside the Box

Have you ever seen articles discussing how visually impaired people make some of the most creative and hardworking employees? This isn’t an accident. Struggling through adversity can help make you far more efficient in every aspect of your life, from the personal to the professional. You likely see the world through the lens of someone that it hasn’t been built for or around. Perhaps you’d like to work within that framework, or you’re committed to reshaping things altogether.

While it can be easy to assume that people living with chronic illnesses suffer more often than they thrive, these people are often more efficient and effective in many aspects of day to day living.


Peer Health can connect you with a personalized peer community to share provider recommendations, treatment options, and define your best life. Sign up for our beta and newsletter today.

Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash

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