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Tips For Maintaining A Relationship With Others While Managing Your Condition

Honestly, living with chronic illnesses can be really rough and oftentimes, lonely. It can be really hard for others to understand what you are going through if they have never had to go through it themselves. 

Finding social support in the form of friends and family can be really helpful – but can also be somewhat hard to come by, navigate and maintain. 

This can be true for a plethora of reasons. Sometimes at the beginning it can be easy for a friend to be supportive, but as time goes on and lives became more and more different, it becomes hard to find common interests. Perhaps the chronically ill person has a lot of serious issues going on with their health, so much so that their friend feels like their problems aren’t as bad and doesn’t share them – leaving them feeling unmet and unfulfilled. Maybe the chronically ill friend pushes people away to cope with their illness. Whatever the reason may be, as the chronically ill person, the goal is to prevent that from happening. 

Below, we brainstormed 10 ideas that you can implement to strengthen and maintain your relationship with others while still being able to take care of your health!

1 – Keep In Touch

It may seem like a simple thing to do, but when your sick, it can be much more difficult than one would think. You may not have the energy to reach out, you may feel misunderstood, your health may be finicky, you may feel like it’s been too long, but I promise if it’s a true friend they will understand. So reach out. Send a message, leave a sweet comment or make a card for your bestie.

2 – Find New Ways To Do Something Fun Together

There may be things that are more difficult for you to do since you got sick, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some things you can make work! Get creative and come up with new ways to have a good time with friends!

If you’re stuck at home or need to host something that can easily be rescheduled if needed, host a movie night, start a book club, cook an easy meal together, play board games or simply catch up with some tea. Anything you think would be fun for you and your friend while also being realistic for you to do!

3 – Take An Interest In Your Friend’s Lives Too

When you’re hurting so much physically it also can begin to hurt mentally. It can be all consuming and difficult to focus on anything outside of staying alive and afloat – especially if that’s literally the only thing going on in your life.

It can be difficult talking to friends because they may be moving forward in life in ways you wish you could be. Hearing about these big events in their lives – and even the small ones like going to work can be really painful. BUT if you have caring friends who listen to your struggles, try to remember to ask how their work day/party weekend/exotic holiday was, even if it stings that you can’t do those things. You can be happy for your friend and sad for your own missing-out at the same time.

4 – Try To Talk About How You Feel In A Constructive Way (When You Can)

As justified as you are to talk about all you are going through with your chronic illness, try to remember there’s a fine line between sharing, getting help and just complaining. 

Don’t fake you’re doing fine when you’re not, but starting every conversation on a negative note makes it less appealing for your friends to ask how you’re feeling or wanting to reach out.

Something that sometimes helps is sitting with everything before talking about it and sorting through what you can handle by yourself and reaching out after. Then first talking about it with people you are really close too and are involved like your parents or significant other, as they may have more insight since they know the situation a bit more. Then taking it to other friends if you still want and need to.

5 – Be Intentional About Setting Aside Time To Talk (Not Over Text) 

Texting is great, but it can be easy to multi-task while texting friends and not truly be focused on them and your conversation. If you are spending the majority of your time stuck at home and are not seeing friends in person regularly, invite them to your house to catch up, facetime them, or even just talk to them on the phone! All of these options allows you both to take intentional time to focus on investing in each other and your friendship.

6 – Be Clear About Your Limitations And About Your Possibilities

For most healthy people, it’s hard to understand what it’s really like to live with chronic illness every day. Especially when you have an unpredictable illness that can flare up unexpectedly, others don’t know what to expect.

Let your friends know what you can and cannot do. If you are not able to go for a hike, come up with an alternative like a walk or a drive. If you can’t eat, plan an activity during a time that most people don’t typically eat ie don’t plan a hangout at lunchtime. The point is, try to focus on the things you can do and talk about your limitations in such a way that you can find creative alternatives together.

7 – Try To Stay Involved In Your Friend’s Lives

It can be so incredibly easy to isolate and honestly, in many situations, no one would blame you because of the amount of stuff you are going through. That being said, isolating can lead to losing friends and depression. 

One way to keep your friendships alive is by staying involved in your friend’s lives as much as you can. If they are having a get together – do your best to go and if you can’t offer to facetime in or plan for another time for you both to get together. If your friend has a big performance or event – try to plan ahead and save your spoons up to go if it is important to them. If you can’t though, don’t beat yourself up! Find another way to support them and their achievement by making them cookies or getting them flowers! 

8 – Validate Their Struggles

Depending on your health, your friends may or may not feel like sharing the struggles in their lives with you because compared to what your going through, it doesn’t seem like a big deal enough to bring up, so instead they don’t let you in on what they are going through and go to other people.

As their friend, you want to know what they are going through so you can also support them. Something that can be helpful is to remind them that all of our struggles are valid. Whether it’s health, financial, relational, emotional etc. We all have stuff and by sharing it with each other, we open up a space for support without comparison or judgement and that gives both sides more freedom to share.

9 – Let Them Know Where You Struggle So They Can Help

Something that can be helpful for you and your friends is to communicate what you need support in and how they can support you.

An example of this could be if you have celiac disease and have to bring your own food in a lunch bag to restaurants you may feel self-concious or uncomfortable when the waiter asks what you are going to get. This then leads to you having to explain you won’t be getting anything and when pressed your diagnosis comes up and becomes the talk of the table. 

You could tell your friends how they can help to intercede in those situations by saying you both will be sharing food or they can help change the topic at the diner table. Your friends can’t help if they don’t know what is wrong and how they can help. Communicate with them and it will help you feel more comfortable and them feel like they can tangibly help you! 

10 – Have Grace

This is new territory for both you and your friends. You are all learning how to grieve the past and adjust to a new future. What your friendships look like will change and that is OKAY.

Have grace with each other as you all learn to navigate this new reality. If both parties put in the work & make space for abundant grace, I guarantee the friendship will come out stronger than it was going in.

Conclusion

Having friends and relationships with others is absolutely possible for those living with chronic conditions and in many ways it is vital! It may not be easy at first, but taking steps through some of the actions listed above will truly benefit your mental, social, emotional and physical health. 

One way you can thank your friends, family, nurses, and support people in your life is by getting them an intentional thank you item from the Support Collection! We created this section as an easy way for you to thank the support team of friends, family, loved, ones and medical staff for all they do for us – letting them know it does not go unnoticed. 

WELCOME TO

The Chronic Collective

We are an awareness-based clothing brand on a mission to support those with chronic conditions through our clothing, community and actions as a company. Founded by someone with a chronic condition for those with chronic conditions – we hope that what we do, create & offer here provides you with love & support on your journey!

Want To Get Access To Our Free 200+ Chronic Condition Resource Guide?!

Sign up for our newsletter and get the FREE 200+ Chronic Condition Resource Guide, special deals, and notified of new designs and ways you can get involved in our community! 

Popular Posts

Tips For Maintaining A Relationship With Others While Managing Your Condition

Things To Do Before Your Doctor Appointment

7 Ways You Can Support Your Friend With A Chronic Condition

Shop

Get Our Giftcard!

Share Your Story

Join The Support Group & Attend Monthly Events

Podcast Collab

Be An Ambassador

Tips For Maintaining A Relationship With Others While Managing Your Condition

Honestly, living with chronic illnesses can be really rough and oftentimes, lonely. It can be really hard for others to understand what you are going through if they have never had to go through it themselves. 

Finding social support in the form of friends and family can be really helpful – but can also be somewhat hard to come by, navigate and maintain. 

This can be true for a plethora of reasons. Sometimes at the beginning it can be easy for a friend to be supportive, but as time goes on and lives became more and more different, it becomes hard to find common interests. Perhaps the chronically ill person has a lot of serious issues going on with their health, so much so that their friend feels like their problems aren’t as bad and doesn’t share them – leaving them feeling unmet and unfulfilled. Maybe the chronically ill friend pushes people away to cope with their illness. Whatever the reason may be, as the chronically ill person, the goal is to prevent that from happening. 

Below, we brainstormed 10 ideas that you can implement to strengthen and maintain your relationship with others while still being able to take care of your health!

1 – Keep In Touch

It may seem like a simple thing to do, but when your sick, it can be much more difficult than one would think. You may not have the energy to reach out, you may feel misunderstood, your health may be finicky, you may feel like it’s been too long, but I promise if it’s a true friend they will understand. So reach out. Send a message, leave a sweet comment or make a card for your bestie.

2 – Find New Ways To Do Something Fun Together

There may be things that are more difficult for you to do since you got sick, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some things you can make work! Get creative and come up with new ways to have a good time with friends!

If you’re stuck at home or need to host something that can easily be rescheduled if needed, host a movie night, start a book club, cook an easy meal together, play board games or simply catch up with some tea. Anything you think would be fun for you and your friend while also being realistic for you to do!

3 – Take An Interest In Your Friend’s Lives Too

When you’re hurting so much physically it also can begin to hurt mentally. It can be all consuming and difficult to focus on anything outside of staying alive and afloat – especially if that’s literally the only thing going on in your life.

It can be difficult talking to friends because they may be moving forward in life in ways you wish you could be. Hearing about these big events in their lives – and even the small ones like going to work can be really painful. BUT if you have caring friends who listen to your struggles, try to remember to ask how their work day/party weekend/exotic holiday was, even if it stings that you can’t do those things. You can be happy for your friend and sad for your own missing-out at the same time.

4 – Try To Talk About How You Feel In A Constructive Way (When You Can)

As justified as you are to talk about all you are going through with your chronic illness, try to remember there’s a fine line between sharing, getting help and just complaining. 

Don’t fake you’re doing fine when you’re not, but starting every conversation on a negative note makes it less appealing for your friends to ask how you’re feeling or wanting to reach out.

Something that sometimes helps is sitting with everything before talking about it and sorting through what you can handle by yourself and reaching out after. Then first talking about it with people you are really close too and are involved like your parents or significant other, as they may have more insight since they know the situation a bit more. Then taking it to other friends if you still want and need to.

5 – Be Intentional About Setting Aside Time To Talk (Not Over Text) 

Texting is great, but it can be easy to multi-task while texting friends and not truly be focused on them and your conversation. If you are spending the majority of your time stuck at home and are not seeing friends in person regularly, invite them to your house to catch up, facetime them, or even just talk to them on the phone! All of these options allows you both to take intentional time to focus on investing in each other and your friendship.

6 – Be Clear About Your Limitations And About Your Possibilities

For most healthy people, it’s hard to understand what it’s really like to live with chronic illness every day. Especially when you have an unpredictable illness that can flare up unexpectedly, others don’t know what to expect.

Let your friends know what you can and cannot do. If you are not able to go for a hike, come up with an alternative like a walk or a drive. If you can’t eat, plan an activity during a time that most people don’t typically eat ie don’t plan a hangout at lunchtime. The point is, try to focus on the things you can do and talk about your limitations in such a way that you can find creative alternatives together.

7 – Try To Stay Involved In Your Friend’s Lives

It can be so incredibly easy to isolate and honestly, in many situations, no one would blame you because of the amount of stuff you are going through. That being said, isolating can lead to losing friends and depression. 

One way to keep your friendships alive is by staying involved in your friend’s lives as much as you can. If they are having a get together – do your best to go and if you can’t offer to facetime in or plan for another time for you both to get together. If your friend has a big performance or event – try to plan ahead and save your spoons up to go if it is important to them. If you can’t though, don’t beat yourself up! Find another way to support them and their achievement by making them cookies or getting them flowers! 

8 – Validate Their Struggles

Depending on your health, your friends may or may not feel like sharing the struggles in their lives with you because compared to what your going through, it doesn’t seem like a big deal enough to bring up, so instead they don’t let you in on what they are going through and go to other people.

As their friend, you want to know what they are going through so you can also support them. Something that can be helpful is to remind them that all of our struggles are valid. Whether it’s health, financial, relational, emotional etc. We all have stuff and by sharing it with each other, we open up a space for support without comparison or judgement and that gives both sides more freedom to share.

9 – Let Them Know Where You Struggle So They Can Help

Something that can be helpful for you and your friends is to communicate what you need support in and how they can support you.

An example of this could be if you have celiac disease and have to bring your own food in a lunch bag to restaurants you may feel self-concious or uncomfortable when the waiter asks what you are going to get. This then leads to you having to explain you won’t be getting anything and when pressed your diagnosis comes up and becomes the talk of the table. 

You could tell your friends how they can help to intercede in those situations by saying you both will be sharing food or they can help change the topic at the diner table. Your friends can’t help if they don’t know what is wrong and how they can help. Communicate with them and it will help you feel more comfortable and them feel like they can tangibly help you! 

10 – Have Grace

This is new territory for both you and your friends. You are all learning how to grieve the past and adjust to a new future. What your friendships look like will change and that is OKAY.

Have grace with each other as you all learn to navigate this new reality. If both parties put in the work & make space for abundant grace, I guarantee the friendship will come out stronger than it was going in.

Conclusion

Having friends and relationships with others is absolutely possible for those living with chronic conditions and in many ways it is vital! It may not be easy at first, but taking steps through some of the actions listed above will truly benefit your mental, social, emotional and physical health. 

One way you can thank your friends, family, nurses, and support people in your life is by getting them an intentional thank you item from the Support Collection! We created this section as an easy way for you to thank the support team of friends, family, loved, ones and medical staff for all they do for us – letting them know it does not go unnoticed. 

WELCOME TO

The Chronic Collective

We are an awareness-based clothing brand on a mission to support those with chronic conditions through our clothing, community and actions as a company. Founded by someone with a chronic condition for those with chronic conditions – we hope that what we do, create & offer here provides you with love & support on your journey!

Want 10% Off?!

Sign up for our newsletter and get 10% off your first purchase, special deals, notified of new designs and ways you can get involved in our community! 

Popular Posts

Tips For Maintaining A Relationship With Others While Managing Your Condition

Things To Do Before Your Doctor Appointment

7 Ways You Can Support Your Friend With A Chronic Condition

Shop

Get Our Giftcard!

Share Your Story

Join The Support Group & Attend Monthly Events

Podcast Collab

Be An Ambassador

Tips For Maintaining A Relationship With Others While Managing Your Condition

Honestly, living with chronic illnesses can be really rough and oftentimes, lonely. It can be really hard for others to understand what you are going through if they have never had to go through it themselves. 

Finding social support in the form of friends and family can be really helpful – but can also be somewhat hard to come by, navigate and maintain. 

This can be true for a plethora of reasons. Sometimes at the beginning it can be easy for a friend to be supportive, but as time goes on and lives became more and more different, it becomes hard to find common interests. Perhaps the chronically ill person has a lot of serious issues going on with their health, so much so that their friend feels like their problems aren’t as bad and doesn’t share them – leaving them feeling unmet and unfulfilled. Maybe the chronically ill friend pushes people away to cope with their illness. Whatever the reason may be, as the chronically ill person, the goal is to prevent that from happening. 

Below, we brainstormed 10 ideas that you can implement to strengthen and maintain your relationship with others while still being able to take care of your health!

1 – Keep In Touch

It may seem like a simple thing to do, but when your sick, it can be much more difficult than one would think. You may not have the energy to reach out, you may feel misunderstood, your health may be finicky, you may feel like it’s been too long, but I promise if it’s a true friend they will understand. So reach out. Send a message, leave a sweet comment or make a card for your bestie.

2 – Find New Ways To Do Something Fun Together

There may be things that are more difficult for you to do since you got sick, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some things you can make work! Get creative and come up with new ways to have a good time with friends!

If you’re stuck at home or need to host something that can easily be rescheduled if needed, host a movie night, start a book club, cook an easy meal together, play board games or simply catch up with some tea. Anything you think would be fun for you and your friend while also being realistic for you to do!

3 – Take An Interest In Your Friend’s Lives Too

When you’re hurting so much physically it also can begin to hurt mentally. It can be all consuming and difficult to focus on anything outside of staying alive and afloat – especially if that’s literally the only thing going on in your life.

It can be difficult talking to friends because they may be moving forward in life in ways you wish you could be. Hearing about these big events in their lives – and even the small ones like going to work can be really painful. BUT if you have caring friends who listen to your struggles, try to remember to ask how their work day/party weekend/exotic holiday was, even if it stings that you can’t do those things. You can be happy for your friend and sad for your own missing-out at the same time.

4 – Try To Talk About How You Feel In A Constructive Way (When You Can)

As justified as you are to talk about all you are going through with your chronic illness, try to remember there’s a fine line between sharing, getting help and just complaining. 

Don’t fake you’re doing fine when you’re not, but starting every conversation on a negative note makes it less appealing for your friends to ask how you’re feeling or wanting to reach out.

Something that sometimes helps is sitting with everything before talking about it and sorting through what you can handle by yourself and reaching out after. Then first talking about it with people you are really close too and are involved like your parents or significant other, as they may have more insight since they know the situation a bit more. Then taking it to other friends if you still want and need to.

5 – Be Intentional About Setting Aside Time To Talk (Not Over Text) 

Texting is great, but it can be easy to multi-task while texting friends and not truly be focused on them and your conversation. If you are spending the majority of your time stuck at home and are not seeing friends in person regularly, invite them to your house to catch up, facetime them, or even just talk to them on the phone! All of these options allows you both to take intentional time to focus on investing in each other and your friendship.

6 – Be Clear About Your Limitations And About Your Possibilities

For most healthy people, it’s hard to understand what it’s really like to live with chronic illness every day. Especially when you have an unpredictable illness that can flare up unexpectedly, others don’t know what to expect.

Let your friends know what you can and cannot do. If you are not able to go for a hike, come up with an alternative like a walk or a drive. If you can’t eat, plan an activity during a time that most people don’t typically eat ie don’t plan a hangout at lunchtime. The point is, try to focus on the things you can do and talk about your limitations in such a way that you can find creative alternatives together.

7 – Try To Stay Involved In Your Friend’s Lives

It can be so incredibly easy to isolate and honestly, in many situations, no one would blame you because of the amount of stuff you are going through. That being said, isolating can lead to losing friends and depression. 

One way to keep your friendships alive is by staying involved in your friend’s lives as much as you can. If they are having a get together – do your best to go and if you can’t offer to facetime in or plan for another time for you both to get together. If your friend has a big performance or event – try to plan ahead and save your spoons up to go if it is important to them. If you can’t though, don’t beat yourself up! Find another way to support them and their achievement by making them cookies or getting them flowers! 

8 – Validate Their Struggles

Depending on your health, your friends may or may not feel like sharing the struggles in their lives with you because compared to what your going through, it doesn’t seem like a big deal enough to bring up, so instead they don’t let you in on what they are going through and go to other people.

As their friend, you want to know what they are going through so you can also support them. Something that can be helpful is to remind them that all of our struggles are valid. Whether it’s health, financial, relational, emotional etc. We all have stuff and by sharing it with each other, we open up a space for support without comparison or judgement and that gives both sides more freedom to share.

9 – Let Them Know Where You Struggle So They Can Help

Something that can be helpful for you and your friends is to communicate what you need support in and how they can support you.

An example of this could be if you have celiac disease and have to bring your own food in a lunch bag to restaurants you may feel self-concious or uncomfortable when the waiter asks what you are going to get. This then leads to you having to explain you won’t be getting anything and when pressed your diagnosis comes up and becomes the talk of the table. 

You could tell your friends how they can help to intercede in those situations by saying you both will be sharing food or they can help change the topic at the diner table. Your friends can’t help if they don’t know what is wrong and how they can help. Communicate with them and it will help you feel more comfortable and them feel like they can tangibly help you! 

10 – Have Grace

This is new territory for both you and your friends. You are all learning how to grieve the past and adjust to a new future. What your friendships look like will change and that is OKAY.

Have grace with each other as you all learn to navigate this new reality. If both parties put in the work & make space for abundant grace, I guarantee the friendship will come out stronger than it was going in.

Conclusion

Having friends and relationships with others is absolutely possible for those living with chronic conditions and in many ways it is vital! It may not be easy at first, but taking steps through some of the actions listed above will truly benefit your mental, social, emotional and physical health. 

One way you can thank your friends, family, nurses, and support people in your life is by getting them an intentional thank you item from the Support Collection! We created this section as an easy way for you to thank the support team of friends, family, loved, ones and medical staff for all they do for us – letting them know it does not go unnoticed. 

WELCOME TO

The Chronic Collective

We are an awareness-based clothing brand on a mission to support those with chronic conditions through our clothing, community and actions as a company. Founded by someone with a chronic condition for those with chronic conditions – we hope that what we do, create & offer here provides you with love & support on your journey!

Want 10% Off?!

Sign up for our newsletter and get 10% off your first purchase, special deals, notified of new designs and ways you can get involved in our community! 

Popular Posts

Tips For Maintaining A Relationship With Others While Managing Your Condition

Things To Do Before Your Doctor Appointment

7 Ways You Can Support Your Friend With A Chronic Condition

Shop

Get Our Giftcard!

Share Your Story

Join The Support Group & Attend Monthly Events

Podcast Collab

Be An Ambassador

Similar Posts

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    As promised, here is your 200+ Chronic Condition Resource Guide! All you have to do is click the button below and it will automatically download :)

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    Want our 200+ Chronic Condition Resource Guide For Free?

    Sign up for immediate access to our resource guide with 200+ links to a variety of resources AND also access to our newsletter where you will get exclusive sales, discounts, and the the latest on The Chronic Collective’s clothing and community!