With the huge number of people suffering from chronic illness these days, I’m sure you know someone who has a chronic illness or you do yourself. I am one of them. I’m thankful that my illness is not severe, but more frustrating and annoying, but yet it has left me homebound more times than I can count. If you’re suffering from chronic illness you may have wondered what you can do to connect with other people or build friendships when you can’t get out much. Well, here are 5 ways to connect and bless others even when you don’t feel good!
I began having health issues about 9 years ago when my second daughter was a baby. Not to get off on that story, I’ll just say that doctors couldn’t really find anything wrong, but I felt horrible most of the time. Lightheadedness, nausea, tiredness…etc. I got asked I don’t know how many times if I was pregnant or depressed. I got looked at like I was crazy. And I was told I was “normal” time after time after time. But I knew something was off. Thankfully, I have found some supplements and health care practitioners that have helped me feel better and better. But during those times when I wasn’t feeling good, there were many days that I felt very lonely. Not only was I a stay at home mom, then started homeschooling, but adding not feeling well to the list, kept me at home way more often than I would’ve liked. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve had something on the schedule, only for me to wake up that day not feeling well or we’d be on our way to an event and have to turn around and go home because I started feeling bad. I’m sure friends and acquaintances have thought I was flaky or aloof or selfish.
This past year I really started thinking about how I can still pour into people, build friendships, and connect through this hardship. This sermon, (starts around 50:00) really the whole series, from The Hills Church in Texas really got me thinking about it. Now, with social media, you’d think that would be easier than ever. And in some ways, it is! But there’s just something about connecting by voice and in person that doesn’t compare with Facebook or Instagram. So here are 5 ways to connect when you don’t feel good!
5 Ways to Connect When You don’t Feel Good
1. Call Someone or Send a Card
I know when you feel bad you don’t always feel like talking, but talking to someone can often help you feel better. Pick up the phone and call your mom, your sister, or a friend. It’ll help take your mind off what you’re facing and focus on someone else. Or send a card to someone who is ill or fighting cancer or just lost a loved one, or had a birthday. It’s rare these days that we get cards or letters in the mail, so when we do it’s a treat! If you have a business, send a thank you card to a customer or to someone who referred you. In this day and age it is very easy to send a quick message on Facebook. That is still a way to talk to someone, but it will mean so much more if you write or call.
I love this Box of Cards on Amazon!
Or if you’re a loyal Hallmark carder, this is a great deal on Hallmark Cards!
2. Text a few Friends.
Texting isn’t quite as personal as talking in person or over the phone, but I totally understand that sometimes you just don’t have the energy to have a phone conversation or you’re a super busy stay at home mom that literally can’t find 5 minutes to chat at an appropriate hour! I get it! So whip out your phone at some point in the day and think back over conversations you’ve had or things you’ve seen posted on social media and text a few of friends a short, little compliment or bit of encouragement! Say you saw another mom friend posting on Facebook about how hard potty training is. Text her, “Girl I saw your post about potty training little ____! Don’t stress about it. It took a long time for my little one to get the hang of it too. He took much longer than my girls.” Now, yes…you could just comment this on her facebook post with the masses. But texting her about it is more personal! People are more likely to open up privately than they are on a post for all to see. Plus it says you were thinking about her situation long after that post and you took the time to get off facebook and send her a text.
3. Have a Playdate
If you’re feeling bad, you may not feel like going anywhere, but that doesn’t mean people can’t come to you. If you’re not contagious, and are dealing with a chronic illness or ache or pain, why not open your home and have a playdate for your kiddos. I have found that 1 1/2 to 2 hours is plenty of time for the kids to play, a good amount of time for moms to chat, and it’s short enough that it doesn’t cut into anyone’s day too much. Plus when you host it, you don’t have to drive anywhere! I know what you’re thinking though…hosting it means you have to clean. Well, yes it would be nice to have the place sanitary when guests come over, but seriously…don’t feel like your house has to be “Pinterest-Perfect” or straight out of Better Homes & Garden to have people over. In fact, I LOVE it when I go to someone’s home and there’s a little clutter here or there. It makes me feel a little more normal. So, do your friend a favor and leave a little clutter. Sweep, clean the toilet, wash some dishes, whatever you feel like you just have to do, but don’t feel like your house has to be spotless. You do live there! (Which is why this pillow is one of my absolute favorite things!)
4. Rely on Others and Ask for Help
Not feeling good can interfere with the daily tasks a lot. Sometimes when you have chronic illness, you could use a little help. This is something I personally struggle with. I don’t want to bother anyone or inconvenience them. But when the shoe is on the other foot, how do I feel? I WANT to help! I’ve learned that letting other people help actually makes them feel better and feel useful or purposeful. So if someone asks if they can help you in some way, let them! It will be a mutually beneficial blessing. If they haven’t asked, and you need help, don’t feel bad asking for help. More than likely the person you ask will feel honored that you asked them and someday they may need help and call on you! We all need community! And while we’re talking about asking for help…. Be mindful of others, too. Think about how you might be a blessing and help someone else who is struggling with chronic illness. Going through things ourselves opens our eyes to the challenges others are facing. We can use these experiences to comfort and bless others going through similar situations.
5. Host a Get Together
This is a little different from hosting a playdate. It’s fun to get the kids together to play, but we need to laugh and have fun as adults too. You’ve heard it before, “laughter is the best medicine.” So why not have a scheduled monthly game night at your house. Or get a group of friends together to rotate houses each month. Everyone can pitch in and bring a dish to share or sign up for parts of the meal, that way it’s not a financial burden on any one family. Then just take a quick vote on which game you want to play that night! We love playing dominoes or spades. If you don’t know how to play those, you can look up instructions online! All you need are a set of dominoes or a set of cards, like these.
Here are some of our other favorite games!
Farkle Dice Game
These are just a few of our favorites! Do you have a favorite game to play with friends? Please share!
And if you have any great tips of connecting and keeping loneliness at bay when you’re dealing with chronic illness or just stuck at home for some reason, please share those too! I’d love to hear them! Try one of these ideas this week and let me know how it goes!
P.S. This article and blog may contain affiliate links, which just means that when you click on and purchase through one of my links, you’re helping support our family and my ability to stay at home with my children and write. Thank you so much for stopping by!
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