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Tips On How to Deal With Loneliness & Chronic Illness

Updated: Mar 12, 2022

Loneliness and chronic illness often go hand in hand, feeding off each other and creating a vicious cycle.

In the beginning, when you get sick, people might rally around you and send you wishes to get better.

As time passes by, fewer and fewer people check in. But when they do, you might not have the emotional or physical energy to reply to their messages.

Afterward, they might write to you even less, and as a result, you feel even more lonely.

The problem with loneliness is that the longer you experience it, the more you start feeling guilty, distrustful, and even abandoned.

As these feelings grow, it makes you want to reach out to others even less.

These feelings also negatively affect your physical health.

I've compiled a few tips below on dealing with loneliness and not shutting yourself off from others.

Now.. I'm not going to lie. Loneliness feels like another chronic illness in and of itself. It's not easy.

1) Make a list of people who support you and focus on your relationship with them.

a) Get rid of the negative people in your life as much as possible.

2) Communicate your needs with others clearly.

a) We often don't communicate because we don't want to burden others. But others

around us feel helpless because they don't know what they should do.

b) When you are not feeling well and reach out for support… start the conversation with

your intent… "I just want to vent" or "I am looking for solutions". This will help with the

often unheeded advice people with chronic illnesses receive.

3) Set a deadline to reply to others. Don't read the message until you're ready to respond. Set

a goal to reply within 24 hours or 72… whatever feels best for you. But try to stick to this


4) Practice gratitude if a fellow driver lets you into their lane or someone opens the door for

you at the store. This can remind you of our shared humanity.

Who has been your biggest support through your journey with your illness? Let me know in the comments below.


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