Self-Care with a Chronic Illness: Visualize Yourself Well

It’s Arthritis Awareness Month! This month I am challenging you to take a little time each day and practice better self-care. Each day in May, I plan to share one simple way you can show yourself some love and appreciation.

Visualize yourself well.  When I look back over our family photos, I instantly can tell which pictures were taken when rheumatoid arthritis was playing a huge part in my life and that feeling crawls right back into my memory. It isn’t a place I like to visit. Some pictures bring tears of compassion knowing how much pain I was experiencing at the time.

On the other hand, during some of my worst days, I found that when I visualized myself healthy and pain-free, a smile instantly took over to comfort me. 

  • See yourself jumping out of bed without stiff joints
  • Imagine yourself receiving a big hug that nourishes and doesn’t hurt you. Soak that hug in.
  • Look at photos of yourself doing the things you love doing not as a pity party but a reminder of days to come.
  • Draw pictures of yourself as the beautiful person you are because truly, you are beautiful and perfect.  
  • Photograph or cut out things you still want to do in life.

Sometimes the pain has been so extreme for so long that we forget who we were and what we did before our illness took over. When that happens, ask for help from your family. Let them guide your memories.

Visualization isn’t ignoring the fact that your body has changed but instead is a way of keeping hope that the right treatment hasn’t yet been matched with your individual body and that hope still remains. 

4 thoughts on “Self-Care with a Chronic Illness: Visualize Yourself Well

  1. Visualizing yourself can also mean hoping for the day we need not have to worry about others and chronic conditions. Int he diabetes community I have never been more hopeful. Not for me to live without diabetes, but about my grandchildren and their children.

    I visualize that most every day and my goodness we are close.


  2. Every time you told me about how you visualize yourself well during the hard times, I'm in awe of your strength of mind. I'm not sure I could do this with such faith, but I'm going to try.


  3. I think we each have our own unique set of survival skills. Mine just happen to be seeing things improving rather than going downhill. But I do hope people can see themselves this because I also believe strongly that how we see ourselves is how we become. Visualizing yourself well may not mean you will be able to do everything you did pre-diagnosis, but it may mean you are well in other ways that you can't yet see.


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