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8 ways to stay positive when you’re sick


Sometimes the world gets rough. Sickness takes over and you feel down in the dumps. We’ve all been sick at some stage and usually it passes with a cold or a bug. But if you do have a long term illness or disease it’s a different challenge. I’ve had Crohn’s Disease for 26 years and I’ve been dealing with chronic illness more than half of my life. If you’re new here, you can read about the permanent colostomy surgery and proctectomy too.

It’s hard to stay on top of things and get through the days/weeks when you’re not well.

This is my favourite little poem (I wrote about it here)

… when we feel well
we cannot
feeling ill –
but when we are ill
it is almost impossible
to remember
feeling well…

This has stayed with me for years. When I am ill I really do try to feel well – to lift my spirits.

Here is a list of some of the things I might do (and if you’re not feeling well maybe you can too?)…

1. Tell your family you aren’t well

I do tell my boys when I am not well. I let them know I am struggling a bit and I need a hand. I tell them I need to lay down and I ask them to help me. They are usually pretty good when they can see I am sick. And so they should be. Your loved ones should know when to pick up the slack when needed. It makes a huge difference when you don’t have to do everything when you’re sick.

2. Clean-up and freshen your surroundings

I can’t rest when things are messy and dirty. It doesn’t mean I need to go overboard scrubbing and cleaning. Just take the rubbish out and clean out the fridge… a quick tidy and a wipe over of things makes me feel a little more centered and relaxed.

3. Your body may be sick, but your mind doesn’t have to be

Feeling sick in our bodies can of course alter the way we think. I try not to let illness define my mental well being. Your mind can make you sicker. There is definitely a link there.

Take a few breaths to center and focus yourself. Now, be completely present to how you are feeling. If you ache, be aware of it with your full attention. If you are exhausted, feel the fullness of your exhaustion. – source.

Remember this, if there are moments in the day where you can feel positive about something, and concentrate on that, then we can absolutely transform our feelings.

4. Eat better/drink better

It’s commonsense isn’t it? More fresh food, more water and less alcohol. I don’t drink much anymore. I still like it, but I just can’t handle it.

5. Look at pretty things. Take a walk.

On the weekend I went walking with my boys up in the hills. The view, the smells and the cool fresh air made me feel instantly better. We didn’t walk to ‘exercise’ but rather just to feel fresh and get the blood moving. I can have a habit of sitting too much when I am sick, but a walk to look around makes me feel a little better.

6. Shower

A tracksuit and pj’s are usually on high rotation here. But I always feel energised after a shower. It’s easy to get up and think oh I’m not going anywhere today so I don’t need to worry, but indeed the body needs you to look after it. A scrub of the hair, a leg shave, some moisturiser and a hit of essential oils help. The make-up can take a hike though ha!

7. Music

Headphones are never far from my reach. Music evokes all sorts of feelings – you don’t need to me tell you that. Soothing music or dancing music, whatever takes your fancy – just give it a try at some point in your day. If nothing else it’ll waste a little bit of time and keep your mind busy and away from the illness.

8. Engage

Text your friends, clean out your emails – make a point of getting back in to your normal life. Let everyone know “you’re back” and feeling fresher and ready to get on with things.


Hope I’ve helped you a little bit today. If you’re not well, hopefully you can take something from this list to make your day brighter.

♥ KC.


  • Alicia Boland

    I have colitis and struggle to stay positive thanks for the tips x

  • Nicole Cox

    Excellent tips lovely, i hope you’re feeling back to your better self real soon xxxx

  • Emma thomas

    Hi katrina
    I have followed you on Instagram and your blog for a few years now. After showing my hubby many of your photos of inspiration , I have read to him for the first time this post ,holding back my tears.
    Big warm hug and understanding to you always and now your dear friend.
    I have been dealing with ulcerative colitis for 9 years and after the birth of my 3rd child over 5 years ago , it has flared up and I just haven’t been able to be on top of it since.
    It’s a bastard isn’t it????
    Let us be strong girls….coz we are. Yes we are going to have those many bad days,posts like this a reminder and a help that we are not alone.
    I feel like I want to visit her in hospital and talk to her about it… Lol all the best to her and your self always xx

  • Jordan Mackay

    This was so nice to read. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease (Hypoactive Thyroids) a few months ago and found it hard to cope with that I have an Autoimmune Disease. I have found that I just have to abort all plans (even though I know work gets angry and friends get annoyed) but we have to do what we do to stay well. Thank you for your honest story about having an Auto. Here’s to those long periods of not being sick! xx

    • Katrina (author)

      You’re welcome. Thanks for reading.

  • Sharon Coutman

    Thanks Katrina

    i have Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis & Endometriosis plus a bad back. I really struggled last week and could feel myself ‘sinking’ over the wend. Thanks for this Sx

  • Wendy

    Thanks for this Katrina. It’s so hard to stay positive, but this list will help, one of the biggest things I struggle with is seeing my husband do all the things I would normally do, breaks my heart to see him working so hard in the house to keep our home going. Xx

  • Julie Lee

    Such a comforting thing to be able to connect with others who struggle with their health.l have had CFS and fibromyalgia for 7 years and experienced a mild stroke 2 months ago which has aggravated my situation and set me back quite a bit.Anxiety and depression have added to an already challenging time.Thank you to all who share their stories and help me to realise l am not alone.

  • Saffron Canny-Smith

    Thanks for this post. I’ve got glandular fever and am finding it so hard to feel positive right now <3

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