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Mental Monday: Being Mentally strong with Chronic Illness

27 Jan 14

(c) Megan S, December 2013

The other day I reblogged a post entitled “Are you mentally strong?“. This post had a list from Forbes that outlined 18 things mentally strong people do. The list focuses on mental strength for professional people.

At the suggestion of Susan from Owls and Orchids, I’m writing this post to ask for your input in creating a list specifically for those suffering from chronic illnesses.

So, I’ll get us started but I’d love your input. This way we can share this through the Foggy Frog campaign as well.

Mentally Strong people with a chronic illness:

1. Focus on the positives in any situation. They focus on the little things that are going right rather than the constant pain or other symptoms.

2. Listen to their body. They don’t push their limits too hard.

What other points would you add?
What do the mentally strong people you know do?


  1. jmlol January 27, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    Handle the bumps in the road with poise?

    • Megan S January 27, 2014 at 3:42 pm

      Great one! I’ll be updating the list once a few people have given me their ideas, and if it works well I’ll make it a page so everyone can get to it.

  2. Pam Schartner January 27, 2014 at 7:01 pm

    Resolve to do whatever it takes to recover; see chronic illness as an opportunity for personal growth and explore new boundaries; control your illness and your life; don’t take medical advice passively. These groundrules have made me mentally resilient and tough enough to handle the 1 step backwards, 2 steps forwards that goes with chronic illness.

    • Megan S January 27, 2014 at 8:57 pm

      Thanks Pam, I’ll add this to the final list. It’s great to hear how others set themselves up to succeed.

  3. Deborah January 27, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    Be realistic about what you expect of yourself, but don’t limit yourself. Find a balance between taking care of yourself and exploring the things you want for yourself.

    • Megan S January 27, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      This is great Deborah, I’ll add it to the final list 🙂

  4. Jenn M January 27, 2014 at 9:53 pm

    Mentally strong people find things that they are passionate about and use those things to help them cope during bad times. 🙂

    • Megan S January 28, 2014 at 10:51 am

      Great tip Jenn, added to the list 🙂
      I’ll publish a final list as a page probably next week.

    • someonesideaofluxury January 28, 2014 at 7:02 pm

      This is excellent advice, thanks Jenn!

      • Jenn M January 29, 2014 at 8:54 am

        You’re welcome 🙂

  5. merbear74 January 28, 2014 at 12:00 am

    I was calling myself names…I still do when I am very frustrated, but I do make a mental note to cut it out.

    • Megan S January 28, 2014 at 10:52 am

      Remember to not call yourself names… this is one I need to work on more 🙂

  6. Owls and Orchids January 28, 2014 at 12:17 am

    I find everyone equates mental toughness with being strong and forging ahead no matter what. I have learned that being able to plan and able to forgive myself if I don’t make the mark has been one of the biggest successes I have had. I feel without the pressure of not being allowed to fail I can come back and do even more, probably better than I would have originally and still achieve my goal in the time frame I calculated. I think the word I need is Pacing myself.

    • Megan S January 28, 2014 at 10:53 am

      That’s a great thing to remember Susan! Pacing and forgiveness are very important to me now that I’m ill. Without them, I would probably have gone crazy by now!

  7. branchingmama January 29, 2014 at 1:26 am

    I remember to be The Reed and not The Oak. Reeds lie flat in strong winds and survive to stand up again. The Oak can only bend a little before it must break. 🙂 I bend on the bad days and rest to stand up again the next day.
    My other coping strategy is find joy. I may be dtuck in bed today but I can now crochet all day 🙂 I may have slept a lot today but I had the most amazing dream. Remember to be the Reed and find the joy. 🙂

    • Megan S January 29, 2014 at 7:53 am

      That’s a great way to explain it! Thank you. 🙂

  8. The Girl in Yoga Pants January 29, 2014 at 3:40 am

    During my worst moments, I have learned to just breathe through it. Sometimes, that’s all you can do. Just breathe through it and remember it will pass.

    • Megan S January 29, 2014 at 7:55 am

      Breathing is key to me staying in control. Thank you for reminding me of this one.

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