Invisible Disabilities Week 2017

“But you look fine…”

I am an invisible illness warrior and a “functional” member of society…If you took one look at me on a good day you would see an active, healthy, motivated and “normal” (erg for lack of a better word) person; if you saw me on a bad day you would see a weak, agitated and pain stricken wreck; who must weigh up how best to use their limited energy supply most effectively.

Welcome to the life of a Chronic Illness Warrior…It is invisible but it is real.


That being said, I would like to keep this article as positive as possible!  This is OUR week!  The often forgotten, overlooked and silently suffering.  We should celebrate our achievements, those little steps that are taken for granted by people in good health.

In honour of our celebration, I would like to share  some tops tips for invisible illness warriors drawn from my own personal experience…Here we go!


If your body and mind are screaming out for respite after a busy week at work/life/both…go take that extended cat nap!  You deserve it, and pushing yourself will only hurt you in the long run and cause post external malaise to last longer than it needs to.  That pile of washing can wait until tomorrow.  If you can’t make a social occasion, your true friends will understand.  You can not be all things to all people; especially with a chronic illness.  Honour how you feel on each individual day and set yourself a new standard.  Sometimes being “fit for purpose” is enough.

Epsom Salt Baths

I cannot preach about Epsom salts enough.  When you feel like a 90year old lady and you are aching all over/moving like a tortoise there is NOTHING better than jumping into an Epsom Salt Bath.  If this is new to you I would recommend starting off with the minimum amount of Epsom Salts, as these baths will start to detox your body, and the last thing you want is for that to happen all at once, overloading you’re already fragile system.  Take it slow on this one.


Everyone is different but for me personally, I have found cutting out any inflammatory foods to help greatly.  I have removed gluten from my diet which has been a massive help, and I have a very limited intake of dairy (a little in tea/coffee and the occasional ice cream) otherwise I will have coconut milk as an alternative.  I do try to limit my intake of sugary foods and other naughty things, but I allow myself treats (let’s face it being chronically ill sucks enough!)  I also try to include fruit and vegetables in my diet as much as possible.  I can really feel it in my joints and muscles when I have had a lazy week in the kitchen and opted to fill my face full of quick fix junk food instead of healthier alternatives.  But hey it happens sometimes!

Exercise as Able

I know this is so difficult when your body feels like you have been hit by a bus and your brain feels like cotton wool!  But you will feel better for it in the long run.   Approach this anew each day.  How do you feel in your body right now?  Are you well enough to go for a walk?  If so always assess what you think you are capable of, and then remove a chunk of proposed exertion from this activity.  Always underestimate your abilities rather than over estimate.  I really love Yoga for this!  But everyone is different.  On a good day I will do a “normal” (erg there’s that word again) routine, and on a bad day I will find specific yoga routines on YouTube tailored to chronic illness warriors/Fibromyalgia sufferers.

Mindfulness Meditation

This is a GODSEND.  Sometimes your brain can get so wired from living life and then your body responds to this…If you suffer from an Invisible Illness you will know first-hand that stress is the enemy!  I know when I have forgotten to practise mindfulness during a stressful time, because I can feel it in my muscles and joints almost instantaneously… Not fun!

I really hope this is helpful for any other Invisible Illness Warriors out there!  I am with you all the way…You got this!

This article has been written by a member of the #Activfirst team in Support of #InvisibleDisabilitiesWeek #MakeItVisible #KindnessMatters


Medical Disclaimer *Please take note that the above is by no means a substitute for your Doctors’ advice.  Always listen to your Doctors’ recommendations.  This article contains general information about medical conditions and treatments.  The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such*