The Creative Chronic Life

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Creativity When You Are Chronically Ill

Having a Chronic Illness can make participating in your favourite activities very difficult sometimes. Dealing with pain, fatigue and brain fog takes away the pleasure of simple pastimes and can make for a lonely existence. Isolation becomes a frequent companion when you’re no longer out and busy and that only adds to any depression you may already be experiencing. 

Who are you when you lose the creative side of yourself? Are you a shell of a person, or do you find ways to cope with the loss of a much loved hobby? Are you able to find new ways to express yourself, or do you struggle to come up with ideas that might help you pass the time?

I’d like to share some of the ways you can retain your creativity, even when your health is faltering. You may already be doing one or more of these, but this list may be helpful if you’re searching for something to keep your hands and mind occupied. Some are simple suggestions, some are more complex but all of these ideas are designed to help you regain some creative flow in your life, at a time when you likely need it the most. 

1.  Colouring

There are any number of great colouring books on the market today. carries a number of varieties including these favourites of mine: 


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2. Writing

If you’re a person who likes to keep a journal, these ones are beautiful and are designed with the writer in mind:


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3. Embroidery

One of several different needlepoint options, others include Crewel work and Cross-Stitch. Here are a few choices that might appeal to you:


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Embroidery Set


4. Crochet

Fibre arts are so popular these days and Crochet is something that can easily be done when resting in bed, or in your favourite chair. There are many popular patterns and designs for whatever suits your tastes. Here are a couple to try:



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Crochet Set

5. Knitting

Another fantastic way to pass the time, knitting has seen a resurgence in popularity. Whether it’s scarves, hats or clothing, there is an endless variety of items to be made as your skill level grows. 



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Bamboo Knitting Set

6. Drawing

Unleash your inner artist! These fine drawing tools can help you whether you’re into charcoal, colour or a combination of the two. 

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50 Pack of Art Pencils

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7. Reading

Do you have a favourite genre for books? Are you into Romance, Sci-Fi, Adventure or Mysteries? Do you have a favourite Author? 

Reading is such a great way to pass the time and now more than ever, it’s easy to get books delivered to you fast! Here are some of the best online bookstores to order your treasures:

Barnes & Noble



8. Cardmaking

Everyone loves to receive cards and when they are handmade, the love and sentimental joy is even better. Cardmaking is a great hobby and easy to do. Here are some great links to books and materials:



Other Supplies You Might Want:






10. Blogging

Have you always wanted to share your thoughts with others? Blogging is the best way to do that. It’s easy to do, there are many great Blogs to get you started and you have the ability to share your dreams and ideas with like-minded people across the internet. Here are some of the basics you need to get started:

A Blog – WordPress is the ultimate starting point for Bloggers. You can have a free site or pay to upgrade to a Premium site – highly recommended if you intend to pursue this as a regular hobby. Other choices are Blogger and Wix

A Host – If you choose to upgrade your site to Premium, you need someone to host that service, or give it a place to live online. A free Blog will host at no charge, but you lose out on a lot of the functionality that you get with a Premium site. There are many hosts to choose from, but my recommendation is Siteground. They offer low prices and outstanding customer service. You can even transfer an existing blog to them with no hassles. Another site I recommend is Bluehost. Shop around for your best deal. 

A Theme – All three Bloghosts offer excellent Themes that are free to use. If you want something that’s customized or different than what’s being offered, you can check Etsy, as well as Blog Templates for Blogspot, Gooyaabitetemplates, Hongkiat and Themeforest

About The Author

Pamela Jessen lives in Langford, BC Canada. Married to her amazing husband Ray, they share their home with one cat named Dorie. Pamela is a passionate volunteer and currently sits on 4 committees, all devoted to improving health care in her home province. In her spare time, she enjoys blogging, reading and bingeing on Netflix. You can find her online at

Pinterest image which shows multi-colored skeins of yarn and colorful knitting needles in the background. The overlay text reads: "The Creative Chronic Life: Creative hobbies can reduce stress, distract from pain, provide a sense of purpose & fulfillment for for people with chronic health conditions. There's a wide variety of arts to practice, something for almost every ability & skill level. The Zebra Pit Spoonie Health and Wellness Blog
Pinterest image shows an abstract painting in vibrant colors such as hot pink, turquise and purple. The overlay text says "The Creative Chronic Life: Great creative hobby ideas designed to get your creative juices flowing & your mind off your symptoms.

2 thoughts on “The Creative Chronic Life

  1. Great post Pamela – sometimes it is easy to forget that you can still be creative no matter what life throws at you. I have always made celebration cakes, but as chronic illness progresses I find making the sugarpaste decorations and even rolling out the icing is becoming harder with each cake I make. The family get drafted in to help these days. You have given some fab ideas here for everyone, no matter their circumstances, C x


  2. I love this, Pamela! “Who are you when you lose the creative side of yourself?” – I feel this way, I’ve lost that part of me that used to enjoy a little sketching and colouring and crafting. It’s not a good place to be in. I’m working to remedy it, but I blog in the meantime and that’s also a good outlet, as you say. Inspiration like this is fantastic! xx


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