How to keep yourself busy when you have a chronic illness

When you have a chronic illness it can be hard to find things to do that won’t tire you out so much that you then have to spend a day in bed recovering. I know from experience that being so poorly that you have to spend most of your time bed/ housebound and only with occasional visits out to go to see family or doctors it can become very lonely so this post is mainly aimed at those who are bed/ housebound and are unable to get out much to do things. Anyone can start to do these crafts if you like in you spare time!

hope you’re feeling okay


Cross stitch is something th13941125_1346297492051780_662974017_nat I only learnt how to do a few weeks ago. I went to visit my family, and my sister who’s 11 was doing it so I thought I’d try it too and I absolutely love it! At first I found it a bit difficult but once you get the hang of it it get’s so much easier. The photo of the bear is my first ever cross stitch I’ve done which I’m quite proud of, even if it’s not quite finished. I have found loads of patterns and kits that I want to do. The one I’ve just started on is a Thomas the tank engine pattern for my nephew who is 16 months old. I never thought I’d enjoy doing cross stitch but I’m hooked now! It’s great for anyone to do but for those of us with chronic illnesses it is a great craft to do because it’s relaxing and even if you only do a few stitches at a time that’s okay because it will all add up! Below is a photo of the work in progress of Thomas the tank engine for my nephew Leo.


I have already got myself lots of kits to do, Winnie the Pooh & Tigger too😉 Others that are cards that I can cross stitch which are pretty, I have a couple of Disney bookmarks and some cute Christmas penguins to do! I honestly love it and I definitely think you should have a go, it’s great because you can do as much or as little as you want! It’s good for concentration too!

This is my ‘Thomas the tank engine’ cross stitch that I’m doing for my nephew Leo. I have only done a little part of it but it’s surprising how quickly it all adds up! I’m hoping to be able to give it to him as part of his Christmas present so hopefully I’ll be able to finish it by then!

Below I have put a couple of links to some easy beginner patterns that you can do if you want to give it a try! You can find lots more patterns on Pintrest and on other pages. All you need is the pattern, a needle, aida and the threads which are easy to buy on Ebay. You can also get mini cross stitch kits which you can buy for £2- £3 which come with all you need to get stitching!

Beginners ‘hello kitty’ cross stitch pattern 

Winnie the Pooh cross stitch pattern                                                                                                   


I know a lot of people think that knitting is something that only old grann13933458_1346297465385116_255109548_nies do however it’s surprising how many younger people actually do spend their time doing! I love knitting and before I entered the world of cross stitch I was in the process of knitting a bed throw for my bedroom. I have only managed to do a few squares so far but I am going to start doing alternate days, one day knitting and then another day cross stitch. I have knitted a few things before, I knitted a blanket and some tiny hats for when my nephew was born and I also have knitted my sister a blanket made up of lots of small colourful squares! I’ts so easy to find simple tutorials and patterns that you can start off doing if you’re only a beginner/ Pintrest is FAB for finding hundreds of patterns with tutorials. I’ve put a couple of links below.

The Complete Beginners Guide to Knitting 

Easy knitting patterns for beginners                                                                                                   


One thing that I love doing is letter writing, there is nothing better than receiving a pretty letter13989665_1346297505385112_1045955597_n in the post! After going on medical leave from college letter writing has been something that has been a nice way to keep in touch with my friends as I rarely get to see them as I’m not always well enough. When I do get to see them, that’s the best! I write to my friends and also my family, especially my younger sister Martha who is 11, I do miss her and my family with being away from home. I’m lucky that I can see them any time I want as long as I’m well enough. Anyway, back to my letter writing… I have a whole big draw filled up with notelets, writing paper, cards, stickers, writing sets and even more stickers! I really love using stickers to pretty my letters in! If you get a letter through the post and it’s covered in stickers then you will instantly know that it’s from me!



Colouring is a great one to do as its good for relaxation and can be very calming. It’s super easy to do and all you need is a colouring book and some crayons! I’m not the best at colouring in but even so it’s fab for something easy and not too difficult to do, even on some of your worse days. Even if it’s only 5 minutes you can manage that’s soo good, you did it and I’m proud of you! Even for those without a chronic illness it’s super great for relaxation just as much as it is for those of us who have a chronic illness. It’s easy to find colouring books either online or in specific magazines exclusive to colouring! I’ve put a couple of links below of a couple of pretty awesome colouring books I’ve found!

Colour therapy book (pens & pencils included) – £5.45

Cute elephant colouring book  – £4.95

Of course these aren’t the only activities that you can do to keep yourself busy. They are just a few things that I find are good at passing time and most importantly are low energy type activities which is always important. Even with these activities you have to make sure to do them all in moderation, too much of an activity, even colouring can drain your energy the more that you carry on doing the activity. Regular rest breaks are key to managing your energy levels the best you can.

I hope that this blog post reaches those with chronic illnesses and can give you some ideas on things you can do to keep you busy but also things that aren’t too energy consuming in moderation. Please leave me any feedback in the comment box below and don’t forget to share this post and follow my blog for more updates.

All my love and best wishes,

Meg x


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