Starting A New Year With Chronic Health Conditions

Starting A New Year With Chronic Health ConditionsPin
Starting A New Year With Chronic Health Conditions

Updated 12/27/2022

Starting a new year is an event filled with joy, anticipation, fear, dread, or nonchalance. We’re starting this new year with the continuing ever-present cloud of the covid pandemic hanging over our heads. Add in the flu, RSV, and a war in Ukraine, and I feel like hibernating. As we enter the third year of covid, I think I just need to accept the fact that its now a part of our everyday life. Are you struggling with all of this, too?

New Year Resolutions Or What?

Picking A Word

Since a new year always brings out the question, “What goals or resolutions do you have for the new year?”, this post discusses my thoughts on this topic. I discovered the idea of picking a word for each year several years back. 2021’s word was hope or hopeful. 2022’s word was joy or joyful. I was tired of living in stress and fear. So I decided to look for things that brought me joy in 2022. I also decided that my life lacks fun and I needed to look for things I can do that cause laughter and joy.

"God is so joyous that he finds joy even in us."Pin
A quote I like on the topic of Joy for the new year.

I discovered that creating artwork gives me joy, and so does getting out into nature. Spending time with my granddaughter gives me a huge amount of pleasure. I don’t know what my word or focus is yet for 2023, but I definitely want to keep doing the things that bring joy and fun into my life. We all need more joy and even hope these days.

If you want to learn more about picking a word for the new year, you can read my earlier post here.

Picking Intentions For Yourself

Liz at Despite Pain wrote a post about using intentions instead of resolutions for the new year. They are all very practical ones for those of us with chronic ailments. I’m combining her first intention of learn coping mechanisms and her last one of love yourself. I haven’t been coping well with stress at all and then I get mad at myself for not coping well. As a result, I’ve gained back almost all the weight I lost on the Bright-Line Eating Plan due to stress eating. So, I intend to take better care of myself by doing meditation and breathing exercises every day to help me manage stress. I also need to journal again.

I’ve realized that until I get my stress under control, I will continue to struggle with emotional eating. I have to be honest and admit that I had little hope that I’d succeed at managing stress better. Until I watched this video.

How To Have Your Best New Year Ever

Morgan’s main point is that we need to celebrate what we accomplished in the old year, instead of letting the things we didn’t get to drag us down. After watching it, I realized I have survived covid! That’s a success for me! If you’re reading this, you survived, too. Other successes I had in 2021 were:

  • I successfully helped my family with their 2021 health challenges.
  • I managed my health pretty well, because I only needed antibiotics once. This is a tremendous accomplishment for someone with an immune deficiency during a pandemic!
  • I paid all my bills.
  • I’m still blogging despite challenges.
  • I finished the rough draft of my book.

What have you accomplished in 2021? Write it down if you can to encourage yourself. 2021 wasn’t a complete failure. And if you don’t have monumental accomplishments, you still got out of bed when you could. You encouraged a family member or friend when they needed it. You took care of yourself the best you knew how. Those are worth celebrating, too.

Some New Year Resources

Below are a couple of resources that might be useful to you as you think about your new year’s goals, plans, or intentions.

First, the Disabled Diva shared her 10 Realistic Goals for 2022 in this post:

I love her Mental Health goals of Stop Blaming Yourself, Forgive Yourself, and Stop Comparing Yourself! These are so important to all of us.

Next, a post I wrote about using focus words/phrases and tiny habits instead of resolutions.

Last, for those of you who love to reflect on your past year, here’s a list of 20 Questions to get you started:

Personally, I’d need way more time than New Year’s Eve to go through these questions. Perhaps they’d be good journal prompts for January.

Wrap-Up Of New Year’s Thoughts

Yes, the last two years have been immensely challenging, but don’t quit showing up in your life. 2022 just might be better. Pick whatever works for you as we enter 2022. I’m hoping and praying that you have a good year. Till next time, Kathy

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By Kathryn

I'm a writer, disabled registered nurse, and former home school parent of 6 children ages 19 to 32. I'm also a domestic abuse survivor.


  1. Oooo I love the word for the year. Joy. That’s one I could thoroughly get behind, too. Except it has been an awful start to 2022 here and the next couple of weeks look similarly stressful. Maybe after that, there’ll be time for joy..? I think with chronic illness – the various aspects that come with it, whether it’s health stuff, money, life, mental health, family, complaints & legal issues, etc – there’s always ‘something else’. Something to stress about, something we need to get past before we can slow down. I think at some point maybe we need to insist upon slowing down, insist upon finding joy no matter what, otherwise time disappears and we’re still waiting for the time to look after ourselves.

    Not sure if that ramble made sense. It just struck me when reading your (very well written) post. Wishing you & yours all the very best for a Happy New Year! I hope 2022 is kind to you ❤️ xxxxxx

    1. Thanks for coming by and leaving your thoughts Caz! The last two years have been so hard. I guess I decided if I didn’t consciously look for joy now, before I knew it my life would be ending without any joy. Yes, your comment made sense. Happy New Year to you as well! May it be calmer and healthier than 2021!

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