Image Courtesy of MrWildLife/
Image Courtesy of MrWildLife/

Chronic illness and pain are serious business, and they take up a good deal of our time. Often, when someone asks what I do I say, “Well, managing my health is much like a full-time job.” It might not be what they want to hear, but it’s true (as you well know, too!).

But we also need to understand that it’s not all we are, nor is the care we give our illnesses all we need. And right after the first long weekend of the summer season is a perfect time to visit “the rest of you” and me – in other words:

What are you going to do for fun this summer?

Fun?! Enjoyment?! What?

Yup. Fun! Enjoyment!

Humor is helpful for us to cope. Laughter is lovely – and also gives us a better outlook on the world and our illnesses. And rest, oh, my, yes, rest is absolutely important for us. A good book (maybe my new one, Don’t Panic!: How to Keep Going When the Going Gets Tough ), a soft chair, a glass of something cool (lemonade is my favorite) – it doesn’t have to be elaborate to be restful!

We plan our doctors’ visits, the times we take our meds, and all other aspects of our lives with illness. Try planning some fun this summer, too. Dedicate a few hours to idling. Kick up some sand, if you can. Or just listen to birds chirp, trees rustle in the breeze.

Make time for the rest of you this summer. You’ll be glad you did!



More from Beliefnet and our partners