15 Products That Help People With Chronic Illness Manage Their Mental Health

© The Mighty the author holding a Lego boat that she made, smiling Since the…

15 Products That Help People With Chronic Illness Manage Their Mental Health

a little girl standing in front of a refrigerator: the author holding a Lego boat that she made, smiling

© The Mighty
the author holding a Lego boat that she made, smiling

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, life with a chronic condition has become even more difficult for many of us. One big way I’ve found joy in the wake of some crushing changes is by amassing an epic collection of Legos.

It turns out I only stopped playing with them at age 13 or 14 because I was afraid of getting teased. Well, now I just don’t care, and my favorite toy is just as fun as ever! What’s more is that now it’s a perfect medicine for the mental strains of adulting… with a chronic illness.

We recently asked our Mighty readers what your go-to products are to help manage your mental health, and what a beautiful list you offered up! Products range from soothing to whimsical:

1. “A really good pair of over-the-ear, noise canceling headphones. It helps block the world out. I listen to music, nature sounds, books, etc. — Rhonda L.

2. “My wheelchair. I’d really missed going to the woods to keep me sane, and it helps so much to be able to do that again.” — Liesbeth B.

3. “My Nintendo Switch. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it. It lets me play games literally anywhere — at home in bed, in the hospital, at doctor appointments, anywhere. It also lets me connect with friends and gives me an opportunity to try to forget about things for a little while.” — Katie C.

4. “Hemp oil takes away the pain and gives a calming effect. Also I use essential oils often to help keep me balanced.” — Maree M.

5. “Books. Especially manga/graphic novels. They don’t take much brain power to read as they’re mostly pictures, and they can be really uplifting.” — Jerica W.

6. “Canvas and paint. When I let my emotions out on the canvas, even if nothing is ‘fixed,’ it’s still healing.” — Patricia G.

7. “Nail polish. A fresh manicure can help anyone smile, so even when I feel bad I will try to sit down and do my nails. It helps to distract me from the pain during, and helps bring a smile to my face later when I’m stuck in bed.” — Tiffany H.

8. “My iPad! I draw, and it helps keep my mind off my symptoms. I’d be lost without it!” — Misty L.

9. “My stuffed panda my sister got for me. Stuffed animals are awesome and can do wonders for someone living with a chronic illness.” — Jacqueline C.

10. “I crochet. So, my answer should be, yarn. With any craft like crochet, or knitting, you spend a lot of time just counting. It’s almost like a form of meditation for me. There is nothing else in my head besides my counts.” — Chrissy T.

11. I have a journal called ‘The Way of the Tortoise’ and letters that I write to myself that can be opened at a later date. Helps focus on positive things.” — Teresa J.

12. “Scented candles. The combination of the calming scent and the atmospheric flickering of the light always make stop for a few minutes and enjoy some mindfulness, no matter what kind of day I’ve had.” — Danielle S.

13. “Adult coloring books. They’re so relaxing, especially the color by numbers, because I don’t have to decide which colors to use.” — Stephanie S.

14. “When I feel burned out, it’s my card games that help me feel less crappy. Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokémon especially.” — Wendy J.

15. “This. Reading stories here helps me to know that many others are going through the same thing. This site helps us keep a more positive attitude, so thank you for all that you do.” — Lezlie B.

Want more ideas? Take it one step further and make yourself a care package for your worst days! 

What would you add? Let us know in the comments below.

Gallery: 17 Small Silver Linings to Help You Feel Better About Quarantine (Reader’s Digest)

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