Each week discover something new about wellbeing, business or the use of alchemy to change your life with my blog posts. I share personal experiences and proven research with tips for you to try out.


5 Ways to Practice Self-Care with a Disabilty or Chronic Illness

embody Jul 19, 2023

When living with chronic illness or disability, the idea of self-care can feel like a luxury or an indulgence, with our energy points often reserved for the bigger fish we’re frying. However, giving ourselves some TLC can be crucial as an antidote to the exhausting societal obstacles we face daily, impacting our confidence, mood and general wellbeing. Here are five ways to nurture our bodies and minds when energy and mobility are limited:


Eat delicious real food

Eating nutrient-rich whole foods needn’t be a dull, time-consuming or energy-sapping chore. You can nourish your body with foods you enjoy, with minimal prep and still get the nutrients you need to support energy levels and overall wellbeing. Embrace convenience foods and make mealtimes easier for yourself with pre-chopped, pre-washed, pre-cooked, canned and frozen ingredients. These still pack a nutritional punch if they are minimally processed, while saving you precious time and energy.


Move your body gently

Moving your body in a way that is safe and comfortable for you can have a positive impact on your cardiovascular and immune system, bone density and mood. Explore activities you enjoy that don’t feel like punishment, such as swimming, dancing, stretching or seated yoga. Ignore the fitness industry pressures to walk 10,000 steps or smash a personal best. Find ways of moving that honour your body's abilities and encourage flexibility and strength within your own limits.


Rest and recharge

Recognise that rest is just as productive as action. Whether it’s a power nap or a few deep breaths of fresh air, observing nature from your window or just staring into space, take a moment to let go of self-judgment and allow space for self-compassion. Be kind to yourself even on the difficult days, you cannot be a superhero every day and sometimes washing your hair is an achievement worth celebrating.


Find your tribe

Connecting with our people and sharing experiences helps us feel seen and understood. Family and friends often want to help but don’t always know how and may not truly understand your challenges. Seek out supportive communities online, where you can connect with others who share similar challenges and triumphs. Tune in to podcasts that take a lighthearted approach to chronic illness, as big belly laughs and bonding with kindred spirits are the best kind of self-care.


Do what you love

Channel your energy towards activities you enjoy or excel in, such as painting, writing, cooking or any other creative outlet to release tension and feel fulfilled. If you’re too tired for creativity, simply engage in activities that bring immediate joy - sing your heart out to your favourite power ballad or indulge in a mind-numbing reality TV show. Eat an ice cream without guilt, because nutritional value is irrelevant when it’s good for the soul. Whatever brings you joy, life’s too short to deny yourself these small pleasures.


Self-care isn’t about achieving perfection; it's about prioritising our wellbeing in ways that feel enjoyable and achievable. It allows us to embrace our uniqueness and thrive with our challenges. Looking after ourselves should not be viewed as an extravagance, it is essential for replenishing energy and nourishing our spirit, so we can continue to do what we love and celebrate the beauty of being perfectly imperfect humans.


As a disabled mum and nutritionist, Dina’s goal is to make nutrition accessible for people with limited time, energy or mobility. If you’d like to know more, book a free chat with Dina or download her ‘5-minute meals’ ebook for when you’re too tired to cook.



Dina is a registered Nutritionist (mBANT CNHC), providing inclusive nutrition for diverse bodies that is accessible, achievable and always delicious!



Instagram: vitamin.dina




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