Not every day is exactly the same when you have a disability. But for me, it’s easy to fall into a routine. I find routines to be very comforting and safe. It gives me a sense of pacing and grounding in my life. When my routine is thrown for a curve (such as when I was in school or when I recently went on my graduation trip–where most things are very spontaneous–I find that’s where I begin to struggle. My routine is not glamorous, or Pinterest worthy, or aesthetically-pleasing. My routine consists mostly of trying to get through the day and onto the next one. But it’s mine…and I’ve accepted it.
My mornings usually begin a little something like this, minus the cat (I’m allergic + also afraid). For the past week, I haven’t been sleeping in. Instead, I’ve decided to take advantage of the morning. After graduation, I began sleeping in until 10 a.m. after going to bed at 3 a.m. I quickly realized that this was not benefitting me, so after my graduation trip when I received my job, I started waking up around 4:30 a.m. Since then, I’ve quit my job for my health (you guys seem to really gravitate to this post) and now I let my body wake up naturally. Usually around 6:30-7 a.m. with no grogginess. However, I do wake up with joint pain every morning and have to wrap myself in my heated blanket until further notice!
I treat my blog, like a job, which then provides structure and routine for my day. After spending a little time pinning on Pinterest and responding to any DM’s or blog comments I may have gotten while I was asleep, I jump right into making my blog post for that day. When I had previous blogs in the past (I used to be a lifestyle blogger right before I got sick two years ago, but quit because it felt unauthentic), I planned every post. Now, I wake up and decide that day. I use Pinterest for inspiration sometimes, but I try not to put the pressure on myself to fit in with what everyone else is writing. I don’t focus on SEO or keywords. I write what I feel.
The first thing I do before writing a post is creating a blog graphic. I use Canva, and have for years. Their interface is incredibly easy and I like their wide range of social media templates, fonts, and colors. *This is not sponsored by Canva, but maybe one day! :)* I then choose any photos I’d like to use from Unsplash (a free photo website where photographers upload beautiful images that are perfect to use for either blogging or social media! No cheesy stock photos here!) After the blog post is written, I spend about another hour scheduling tweets on Hootsuite. I find Hootsuite to be the most effective for me because I can easily copy and paste hashtags from the previous day’s blog’s with their content calendar. Hootsuite also has a mobile app too, making it easier to post tweets if you’re unable to spend time promoting blog posts or other social media things. I schedule my posts and tweets for 11 a.m. EST, putting in as many hashtags as I can. Then, I schedule again for four more times throughout the day. After I started doing this and pinning my blog posts to Pinterest, I noticed my engagement increased little by little each day!
Once everything is scheduled, I usually can relax for a while I enjoy a healthy breakfast. (see what i eat in a day or photo above) Around this time, I try to put my phone down if the arthritis in my hands begin to flare. I try to enjoy the news, but often times it’s pretty sad, so maybe I’ll watch YouTube videos. I really hate scrolling through social media because I found that I can’t enjoy my food when I do this, but it’s a bad habit I need to break.
I occupy myself until my post uploads and my tweets are sent at around 11 a.m. EST. There’s always a lot of anticipation for this. When I first started blogging (not too long ago), I’d constantly be checking my stats and wondering why no one was commenting AS SOON as my post was uploaded. Now I’ve become more relaxed, accepting comments gratefully as they come.
From this point of the day onward, I don’t have much going on. The pain may or may not have reached a peak. Pins and needles shoot through my back, shoulders, and legs, which is why I get up so early and tackle blog things when the pain is just numbing and annoying. I take first dose of pain medication, which then makes me drowsy, and I fall asleep for about an hour. Then, the morning is over! For these past few days, the pain has been hard to endure. So I take it easy. We’re also experiencing a heat watch, which means it’s dangerous for babies, the elderly, and those with health conditions to even be outside. Frankly, I like staying on my couch. For someone with a chronic illness, this is an accomplishment for me: moving from the bed to couch as it requires to take the stairs, which then inflames my joint pain. I really only have the energy to watch a movie and eat popcorn, so I spend the rest of the day trying to tame my flares and distract myself.
I chose this photo as sort of a confidence booster for myself because often times I am called “lazy” by family members and friends for not being able to be “active” in ways people think I should be. It hurts, but I’m doing my best. That’s all I can do.
Thank you so much for reading! Comment down below one thing that you have to do every day!
I am now taking submissions for guests posts on this blog! So, if you have psoriatic arthritis, a disability, chronic illness, or struggle with your mental health, I want to hear from you! DM me on Twitter or drop me an email at email@example.com, if you’re interested.
I’m also thinking about creating a Twitter chat for us! Let me know if this is something you’d like to participate in.