Finding Meaningful Work With A Chronic Illness

Having a chronic illness can feel like having a full time job. You're always stressed and exhausted, you have appointments to rush around to, and you always feel busy. Yet, one of the most stressful parts of chronic illness can be what you do to earn a living. Balancing self care, health, family, and friends is already a juggling act. Just the thought of a 9-5 with a new boss and co-workers is enough to make your head spin.
So how can you find meaningful work with chronic illness...that also isn't going to make your symptoms worse?
The 'meaningful' bit is important here. If your energy is at a premium, the last thing you need is an energy sucking job. How can you find a way to make a living that will replenish, rather than diminish, your energy resources.
I was diagnosed with chronic illness at just 12 years old. At the time my worries were mostly about playing sports and hanging out with friends. I wasn't thinking about how my illness might affect my career. But as I progressed through University, I began to wonder what my career would look like with a chronic illness. I quickly realised that working 60 hour weeks for low pay to break into an cool industry wasn't going to be an option for me. I needed a flexible schedule, and work that was interesting.
My first experience running my own business was during the summers in University. This happened mostly by chance. I wasn't able to find a teaching job at any of the local pools, so a friend and I decided to set up our own swim school. By our second summer things were in full swing, and by the third summer we even had to hire extra staff to help us keep up with the demands. My summers consisted of hanging out by the pool with my best friend, never starting a day before 10am, and getting to teach kids how to do something I loved; swimming.
While i didn't imagine a lifelong career in swim instruction, I had had a taste of being my own boss and I loved it. During the school year I continued my new found entrepreneurial passions by running different student clubs. By finding clubs that matched my interests I ensured that I spent time around some pretty amazing, and like-minded people who encouraged and inspired me.
Flash forward four years and I haven't stopped creating my own opportunities. I've turned my love for writing and connecting with people into a successful copywriting business, and I spend the rest of my time teaching yoga to spoonies and stressed out folks- helping them relax and find their inner strength.
Starting my own businesses hasn't been easy. I was lucky to get support from family, friends, and other entrepreneurs doing the same thing. I'm lucky enough that I've had the energy to reach out to strangers, travel all over London to meetups, and find my business crew.
Chronic illness adds a whole other set of challenges to running your own business. I couldn't find a good place for people facing these unique challenges to come together and support each other in creating a meaningful life. So, with my obsession for creating new things, I've started a free meetup for people living with chronic illness. A place where we can support each other in starting ventures that are going to change the world.
Meetups are in London and online so wherever you are, I hope you join us! To join the free group, follow this link!
*If you don't already have a meetup account you will first have to join and then log in to join the group. 
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