Study Tips for the Chronically Ill
Last updated: May 2021
A few months after the onset of my psoriatic arthritis symptoms, I decided to slow down and take a break from school. A few months after, I eventually returned but I found it difficult to adjust.
Navigating school with psoriatic arthritis
I felt like even doing the bare minimum such as showing up to school was challenging already because the chronic pain was always in the way.
Although I haven’t fully adjusted, and even if I still go through tough days, I eventually learned how to navigate my way through my illness and at the same time do well in school - or at least try to.
Take small breaks in between
When I wasn’t still dealing with all of these symptoms, I took pride in overworking myself and being able to study for hours continuously. Now, I couldn’t do that anymore even if I wanted to. I found it difficult to concentrate on a task at hand.
I learned about this method called Pomodoro wherein you break down your task in intervals with short breaks in between. Eventually, I realized that working for 45 minutes and taking a 15-minute break after works best for me. It helps me focus more and it makes me more productive.
Study on the bed. Do it.
Usually, they would tell you that you should avoid working in bed because doing so would only make you feel lazy to finish your tasks. However, for the chronically ill, working in bed sometimes is the key to becoming more productive. As for me, it would only take a few hours before I would feel drained and exhausted.
After all, I’d be able to accomplish more while studying or doing tasks while in bed than doing nothing at all. So, don’t be afraid. Get a lap desk and learn how to be productive without compromising your comfort and convenience.
Listen to your body
Learn when to slow down and when to stop. Learn what triggers the onset of your symptoms and learn how to avoid them. Know that it’s okay to take a break, it’s okay to not be productive, it’s okay to listen to your body.
Do not compare
One of the biggest battles that you have to conquer is the feeling of not being able to compete and measure up. And the only way to surpass this is to finally realize that you do not have to do it in the first place.
Us chronically ill, we tend to get jealous of other people’s achievements, we see them and what they have accomplished, and we compare those to what we have done and to what we still have left to do.
Learn how to find contentment with where you are, knowing that you are doing your best, and knowing that you are here for a reason. Trust that you are never early, and you are never too late, too. You are on time, you are moving at your own pace, and according to your own timeline.
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