Are you a spoonie? If you have a chronic illness, the chances are high that you know what that term means. Originally written about in a post entitled “The Spoon Theory” by Christine Miserandino, spoonies are anyone with a chronic illness that subscribes to Miserandino’s theory that while there are some days in which someone may have an abundance of spoons (or energy) in their drawer, there are other days that they feel like they come up short.

The ups and downs of living with a chronic illness can be tough enough to ride out from an emotional perspective, and having language about spoons can help analogize how you’re feeling to others. This is because some activities, like getting dressed in the morning or socializing at a crowded event, might take a different amount of spoons to complete than someone without a chronic disease may need. Finding your spoonie tribe is thus a great way to get extra support from a sympathetic group of people.

Here are three ways to go about finding the right spoonie tribe for you.

The Internet is Your Friend

One of the most exciting aspects of the internet is the ability to connect different people together. Particularly if you’re facing a chronic condition like rheumatoid arthritis or endometriosis, it can be tough to navigate life without feeling like you’re alone. However, social media websites like Reddit, Facebook, and theTUNDRA allow you to find like-minded communities and people with similar interests.

Whether you’re looking to discover other spoonies in your area or are interested in exploring a new hobby with the ability to discuss your chronic illness anonymously, theTUNDRA can be a great resource for building community. From birdwatching and boardgames to photography and wine, there are dozens of communities on the social network to join and participate in.

Look for Spoonie Hobby Groups

If you’re more interested in making face-to-face connections and friendships, it can be useful to look for hobby groups near you that are able to accommodate fellow spoonies. Yoga, in particular, has recently experienced a surge in so-called spoonie yoga tribes. Featuring yoga routines and positions that are more appropriate for individuals with chronic illnesses, spoonie yoga can be a great way to meet others while performing a physically restorative activity.

Best of all, many yoga studios offering spoonie yoga reduce their monthly membership fee out of an understanding that there may be several days during the month when you’re unable to attend class due to a flare-up.

Find Spoonie-approved Doctor

Whether you have interstitial cystitis or Crohn’s disease, finding the right healthcare provider can make a world of difference in facing your condition. If you’re looking for the right specialist to meet your needs, an online directory of doctors and hospitals like HealthSoul can be a major boon for you. This is because, in addition to displaying different networks of doctors,

HealthSoul also features reviews from patients to help guide your decision-making. Having more information from other spoonies about a specific healthcare provider can ultimately make a big difference in the kind of treatment you receive as well as your outlook on life.

As outlined in a New York Times article about being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, there are relational and mental changes that go far deeper than the physical changes you experience as someone with a chronic illness. Finding a true community can be a great way to combat these sometimes isolating feelings, and can ultimately help you on a road to your new normal.

By being honest with yourself and seeking out positive communities and healthcare providers, you increase your chances of living a happy life, even with your chronic condition.

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