Moving from home with a chronic illness

by Guest Contributor

27 September, 2017

By Liam Richards

Moving away from home can be hard enough for a normal person but it can be even harder for someone suffering from a chronic illness such as chronic fatigue syndrome (this link will help you learn more about the illness).

I personally moved from home for university whilst suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome and come back in the summers, I was worried prior to this what it would do to my health so spoke to my hospital to gain advice. The tips I am going to give are both recommendations I received and things I have discovered living away from home. I am in no way a health expert and these tips may not work for you as everyone is different.

Social /

My first tip is one that helps you when you are suffering from low spells or relapses, build a support network. A support network consists of people who will be there in your time of need to give you the boost you need, advice or just someone to talk to. They could be family, friends, medical professionals, colleagues/tutors if you are at university or online such as forums. By building a support network you will know who you can talk to whilst experiencing certain issues from your health or just moving away from home in general. If you feel uncomfortable talking to those close to you, an alternative could be to use forums with other CFS sufferers such as Phoenix Rising which is one that I have used in the past.

Food /

My next tip focuses on saving your precious energy and that is to do online shopping. By doing this will be able to save your energy and be able to have a great selection of food rather than just a local corner shop. This leads onto my next tip which is to eat healthily which is easier to do online as you don’t have to worry about carrying it all home and have the option to a wide healthy range of foods.

By eating healthily, it can help to improve your some symptoms, avoiding processed foods can help your body lose less energy as it will be breaking down more natural foods. Some may find it hard to prepare healthy food so it helps to do meal preparation when you have spare time, saving precious energy when you need to cook in the evening after a long day when you will lack motivation and possibly end up ordering an unhealthy takeaway or ready meal. When the meals are prepared in advance it makes it a lot easier when you might lack the motivation as you just need to heat it up and possibly add some fresh ingredients to add variation.

Rest /

Rest is vital when you suffer from a chronic illness and the outside world can interfere with this so it is worth making purchases that can help to limit this. Earplugs or noise cancelling headphones are great if you live by a busy street or with noisy house mates/neighbours. If you suffer from photosensitivity, it helps to have black-out curtains or an eye mask to limit the light. This should help reduce the provocation of migraines, in turn allowing you to relax to the best of your ability.

Software /

There are multiple types of software that can help with both studying and working. The most helpful one I have used is Claroread, it reads highlighted text from your screen helping to reduce the fatigue on your eyes as well as helping with proofreading as you can hear what your text sounds like. This helps you to spot errors when checking over emails, assignments, or essays. Another helpful piece of software for writing on the computer is Dragon Naturally Speaking, which allows the user to talk into a microphone and it will type the words for you. This allows the user to rest but still work from the comfort of their bed if they need to. It might also be of help to use a calendar that syncs on your multiple platforms, this will help function like a second brain and help to remind you of upcoming events or create to-do lists for each day.


Hopefully, these tips can be of some help to those with a chronic illness for when they are moving or deciding whether to move from home. Most of these tips come from my experience of my first year at university but can be applied to those who are working as well.