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Best & Worst Part About Being Stuck at Home (From 32 People with Chronic Illness & Disability)

Best & Worst Part About Being Stuck at Home (From 32 People with Chronic Illness & Disability) | A Chronic Voice

In the first part of this series, people with chronic illness and disability shared their best tips for coping with isolation whilst stuck at home, often from pain or fatigue. With the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing lockdown, many healthy people have found themselves in similar situations. Perhaps with less pain and fatigue, yet the mental health impact is real no matter who you are or what you have. Whether you are an introvert, extrovert, or whatever ‘vert’ you view yourself as, this change in our normal routines creates a disturbance in our own lake of life, sending ripples across that impact everything else. There is a difference between peaceful solitude, and a reduction of freedom and human connection.

    THIS POST IS PART OF A THREE-PART SERIES:

  1. ’29 Best Tips on How to Cope with Isolation at Home (from People Who Have Done and Will Do This All Their Lives)’
  2. Best & Worst Part About Being Stuck at Home (From 32 People with Chronic Illness & Disability) (This post!)
  3. What Stops You from Leaving the House on a Normal Day (sans COVID-19)? (Coming soon!)

An Interesting Contrast in Opinions

It was interesting to read what others with chronic illness and disability viewed as the best and worst parts about being stuck at home, even if it’s more regular for them than others. What were seen as positives for some were seen as negatives for others, and vice versa. Some find it hard to be apart from their friends and families physically, whilst others have grown closer to their loved ones as a result. Quite a number have found it a relief to ‘let the house go’ and not feel pressured in its upkeep, whilst many others are bored of staring at the same four walls day in and out. Some are doing less exercise, whilst others are doing more!

Take a look at what those with chronic illness and disability have to say about the best and worst parts about being stuck at home below. Is it something you can relate to, whether you live with a chronic health condition or not?

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*Updated with new additions at the bottom! (29 May 2020)

What’s the Best & Worst Part About Being Stuck at Home?


“Lack of sexual contact/intimacy (not gonna lie haha).”


“Get to catch up on reading! 🙂 ”

– Anonymous –


“Higher utilities bill. Haha.”


“Save time from commuting.”

– Khai Hoon –


“Feeling like the world is passing you by. Everything can feel out of control for you and you feel like can’t contribute. You’re not able to do the things that bring you joy like seeing family and friends, travel, and go to the office. Also this feeling of wasting your days. Like you’re just lying there, and not achieving anything.”


“You get to pause and slow down. Spend time with pets if you have them. Find other ways that you can contribute and feel productive, whether that is through finding charities you can help by donating or admin things from home, or just being a voice on the other end of the phone for someone who might be having an even worse time than you. Also cooking. If you feel well enough that is. Some days you don’t, and that’s ok, but some time to make and eat comfort food, and rediscover joy in the small things is nice.”

– Ash –


“Boredom.”


“I get to structure my rest time more effectively.”


“My kids are all here all day too!”


“Really saving energy on the usual routine.”


“Not being able to see friends and family.”


“Being able to take time to slow down and spend time on interests that I enjoy such as cooking, yoga and doing really hard jigsaw puzzles!”


“Not being able to see my family or go out to the beach when I fancy a change of scenery.”


“The freedom of not having to be anywhere at a specific time.”


“No one to talk to all day. Finding the discipline to exercise.”


“Having time to read and research for my Uni degree. Having the freedom to watch a movie or documentary on Netflix.”

– Karen Taylor –


“No direct in-person contact with other people. I’m a ‘people person’ and there’s no substitute.”


“Catch up with little projects that had fallen by the wayside. Hopefully try something new. For example, I’d like to learn more about painting.”

– Susan C Smith –


“Four walls syndrome! Being bored.”


“Time to catch up on emails, movies and crafts. Time to catch up with family.”

– Stacey Kovaciny –


“Missing out on social interaction which is all too important for mental health.”


“You have time to focus internally and question what is truly important to you.”


“Not being to have my son’s family over and hug my granddaughter.”


“Not having the pressure of commitments that I end up disappointing people if I can’t follow through.”


“The precious little parts of life that I didn’t even realize mattered to me – having options at the store, passing strangers on the street without being scared, freedom of movement (even when I stayed at home and was happy not to have plans!), hugs from people – even casual acquaintances…to name just a few.”


“I have few excuses not to clean my home anymore. I now have the time to clean in little chunks of time and not burn myself out physically.”


“It’s all perspective. I don’t really feel like there is a ‘worst’ part. The biggest problem though is that I feel a loss of freedom.”


“I don’t really view this as being ‘stuck.’ I replace the word ‘stuck’ with the phrase ‘get-to.’ I get to be at home. The best part is being able to focus on my 3 core values – Family, Faith and Health.”


“I’m a very social person so not seeing and socializing with my family and friends is difficult at times.”


“The mornings are the hardest for me when living with severe Rheumatoid Arthritis due to pain and stiffness. Therefore, It’s easier for me to get ready for work in my own environment without having to get up early and I can adjust the temperature in my house to make the mornings more comfortable &manageable. I’ve come to realize that working at home is actually ideal for me!”


“How lonely it is.”


“There isn’t the pressure of needing to keep on top of the house haha.”


“Being unable to help friends and family in need.”


“Getting to wear comfy clothes.”

– Jen Johansson –


“Lack of social life, guilt for cancelling plans, the fear of missing out. At least with COVID everyone is in the same boat.”


“There is infinite time to create with little distractions. I encourage you to follow your energy and do the things you thought you didn’t have time for before ”


“The worst part of being stuck at home is lack of human contact. It’s hard being by yourself all the time. It’s especially hard seeing everyone else out enjoying themselves when you can’t leave your home.”


“Reading as much as my heart contents, working on my indoor garden, and playing with my cats. I started my indoor garden project in 2015 and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. It keeps me focused and occupied and there is no denying that having nature around is exceptionally good for your mental health.”


“Not seeing family. It was my Dad’s 87th birthday last week and I couldn’t visit him.”


“Comfy clothes and messy hair.”


“I feel that time is passing me by and before I know it the years have started to slip by, as though I’m watching life outside my window on fast-forward. Being limited in what you can do because of chronic illness/pain can mean you feel you’re missing out, which isn’t easy to accept and can lead to loneliness, frustration and even resentment unless we’re able to adapt our perspective.”


“I’ve come to appreciate home as my sanctuary and relish the small, simple joys. I’ve found a better place of contentment, along with an understanding of the difference between that and complacency. I’ve found great gratitude in comfort at being at home with illness and pain.”


“The worst part about being stuck at home is not having access to my treatments, as well as the fear that comes from not being able to go to the hospital in the case of an emergency due to the risk of COVID-19 exposure. Although I am mostly housebound regardless, it was nice to know I could leave the house if I wanted to risk the potential consequences.”


“The best part about being stuck at home is the additional time spent with my immediate family in my household who are also stuck at home. Currently, I do not have to feel guilty or perceived by others as lazy for staying home due to chronic illness because now social isolation is mandated.”


“Isolation and loneliness.”


“Quality time with my husband.”


“I’m quite used to it so don’t actually mind it – but I do fear going out of the house. I get all anxious and I get impatient and snappy.”


“Knowing I am doing what I can to stay safe and spending quality time with my family.”


“The lack of support and interactions with friends and family.”


“Not being exposed to illness, not being embarrassed when at times I am unable to eat or swallow. I am avoiding the embarrassment of my disease as I am not exposed to others.”

– Kevin B –


“Cabin fever!”


“Getting caught up on my to-do list!”


“Not seeing family and friends.”


“Staying safe. Appreciating what I have. Time for myself.”

– Gemma –


“Being afraid to go outside.”


“It’s been the impetus I’ve needed to reconnect with friends and family in a more meaningful way. I’m reminded of how I used to talk on the phone with my friends as a kid, calling just to say hi and nothing more. I’ve talked to people I hadn’t had contact with in years. I feel my social circle and heart widening again.”


“Not being able to do the things I used to look forward to doing on my good days. Good days are no different than my bad ones.”


“The best part of being stuck at home is not having to decline invitations out! No excuses to come up with or feeling like I have to prove how much pain I am in.”


“Missing friends and family, just meeting for coffee!”


“Having time to assess where I see myself after lockdown.”


“Boredom and loneliness.”


“Spending time with my dog.”


“I miss working in cafés from time to time. It helps with my productivity and mood.”


“I’m actually going on more walks in replacement of going to cafés. It’s nice to be in touch more with nature and get more exercise!”

– Sheryl Chan –


Check Out the Latest Contributions Below:

“My children are around me fussing about: the pandemic, can we go here or there, can I see my boyfriend why do I have to wear a mask, we can’t live like this forever, the Governor said we could do xyz at our discretion so why can’t we do fill in the blank, and I could go on.

Not knowing how to handle your kids’ mental health, understand the pandemic and reasons for why we need to do what we have to do. To be the parent and say no one has ever been through this on Earth up until now, we’ve never been through this we don’t know what to do, or say, or feel either. It is such a helpless, sad, disheartening, guilty, scary, indecisive feeling to not know how to raise your kids during this time in terms of all that encompasses a pandemic.

(Sorry this is wordy…I think you get my point) making decisions as a parent is hard enough, and now the pandemic multiplied it by a hundred times!)”



“Being home and spending time with my children. My husband is a nurse practitioner so I see him the same amount as I did before. Getting back into my love for adult coloring. Being so much more grateful to The Lord for all we have! People understanding the quote I love a lot more than before, ‘when you have your health, you have wealth.’ Nothing can move forward or happen if you don’t have your great health. I APPRECIATE it so much more now!”

– Jaime Smith –

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this roundup! Submissions are still open; click here to fill in the form and I’ll add your opinion to this list if it’s suitable 🙂

Note: The article is based on each individual’s own experiences, and nothing should be taken as medical advice. Always be sure to check with your doctor before you start on any new treatment or protocol.

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Best & Worst Part About Being Stuck at Home (From 32 People with Chronic Illness & Disability) | A Chronic Voice

Best & Worst Part About Being Stuck at Home (From 32 People with Chronic Illness & Disability) | A Chronic Voice

Best & Worst Part About Being Stuck at Home (From 32 People with Chronic Illness & Disability) | A Chronic Voice

14 comments

  • It’s an honor, as always, to be included. I mentioned last night that I really hope this series goes viral for you. I think the happy and sad faces are pretty cute too. Reading through the comments here, I realize I’m the only one who never entered a formal lockdown in Taiwan.

    As an aside, President Tsai Ing Wen and her government did a great job of keeping Taiwan safe. I feel like I’m in a bit of a bubble over here compared to the rest of the world.

    I’ve worked from home for 10 years, so nothing has really changed for me. I’ve got my routine in place, (I HATE ZOOM AND SKYPE, but that has been a part of my life for years because I’m in HR), and I’m really used to and most comfortable being at home in an environment I have complete control over.

    • Hi Carrie, yes President Tsai Ing Wen did a really good job enforcing things early on. I was reading about some foreward thinking women leaders on this issue which included her, Chancellor Angela Merkel, etc.

      I also hate Skype and Zoom lol. I only do it if i absolutely have to (I wonder if that’s why I haven’t started my podcast lol…).

      And of course you’d be included as always 🙂 Not viral at all, but a little space on the internet for voices to be heard! Thanks! I thought it was better to combine them and was scratching my head as to the best way to display them, and thought the faces made it easier haha.

  • The overriding them is the isolation we are facing is exasperated even more by the quarantine time. However, chronic illness sure brings isolation more than I ever realized. I’m glad to have found this community (thank you Sheryl for being a big part of connecting us). We have others who truly understand and don’t judge us for how we’re feeling.

    • You’re most welcome, Katie. I enjoy being a part of this community and am happy to help where I can, according to my own energy boundaries, too. It’s always a comfort just to know there are kind people out there, and people who understand without explaining anything 🙂

  • I nodded along to a lot of these. Alice’s point is one I experienced today, going out the house and getting anxious and snappy! It doesn’t matter how careful you are because you have to trust other people are going to be likewise sensible and cautious, when the reality is you’ll often find many people that aren’t (you know, the ones that ignore the distancing and stand next to you in a queue, that veer in your direction on the pavement, that shout across your face talking to someone as you try to distance in a shop). Yep, makes me anxious & mad in equal measure!

    Loved reading through these, and thank you for including my thoughts, too. You’ve done an amazing job and put in so much effort in collating it all together, Sheryl.

    Caz xx

    • Thanks Caz and for your contribution, too! Yea some people can be so insensitive. And some complain over really nothing at all. That bugs me a lot. What’s a small sacrifice of say, wearing a face mask and doing some social distancing for a while, or a longer period, as compared to the world remaining in shutdown for even longer?

  • It’s so nice to read a post with contributions capturing so many different perspectives! I feel like I can relate to so many of them. Personally, I’ve found the hardest part to be socially isolated from my friends. Zoom calls just don’t do it for me. On the flip side, I’ve been working much more and have been way more productive 🙂

    • Thanks Jason…it is all so relatable, isn’t it? Yea I generally hate phone or Zoom/Skype calls…they make me anxious for some reason haha. That’s good that you’re more productive! I need to switch things up every now and then to be productive, and the environment matters. So I have been going on more walks, too 🙂

  • Sheryl! It’s so nice to read all of these – everyone had something different to say. I think I miss being able to go to my physiotherapist but I am also glad that I’m being able to make time for focus. Our lockdown has been going on for over 2 months now and although things are opening up slowly, my movement outside home won’t be for a while even once things start to get better (which seems like ages away!)… Anyways – I think I went off on a tangent. I enjoyed all these perspectives that you manage to bring together. 🙂

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Shruti! Yes our lockdown doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon in Singapore, or going at an extremely cautious pace, which is good I suppose! Does drive one up the wall, but what do you do. I also found all the perspectives interesting! Always good to hear opposing schools of thoughts and how it helps them to cope 🙂

  • I really love these posts with insights from the chronic illness community, so insightful. I feel the same as so many people that not seeing friends and family is the hardest aspect of staying home. But it also makes me feel safer, so FaceTime and Zoom is so important right now.

    • Yes for some people more than others, the disconnect from friends and family can be really difficult to cope with. I am glad for technology, that’s for sure! I hope you continue to find joy in the little things xxx

  • Thank you once again, Sheryl, for providing these opportunities, some interesting responses x

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