Living With An Autoimmune Condition And Staying Young At Heart

42524400 - girl drinking a glass of waterThey say the key to living a long and happy life is to always stay young at heart. I’m not 100% sure who “they” is, but someone said that once and I’m rolling with it. But what exactly does staying young at heart mean? It’s having a joyous (which is different from happy, mind you), fulfilling life – no matter what challenges life throws your way. For many of us, that challenge is being diagnosed with an autoimmune condition.. or two, or three.

Oftentimes, after an autoimmune disease diagnosis, you become a little old at heart (if that’s a thing). You want to stay in bed, worry about yourself, your family and the future, and focus on the hardships life has to offer us — all of which are natural with a chronic condition diagnosis, especially a sudden one. But that doesn’t make our lives any more joyful, and it probably doesn’t make for a long life either. Even with an autoimmune disease, it’s important to still focus on the positives of life. Otherwise, there isn’t much to fight for.

So what are some child-like qualities that you can incorporate into your thought processes now as you deal with your health struggles?

Kids are optimistic.
Although we’re all familiar with a two-year-old’s tantrums, we can all agree that kids generally have a very optimistic view of the world. They have big dreams and truly believe that they are capable of anything. They see the world a as a playground.

Even though you are dealing with an autoimmune life, it is still possible to believe that good things will come your way. You can stay optimistic about the future and what it holds for you and your family. It’s okay to look on the bright side every now and then.

Kids are silly.
Kids don’t always take everything so seriously. They take the time to laugh and joke. They want to have fun all the time.

You can also still find time to laugh and love. You can be silly, especially when it comes to making memories with your sweet children. Your own struggles don’t have to take all of the fun out of your days. It’s healthy to let loose every now and then.

Kids get excited.
When something good happens to a little kid, they can’t contain their enthusiasm. When they have something coming up that they’re looking forward to, it’s all they can talk about. Kids are full of excitement for life. And they’re not afraid to show it.

You can still find excitement in your life. Maybe you are excited about the triumphs your kids have at school. You can be excited about the little triumphs you make with your own health as well. Don’t be afraid to feel good and energetic about the good things that will happen to you on this pathway through having an autoimmune disease.

Kids find beauty in little things.
One of the greatest things about kids are that they experience a lot of things for the first time. This makes them enthusiastic about tiny details in every day life that most of us are bored with. They find animals beautiful and places interesting.

Even though your world may be dark right now, you can still find beauty in little things. You can be amazed at how generous your doctors are with their time and support. You can be enthusiastic about having a day where you feel really good after a lot of hard days.

Kids are curious.
Kids are always looking to learn about the world around them. They like to learn little facts and they enjoy learning in school (although they may tell you otherwise sometimes). Kids want to learn anything and everything they can about life.

You can stay curious too. You can want to learn about your autoimmune condition and what it will mean to your life. You can find a passion in learning about what helps you feel better with this diagnosis.

Don’t let your autoimmune disease make you old at heart. Take these beautiful aspects from kids and incorporate them into your mindset. You might just be surprised at how much your life can change with a little child-like humor, creativity and love.


About the Author
Katie Cleary is founder of  She lives with her autoimmune conditions and her family in Austin, Texas.

This post contains opinions of the author. is not a medical practice and does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  It is your responsibility to seek diagnosis, treatment, and advice from qualified providers based on your condition and particular circumstances.  Camino Real Ventures, Inc., the company that makes available to you, does not endorse nor recommend any products, practices, treatment methods, tests, physicians, service providers, procedures, clinical trials, opinions or information available on this website.  Your use of the website is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy


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