Minimalism and Illness

By Maureen DeGarmo

I just finished watching Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things.

In this film, Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus tell the story of how they simplified their lives and how that process affected them. Sharing the film around the country brings their message to a great number of people who want to reduce their footprint and live more simply.

Living with a Traumatic Illness causes widespread changes: working, relationships, family dynamics, home upkeep, and how we eat. The longer an illness persists, the more extensive the effects will be. What if simplifying our lives could help us manage our illness?

Here are some ideas for simplifying life, straight from the Minimalism documentary: Continue reading

8 Shortcuts to Getting Dinner on the Table

By Maureen DeGarmo

There are many different ways to stay organized, but, when you’re ill, the task of creating new solutions can be difficult. Also, doing things differently is sometimes easier to just start than to accept why it is necessary (credit for that thought goes to Sue West, an Organizing Coach in Amherst, NH).

One practical way to reduce stress is by simplifying meal planning. Here are some ideas: Continue reading

What is The Difference Between Accepting and Giving Up?

By Maureen DeGarmo

What is the difference between accepting and giving up? This can be a tough distinction for those who must bear a chronic illness, so let’s discuss it a bit. Start by identifying the things which cannot be changed.

For me, the fact that I have chronic vertigo will not change. I don’t have to like it, but accepting it will help me to create adaptations for my life. On the other hand, some things can be changed, Continue reading


By Maureen DeGarmo

Recently, I was driving down a street near my home, when I spotted a young woman with bright red hair, who was wearing a matching shirt. She was listening to some music, and skipping to the sound. Skipping! “When was the last time you skipped to the music?” I asked myself. Joy seemed to ooze out of this woman.

Joy is different than happiness. Continue reading