How To Make Getting Ready For Work Easier With Chronic Illness

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Firstly – let me be honest and say I do not have this all figured out and I would appreciate all the tips and ideas you use in the comments!

I have been working now for over 8 months and I want to share with you a few of the ‘hacks’ I use to help make those early mornings a little bit easier, as notoriously, mornings with chronic illnesses are HARD work!


I always attempt to pick out my outfit the night before BUT – I also make sure I have clean, ironed options, ready to go, in the wardrobe in case I am not feeling it when I put it on. I enjoy ironing and will always iron before I put clothes away in my wardrobe so they are ready to go!

I post regularly on my Instagram about my outfit of the day and what to wear with an ostomy – spoiler alert – pretty much anything you want! I tend to shop in H&M and Matalan for work-wear, with stuff from New Look, Primark, George and Tu as well. I highly recommend the Matalan high waisted leggings for all ostomates – they are the best I have found by far (with New Look’s high waisted ones in second). Comfort is key and I find these places offer stylish, smart options for work that don’t make you compromise on the comfort!


I don’t skip breakfast – I think having to take medication with food for my whole life has made this a very definite habit for me. I tend to have cereal but also whizz up a shake which I can drink in the car if it is one of those mornings. For my shakes I use one of the Asda meal replacement shake sachets, a banana or two, a big scoop of peanut butter and some unsweetened almond milk. Sometimes I add in some milkshake powder for taste or use Nutella instead of the peanut butter for a choc hazelnut fix.

I fell into the trap of picking up lunch every day which was costing a fortune and completely unnecessary, so now I prep that the night before too. I often take leftovers from the night before, or get the microwave rice/couscous style things and add some chicken if I feel like it and I am sorted. I can’t decide what I want to eat and make it in the morning easily, as I really struggle with not feeling ready for that food and it making me nauseous, plus it saves me time!


I have talked about my dosette boxes before and here I go again – but I really do think they are one of the best things to have when you are chronically ill and on lots of meds like I am!

Mine are super pretty rainbow style but is just from Amazon – I’ve linked it {click here} as I’ve found it perfect with the 4 daily compartments, as well as it being sturdy. The boxes still close after years of use, unlike some others I have tried that fly open inconveniently sprinkling tablets all over the floor or inside the bottom of my bag. The case also makes it super convenient for travel and it is only £7.99!

Anyway, this makes mornings super easy – my tablets are there and ready to go and after taking my morning doses, I can just pop that day’s box in my bag for the lunchtime dose! While it takes a little time on a Sunday to fill this baby up, it saves MUCH more time in the long run and makes those morning much better.


This was a tip from the pain management lady who came to see me after my panprocotocolectomy and it actually works really well. She suggested in the morning, waking up, taking my tablets then giving myself 20 minutes or so to read the news, check emails or social media etc. before I get out of bed. I really struggle getting up in the mornings. It has been a good few hours since my last lot of pain relief and when you struggle with fatigue, even if it has been a decent night, you don’t exactly feel refreshed when you wake up. By giving my medications a bit of time to kick in before I get up, I feel a lot better once I start moving and this tip really helped me out so I hope it helps you!


This is definitely not something I always do, but my morning self thanks my past self when I do. I have a lot of ‘stuff’ to take to work with me – handbag, laptop, books etc. and when I have packed my laptop, charger and anything else I will need ready the night before, I can just grab and go, saving myself some vital minutes in the morning.


This isn’t actually one of mine but it works really well for me. My work place offers staggered start times so different teachers and staff are available throughput the day, around the school day when the children are in. I was allocated an 8.45 start time and it is perfect for me. I am able to start earlier and leave earlier (obviously not while the children are still in school) but this start time ensures I have time in the morning to get ready and do everything I need to – eat, medicate, shower, bag change etc. before leaving for work.

When you have a disability you have a right to ask for reasonable adjustments to help you in the workplace and if you struggle in the mornings, asking for a slightly later start time might be something you can talk to your employer about.

Well, I hope some of my routines have helped give you some ideas that may help you out. As I said at the beginning, if you have some tips or advice, please add them in the comments below for both me to see and the other readers – they would be much appreciated!

Take care everyone,

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