You Can’t Life Hack Your Way to Health


This is the age of obsession with instant gratification.

The abundance of “life hacks” proves it.

Whatever you want, someone has a life hack so that you can get it faster. Whatever problem you might have, someone with access to the internet and half a brain has an opinion about how you can fix it right now.

Life hack culture has reimagined tasks and made them as easy and quick as possible. This can be incredibly helpful! Or, it can simply be too good to be true. Five-minute crafts, I’m looking at you.

Recently, I’ve noticed how life hack culture has started mingling with chronic illness and chronic pain communities. This has resulted in some practical, helpful advice. You can find life hacks and tips all over the internet about remembering to take your meds, surviving traveling, battling brain fog, or getting the most out of your doctor’s appointments.

However, I’ve also noticed an extremely toxic trend that is a byproduct of life hack culture.

Life hack culture has caused people to oversimplify chronic health problems in a way that is incredibly invalidating.

If you take this supplement, you’ll feel better. Life hack.

If you read this book, you’ll get better. Life hack.

If you follow this diet, you’ll be totally cured. Life hack.

If you go to this doctor, you’ll find relief. Life hack.

This just isn’t realistic. At all.

Sis, you can’t hack your way to health.

Your physical and emotional health is so much more complicated than that. Your health journey is unique to you. What works for other people may not work for you the same way.

The reality of chronic illness is that you can take all the right supplements, you can read all the right books, you can go to all the right doctors, you can eat all the right foods and you might still be sick. Now please pay close attention to what I’m going to say next. That is not your fault.

You can follow every one of the chronic illness “life hacks” that you can find. If you aren’t cured, that doesn’t mean you failed, that you’re weak, or that you’re not trying hard enough.

Chronic illness has a mind entirely of its own. It doesn’t follow the logic of your life hacks.

Your worth, your strength, and your resilience aren’t found in life hack culture.

Let’s Chat!

  • What life hacks about chronic illness have you come across?
  • Have you found them to be helpful or not?
  • What’s the best and worst life hack you’ve ever seen?

I’d love to know how life hack culture has impacted you!

-Alathia

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