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One of the biggest challenges of living with chronic illness can be the lack of support and understanding from others.

Symptoms of chronic illness, including extreme fatigue, brain fog and debilitating pain, may be dismissed by doctors and even family members as a mental health issue. And friends and family don’t always understand why someone can’t join an activity or social gathering.

The ranks of those suffering from chronic illness have swelled dramatically because of covid-19. Data collected in June by the U.S. Census Bureau and analyzed by the National Center for Health Statistics showed that nearly 1 in 5 Americans who developed the disease still have long-covid symptoms.

Whether you suffer from a chronic illness or know someone who does, we have three special reports that can help.

The first is on “pacing,” an activity-management strategy that people with extreme fatigue from chronic illness can use to live a more normal life. It’s complicated and means sacrificing favorite activities, but it can also help a person who feels constantly out of breath or unable to leave the bed.

We also have an illustrated story on “spoon theory,” a term often used by people with chronic illness to explain how they are feeling. This comic may help you find the language you need to communicate about the daily challenges of living with chronic illness.

And in case you missed it, we’re sharing our recent story on brain fog. The condition, a form of cognitive dysfunction, has been plaguing people with certain chronic illnesses for years. But now, a new wave of people with long covid are experiencing it, casting a spotlight on the often debilitating condition.

Normal poop, fake meat and mocktails

It’s been a busy week at The Washington Post, with a number of useful stories that will help you make informed decisions and live well every day. Here’s a selection of stories you won’t want to miss.

The big problem with plant-based meat: The ‘meat’ part

I have seasonal depression and a love-hate relationship with my light box

‘Drinking until I passed out’: Quit Lit targets women’s sobriety

Do mocktails really help you drink less alcohol?

Ask a Doctor: Are my bowel movements normal?

What grip strength can tell you about how well you’re aging

Single-use coffee pods have surprising environmental benefits over other brewing methods

Please let us know how we are doing. Email me at wellbeing@washpost.com.



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