Why I Love Online Learning with Chronic Illness

online learning for chronic illness
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Let’s talk online learning for adults with chronic illness. 2020 was the beginning of a mass exodus to the online space for so many things. Especially for online learning. And it is such a great thing for those of us with chronic illness!

I’ve been utilising online learning options for years.

online learning for chronic illness

Because I love to learn but I need to do it in a pain, fatigue and family friendly manner.

Online learning is undergoing a revolution. And I am proud to be part of it. Both as a student and a teacher.

Fun fact: When I was studying to be a yoga teacher in 2019 (online!) people were confused that I wanted to share yoga for people with chronic illness online. Yoga? Online? What? Well, over the next year (2020) EVERYONE went online. They had to or face bankruptcy.

My first brush with online learning was during my first year out of university, I was working full time in an administrative job and was bored. So I took an extra paper online (I was thinking of doing further studies). This was through one of New Zealand’s major universities. In 2007. So online learning isn’t new. Or less academic.


What are the benefits of online learning for people with chronic illness?

  • Accessibility
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Variety (options that would traditionally be location-bound)
  • Safety – many of us are immune compromised
  • Interest/fun

Many of us have chronic conditions that don’t make us unable to learn or work. We just need more flexibility to be able to do it.

Let’s talk accessibility of online learning for people with chronic illness

This word, “accessibility” spans so many things. In this space, it means being to access the learning when our brain fog, pain and energy levels allow. For me, it also means fitting it around my children. Anything that enables us to plan our own schedule in this way makes it accessible. It also means being able to change that schedule.

This is why I tend to offer only pre-recorded options. If I offer live options, I always offer it recorded later. I know how precious this is.

Accessibility also encompasses the learning formats on offer. Video, audio and written. The ability to use any combination makes it easier for those with varying disabilities to navigate.

It also means we don’t have to leave our house. This saves so much energy. And makes it accessible for people who can’t drive. People who are bedbound but able to listen for a short time each day can also do it.

What are the options of online learning?

There are loads of options online now. Google search and you will find a ton. Udemy, Skillshare, Lynda, famous universities, individual course creators and more.

Heck, I have online learning options. You can find them all here.

You can also piece together your own program of learning by using free options out there. YouTube has a ton of video options. You can watch workshops on everything from baking sourdough bread to editing video. It’s not going to be able to take you from A through to Z and guide you well. But it is good for one off skills you want to pick up.

online learning for adults with chronic illness

My Absolute Favourite Online Learning Course Provider is Transformation Academy

Affiliate notice: I am an affiliate for Transformation Academy, if you purchase a program of theirs using my link, I will make a commission at no extra cost to you. I am sharing my personal experience here and it is not influenced by this relationship.

I have taken several courses through Transformation Academy. There are more on my wishlist.

Natalie and Joeel have done this dance. They have both experienced chronic ill health. This business was created when Joeel was pretty sick. Transformation Academy believe in self-empowerment, personal development, coaching and the democratization of education (making it accessible).

In 2019 I took their Life Coaching Certification course (to help me with my work on this blog). I went on to take their Group Coaching Certification and Mindfulness Life Coach Certification over the next year.

In 2021 I began their Online Course Revolution course. All of them are well thought out, well paced, provide excellent ways to enact what you learn (they are self-paced courses however). They are also rooted in their experience (education, coaching and business). There are also many courses in partnership with experts in other fields.

There are so many options from personal development, business development and coaching (of all variations). You can learn skills for your own business, for personal development or for your career (or future career).

I highly recommend checking them out.

Let’s Talk about the Interest/Fun part

We can cultivate:

  • Hobbies
  • Skills for business
  • Start upskilling for a career move and,
  • Improve skills for our current job.

The world is literally our oyster. Think of it like those adult education courses that they used to run in school halls (maybe they still do?). Except that the options are endless and we don’t have to leave our house.

Have you done any online learning recently? What are your favourites?

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