Why You Need a Coping Box + How to Create Your Own

It’s the one strategy that’s helped me out more times than I can remember when trying to deal with debilitating symptoms and their accompanying emotions: Having a coping box. When we’re in pain or despair, stressed or lonely, we can all use a little extra support to help us deal with those feelings. In the … Read more >

Relaxing from Head to Toe: The Mindful Body Scan

Relaxing from Head to Toe: The Mindful Body Scan | The Health Sessions


This post is an excerpt from my upcoming e-book “How to Create Your Own Action Plan for Recovery“. If you want to stay updated on the release of the book, sign up for weekly newsletters from The Health Sessions here


All day long, your senses are bombarded with information – sights, sounds, smells. Your brain is constantly busy selecting and interpreting these stimuli, storing what’s important into your long – term memory.

Turning your attention inwards instead of to the world around you has several benefits for your health.

Brain studies suggest that observing what’s happening inside of you – your thoughts, emotions and physical sensations – taps into a different part of your brain than watching the outside world does. Instead of solely relying upon the frontal lobes of the neocortex, focusing on your feelings also activates evolutionary older parts of your brain that are associated with emotional reactions and the integration of physical experiences. It’s that bypass of the thinking and judging parts of your brain that makes mindfulness such an effective method to find your calm when you can’t seem to stop your racing thoughts.

Learning to tune into your body also allows you to pick up signals of stress, pain and exertion before these symptoms become (too) serious.

A mindful body scan is a powerful way to get in touch with your body and really notice what you’re sensing, without judging or trying to change what’s happening within. At first glance, a body scan might seem like you’re just lying down doing nothing. But it involves a little more than that. Because while your body is resting, your mind goes on a guided tour from your toes to your head, pausing at each part and paying attention to what you’re feeling.

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Pain, Periods & Peaks: Sophie McDonald On Living with Endometriosis

What’s it really like to live with chronic illness every day? How do you deal with the physical symptoms, emotional turmoil and practical problems? In this interview series, real life ‘spoonies’ share their stories and tips.

Sophie McDonald on Living with Endometriosis | The Health Sessions

Sophie McDonald is a student mental health nurse from York who suffers from endometriosis. She is currently training to hike the Yorkshire Three Peak with her husband Tom, to fundraise for Endometriosis UK. 


Tell us a little about yourself.

 I’m Sophie, just a few weeks away from turning 30 and I’m a student mental health nurse. I’m from Yorkshire, where I live with my husband. I have endometriosis and recently started running the Endometriosis UK support group in York.


When did you first get sick?

For anyone who is unfamiliar with endometriosis, it is a condition affecting 1 in 10 women where cells similar to those lining the uterus grow outside of that area, often in other parts of the pelvis such as the ovaries, fallopian tubes, bladder and bowel. These cells react in a similar way to those lining the uterus, responding to hormonal changes in the body and bleeding when a women is on her period, causing chronic inflammation.

Endometriosis can cause chronic pain, heavy and prolonged periods, bladder and bowel problems, fatigue and infertility. There are treatments available to manage the symptoms, but there is no cure. It’s important to note that symptoms vary considerably and no two women will have the same experience or response to treatment.

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How to Cope with a Neurological Condition: Rhiann Johns on Pain, Pacing and Positivity

What’s it really like to live with chronic illness every day? How do you deal with the physical symptoms, emotional turmoil and practical problems? In this interview series, real life ‘spoonies’ share their stories and tips.


Coping with a Neurological Condition: Rhiann Johns on Pain, Pacing and Positivity | The Health Sessions


Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Rhiann and I am nearly 30 from a small town called Pontypridd in South Wales. I was diagnosed with a neurological condition, known as a long-standing brain stem lesion which causes dizziness, vertigo and a symptom known as spastic paraparesis which causes severe stiffness and weakness in the legs. I have a 2:1 degree in Psychology and currently live with my parents and dog called Honey. I write on my personal blog called ‘My Brain Lesion and Me’.


When did you first get sick?

This is a really interesting question and one which we cannot answer! Funnily enough, when I was first born the doctors thought that there was something wrong with me, and I had a brain scan at 2 days old. Looking back there were little signs throughout my childhood that there wasn’t something quite right, but they were easy to brush off as part of growing up. Throughout my late childhood and teenage years, the dizziness was a big part of my life, which only deteriorated as I became older, along with all my other symptoms and especially the problems with my mobility.

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Surviving Flu Season: 12 Natural Tips to Fight Off Colds and Bugs

Surviving Flu Season 1


Cold and flu season is in full swing.

In the winter months, nasty bacteria and viruses seem to be lurking around every corner. But as it turns out, catching a cold has little to do with the temperature outside, but more with our bodies’ decreased ability to ward off bugs. Research suggests we get sick more often during winter because our immune systems are weakened this time of year.

Luckily, science has also identified ways to boost your immunity through your lifestyle. Now, living healthily is no guarantee to completely prevent illness, but it does give you a better chance to fight off the cold and flu or shorten the duration of your symptoms if you do get ill.

So beat the bugs this year and have a look at these 12 natural tips to survive flu season. 

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