How to Maintain a Sense of Independence When You're Sick | The Health Sessions

How to Maintain a Sense of Independence When You’re Sick

No man is an island. As much as we’d all like to believe we’re independent creatures, everybody depends on others for things like food, shelter, transportation and medical care.

But when you have to rely on others for your most basic self-care, from getting dressed to making a sandwich, ‘dependency’ gets a whole new meaning. Without help, everyday things suddenly become a major obstacle.

A study from the UK shows that many people with chronic illness are very concerned about becoming a burden. So much so, that some sick people will go to “supernormal lengths” to keep doing their part, even when that takes a physical toll on them. Being dependent can also make people feel useless, guilty and shameful. And this uselessness only intensifies the loss of self so many ill people struggle with.

But when you’re chronically ill and are limited in what you can do, how can you maintain a sense of independence despite your real reliance? There’s no simple answer, but here are some ideas.

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How to Boost Your Energy - Spoonie-Style | The Health Sessions

10 Subtle Ways to Boost Your Energy (Spoonie-Style)

This blog post contains some affiliate links to resources you may find useful, at no extra costs to you. All opinions are my own. 

Money may make the world go round, but energy is the true currency of life.

This becomes all too clear when you’re no longer able to do the everyday things you used to do on autopilot. Getting dressed, eating breakfast or having a conversation, it all requires energy. And people with chronic illness only have a limited supply of energy, as the spoon theory famously explains.

Now obviously, treating the underlying cause of your fatigue should be the first step you take. Also, the combination of restorative sleep, good nutrition and regular exercise is a proven recipe to boost your energy levels. The problem is, that when you suffer from health problems, those fundamental habits aren’t always easy to attain. Pain keeps you up at night, which means you have even less energy to make healthy meals or go for a walk. Not to mention that pushing through the fatigue often only worsens your symptoms.

So if you suffer from all-consuming tiredness from chronic illness, is there anything you can do to feel more alert and productive? Have a look at these 10 spoonie-proof ways to boost your energy.

Read more >10 Subtle Ways to Boost Your Energy (Spoonie-Style)

Does Having a Chronic Illness Mean You Can Never Recover? | The Health Sessions

Does Having a Chronic Illness Mean You Can Never Recover?

Being diagnosed with a chronic illness can feel like a life sentence. After all, the word ‘chronic’ by definition refers to a continuing event; something that occurs again and again for a long time; or something that’s always present.

The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention defines chronic illness as a health condition that lasts one year or more, requires ongoing medical attention and/or limits your daily functioning. Generally, people with chronic illnesses like arthritis, COPD, epilepsy and kidney disease cannot be cured by medication, only manage their daily symptoms.

Does that imply that having a chronic illness means you can never recover again?

Read more >Does Having a Chronic Illness Mean You Can Never Recover?

3 Tips to Fix the Unbalance of Working from Home | The Health Sessions

3 Tips to Fix the Unbalance of Working from Home

This article is written by Sarah Smith.  The COVID-19 pandemic has most of us staying home, and that means millions of people are now also working from home. The sudden change to working from home can be difficult for many people and can lead to detrimental imbalances. No matter if you’re staying home in self-quarantine … Read more >

13 Transformative Quotes about Growth | The Health Sessions

13 Transformative Quotes about Change

Change can be a little scary. Even positive changes like moving to a new city, changing jobs or becoming a parent can make you feel uncomfortable, because it involves stepping out of your comfort zone without knowing how things will turn out.

When your life is suddenly turned upside down by illness or loss, it’s not just uncertainty and fear of the unknown that affect you.  You also grieve all the things you unexpectedly have to miss – your normal activities, the plans you’d made, someone you loved.

In the middle of such a crisis, the last thing you want – or need! – to hear is that adversity can also be an opportunity for growth. But there is some truth in those words. Change, good or bad, is not only an ending, but also a new beginning. Life-altering events like becoming chronically ill cause immense suffering. Nobody wishes for that kind of ‘opportunity’, but sometimes, your struggle can also bring you unforeseen positive things. Maybe you’ll become (even) more resilient and compassionate. Or perhaps your relationships grow stronger and you discover what truly matters to you. There’s even a psychological term for the inner strength and newfound appreciation for life people experience after enduring hardship: post-traumatic growth.

So when you’re ready, how can you look for the new possibilities hidden within the adversity? Get inspired by these 13 transformative quotes about change. 

Read more >13 Transformative Quotes about Change