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

 

Rhiann Johns is a chronic illness blogger from South Wales. On My Brain Lesion and Me, she writes how she copes with her neurological condition.

 

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.

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



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. 

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



Bibliotherapy: How Reading Fiction Can Help You Feel Better

Bibliotherapy: How Reading Fiction Can Help You Feel Better | The Health Sessions

 

“There are certain emotions in your body that not even your best friend can sympathize with,

but you will find the right film or the right book, and it will understand you.”

— Björk, Icelandic singer – songwriter.

 

Stories are immensely powerful.

They move us, inspire us and expose us to exciting new ideas. They let us explore the world from the comfort of our armchairs and take us on a journey inwards to uncover our deepest feelings. Our brains are literally wired for stories. Through them, we learn from other people’s experiences, remember new information better and play out potential future scenarios in our mind without doing any lasting damage. But most importantly, great stories remind us that despite our unique differences, we all face similar struggles and emotions.

When you’re sick, when you’ve lost someone you loved, when your life has fallen apart and you’re feeling lonely, lost and misunderstood, reading the right book at the right time can change your course.

That’s where bibliotherapy comes in. Ever since the ancient Greeks, people have been self-medicating with books, as a band-aid for a broken heart or an antidote to many ailments.

And for good reasons. Studies show that reading puts our brains into a meditation-like state, making it one of the most effective ways to overcome stress. Besides the obvious cognitive benefits – improved memory, vocabulary and creativity –  reading is also a rewarding emotional experience. By identifying with a story’s character, we can see our own situation from a different point of view, gain helpful insights or discover new ways to deal with our problems. 

Of course you can pick up any novel when you’re in need of a healing dose of literature. But if you really want to read fiction for therapeutic effects, it helps to choose a story that’s directly related to your own troubles or one that will most likely put your in the mood you’d like to be in.

To help you get started, I’ve listed over 23 classical reads that will lift your spirits, inspire you and help you find meaning in tough times.

Read more >Bibliotherapy: How Reading Fiction Can Help You Feel Better



Living with Lyme and POTS: Sophia Galpin on Limitations and Listening to Your Body

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. 

Interview with Sophia Galpin: How to Cope with Chronic Lyme Disease and POTS | The Health Sessions

 

Sophia Galpin is a food, health and lifestyle blogger battling with chronic Lyme disease and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). On her blog Spoonie Sophia, she shares her thoughts on coping with chronic illness as well as her passion for creating delicious healthy recipes.

 

Tell us a little about yourself. 

I’m Sophia, I am 26 and suffer from chronic Lyme disease and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS). Despite my illness I am a keen baker and a health/food blogger. I live in beautiful Cornwall with my boyfriend and little dachshund pup, Copper. I enjoy nothing more than little trips to the beach; feeling the sea air on my face whilst sipping a hot chocolate!

 

When did you first get sick?

I have suffered from chronic neuropathic pain from the waist down since 2008 (when I was 18). I January 2013 I started getting new symptoms including migraines, muscle pain, weakness, crippling fatigue, joint pain, insomnia, heart problems (tachycardia), and became very sick.

Read more >Living with Lyme and POTS: Sophia Galpin on Limitations and Listening to Your Body