"I'm Diagnosed with a Chronic Illness; Now What Do I Do?" | The Health Sessions

“I’m Diagnosed with a Chronic Illness; Now What Do I Do?”

It’s one of the biggest shocks you’ll ever experience: being diagnosed with a chronic illness.

Finding out that you’re sick is always bad news, but learning that you have an illness that might never go away again, that’s a hard pill to swallow. Because getting diagnosed with diabetes, arthritis, MS or Crohn’s disease doesn’t just affect your body, it turns your whole world upside down.

Those symptoms that are hurting you, messing up your plans and keeping you up at night? They aren’t temporary. They don’t go away after a good night’s sleep or resting in bed for a few days. All too often, chronic illness affects every part of your life every day.That’s why you probably have to make permanent adjustments to your daily routines, your work and social life, your hopes and dreams.

But when you’re just diagnosed with chronic illness, where do you start? What can you do to make sense of this earth-shattering news? How do you figure out what to do next and get a grip on this new reality?

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Back-to-School Season: The Adult Guide to Getting Back on Track | The Health Sessions

Back-to-School Season: The Adult Guide to Getting Back on Track

Does the end of Summer still feel like back-to-school season, even now that you’re an adult? You’re not the only one.  The media dubbed September “the new January”, because for so many of us, the beginning of Fall has the same new-year feeling, with fresh starts, clean slates and empty calendars.

After a relaxing Summer, how do you get back on track with school, work and healthy living while keeping your mood and energy up?

I’ve rounded up the best advice from the archives to make the most of back-to-school season as a (chronically ill) adult!

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The 5 Health Apps You'll Want to Download | The Health Sessions

The 5 Health Apps You’ll Want to Download

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

It can be pretty daunting and confusing to monitor your symptoms, uncover patterns and potential triggers, and then take action to improve your health and lifestyle. That’s when health apps come to your rescue!

Thanks to modern technology, you can now access helpful health tools anywhere anytime. No matter if you want to sleep better, ease your pain or track your menstrual cycle, there’s an app that can help you manage your illness and optimize your health.

Have a look at these 5 health apps you’ll want to download. 

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Fighting for Your Health: What I Love & Hate About the 'Spoonie Warrior' Analogy | The Health Sessions

Fighting for Your Health: What I Love & Hate About the ‘Spoonie Warrior’ Analogy

Have you ever noticed how people talk about sickness and health in terms of combat and warrior analogies? We’re battling chronic illness, beating depression or losing the fight to cancer.

In a way, that makes complete sense. When you’re in pain and exhausted to the bone, everyday living can really seem like a quest from a Tolkien novel. Something as simple as grocery shopping suddenly feels like an expedition to Mount Doom.

For many many years, I turned to heroic stories to fuel my motivation, to strive for recovery, to keep reaching for my dreams. And it worked. With the ‘help’ from Buffy, Sydney Bristow and G.I.Jane (I’m clearly a nineties girl), I passed my high school exams against all odds, despite not being able to attend classes. Epic journeys like Lord of the Rings pushed me to get fit and mobile enough to explore the world, while survivor stories from Chris Ryan and Bear Grylls inspired me to keep going.

Thanks to the warrior analogy, I achieved many meaningful goals that made a big difference to my life.

But now that I’ve learned so much more about the impact of your mind on your body, and how your nervous system works, I’m not so sure any more that the ‘spoonie warrior’ analogy is always the best choice.

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19 Fun Ideas to Bring More Laughter in Your Life, Even When You're In Pain | The Health Sessions

19 Fun Ideas to Bring More Laughter in Your Life, Even When You’re In Pain

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

You know how they say that laughter is the best medicine? As frivolous as that may sound, there actually is some truth in that.

Research confirms that having a strong sense of humor helps you live longer, even if you have poor health. That’s because laughter releases endorphins that boost your mood and counteract the negative effects of stress, like compromised immunity. Even better, these feel-good chemicals raise your ability to ignore pain, making genuine laughing a fun tool to manage chronic pain.

Laughing out loud also supports your heart health, by increasing your heart rate and the amount of oxygen in your blood as well a lowering your blood pressure. And let’s not forget how humor lightens your burden, strengthens your relationships and helps you deal with distressing emotions.

These benefits are no joke, so why aren’t we laughing and smiling more?

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