"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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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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Chronic Illness and Body Image: How to Remain Positive | The Health Sessions

Chronic Illness and Body Image: How to Remain Positive

This article is written by Avery T.   Chronic illness is broadly defined as a condition lasting more than 1 year and requiring ongoing medical attention. Whether it be mental or physical (or a combination of both), many Americans live with chronic illness—40% to be exact. Chronic illness often presents a variety of challenges, but what … Read more >



Why You Should Chose Contentment over Happiness | The Health Sessions

Why You Should Choose Contentment over Happiness

“Don’t worry, be happy.”

Bob Marley made it sound so easy, but feeling happy no matter your situation forms a challenge for most of us. It’s hard to be bursting with joy when you’re exhausted and in pain, or when you’re struggling with money troubles and heartache.

Over the past decades, countless of popular psychology books and articles have shown us that there are things we can do to influence our level of happiness. Although our genes and life circumstances definitely play a role too, we can all take steps to get happier.

Of course, that’s great news. And recommended habits like practicing gratitude, moving your body regularly, spending time in nature and building strong relationships all prove to boost your emotional wellbeing. But is the pursuit of happiness actually making us feel better?

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12 Body Acceptance Quotes to Feel Comfortable in Your Own Skin | The Health Sessions

12 Body Acceptance Quotes to Feel Comfortable in Your Own Skin

We all have days when we don’t feel happy with our body. Who hasn’t felt conscious about their appearance?

But body acceptance becomes a lot more challenging when it’s not cellulite or pimple you’re concerned about, but scars, serious skin conditions and deformities. Even though you have nothing to be ashamed about, its hard not to worry about what other people will think about your ostomy bag or your extreme swollen ‘Prednison face’.

Plus, how do you accept your own body when it doesn’t work properly? When it causes you pain and heartache every day?

There’s no easy answer, and the road to body acceptance will look different for everybody. But there are some common themes when it comes to loving the skin you’re in.

First of all, stop comparing yourself to others. You’ll never have their exact body. If reading fashion and health magazines or following certain people online gets you down, remove that negativity from your life. Diversify your social media feed; there are so many inspiring spoonies out there rocking their walking aids, insulin pumps and portable catheters!

What’s more, be mindful of your internal dialogue. You wouldn’t constantly put your best friend down with snarky comments, right? So why would you talk to yourself in such a way?

Finally, try to see yourself as a whole person instead of a body with certain physical features and (dis)abilities. You’re so much more than that! Take pride in your smile, your inner strength and the way you cook a mean lasagna.

Hopefully these 12 body acceptance quotes will inspire you to start feeling more comfortable in your own skin. 

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