"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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27 Subtle Ways to Optimize Your Home for Healing | The Health Sessions

27 Subtle Ways to Optimize Your Home for Healing

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 you’re trying to cut down on sugar but suddenly find yourself reaching for the cookie jar on the coffee table? That’s because your living environment plays a bigger role in the choices you make every day than you probably realize.

If you live in a neighborhood with side walks, bike lanes and greenery, for example, you’re more likely to be physically active than people who don’t have easy access to these recreational facilities. And it’s no coincidence that supermarkets place big brands at grab-level and impulse buys at the counter – that’s all to seduce you to buy more.

It’s not just your ZIP code that affects your behaviour, mood, stress levels and overall health, but your home environment too. When you have a bowl of candy on your desk, chances are you’ll mindlessly eat much more than you’d planned. Thankfully the reverse is also true: putting a fruit bowl in the kitchen encourages you to get your vitamins in. That’s exactly why James Clear, best-selling author of Atomic Habits, advocates to design your environment to work for you, not against you.

By making a few changes at home, you can make it easier to create and stick to healthy habits, and break bad ones. Think of environment design like a subtle nudge in the right direction. Especially if chronic illness forces you to spend a lot of time at home, you might want to make some easy changes to your interior so you can effortlessly make better choices.

Here are 27 subtle ways you can optimize your surroundings to best support your health and happiness.

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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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How to Keep Healthy Relationships and Maintain Your Wellness While Living With Chronic Illness | The Health Sessions

How to Keep Healthy Relationships and Maintain Your Wellness While Living With Chronic Illness

This article is written by Miranda Davis. 

Making a relationship work is hard enough when both partners are fit, but things can become complex when one or both people are suffering from a chronic illness. Thankfully, there are actions you can take to maintain a strong relationship while also maintaining your wellness. In this article, we will look at tips on how to achieve physical wellness and how to maintain mental wellness.

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