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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How You Can Make Your Menstrual Cycle Work For You (Instead of Against You) | The Health Sessions

Go with the Flow: How to Make Your Menstrual Cycle Work For You

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

Do you feel bloated, tired or irritated right before or during your period?

PMS is one of the most noticeable examples of how hormonal changes impact your body and mind. But hormones affect your health, mood and behaviour in countless more ways – in women and men. These small but mighty chemical messengers, excreted by the glands in your body, influence many physiological processes, from your appetite and sexual desire to hormonal anxiety.

Your hormone levels naturally rise and fall throughout the day. Cortisol, for example, peaks in the early morning hours to wake you up, whereas melatonin gets secreted when darkness falls. But in the female body, the reproductive hormones also fluctuate over a monthly cycle of roughly 28 days, changing how you feel from week to week. That means that, unlike men, female bodies don’t function in a steady, predictable manner day in day out.

In Period Power, women’s health expert Maisie Hill advocates that we should acknowledge these monthly fluctuations, without feeling like we’re moody, unreliable creatures for doing so. Your energy levels, mental focus, mood, libido and food cravings vary throughout your menstrual cycle, due to hormonal shifts. And that’s not only normal, according to Period Power you could even take advantage of your hormonal powers.

If that’s the case, how can you get your menstrual cycle to work for you instead of against you? 

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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 Embrace Your Vulnerability | The Health Sessions

Why You Should Embrace Your Vulnerability

This article is written by Susanna Balashova.

We’d all love to protect ourselves from being hurt, to try to live a happy life. But that’s not always possible.

Vulnerability means you’re exposed to the possibility of getting harmed, either physically or emotionally. Maybe you worry about failure, rejection or being judged. Your medical condition may also make you feel physically and emotionally vulnerable due to fear, anxiety, and worry.

The good news is that vulnerability can also act as a source of strength if you learn why you need to embrace it.

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