From Perfectionism to Photography: How Carole Rey Overcame Her Burnout | The Heath Sessions

From Perfectionism to Photography: How Carole Rey Overcame Her Burnout

What’s it really like to live with chronic health problems every day? How do you deal with the physical symptoms, emotional turmoil and practical problems? In this interview series, real life ‘spoonies’ share their experiences and tips. 

Carole Rey is a French photographer living in the Netherlands. Her online magazine Good Enough Darling provides serene, calming photographs and helpful stories about embracing life with burnout. 

 

  1. Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m French living in the Netherlands. I studied French modern literature and specialized myself in didactic and intercultural communication. I’ve worked as a language trainer and lecturer for about 15 years, most of the time as freelancer.

At some point I wanted to explore new paths so I started a full time course to become an Interior Designer; I needed fresh air, new challenges. To still have a minimum income, I had to increase the amount of freelance work because my husband (who is also a freelancer) did not have work at all due to the economic crisis. The combination of my study, preparation/correction of portfolio, lessons to give, two very young kids plus the worries about my husband situation was awful. Nights when I could sleep four hours were the special ones. I was constantly under pressure and had to produce a lot of work and not to mention the way too often heavy headaches and migraines.

In order to work more (because of our financial situation) and to be able to manage all the tasks at home, I quit the Interior Designer studies; it broke my heart and I felt like a looser. A few months after that, I started to suffer from my right shoulder, it hurt a lot and I had difficulties carrying my kids. The physiotherapist told me that it came from too much stress, but I ignored his diagnosis, because I thought I had no choice and that I must carry on in order to protect and care for my family.

A couple of months later, while I was giving instructions to a group, I blacked out and could not speak at all anymore. I knew what I wanted to say but I just could not manage to talk, produce sounds and articulate. A very heavy migraine started, it lasted four days when I could barely open my eyes, talk and move. When I finally managed to go to my doctor, he told me that I, obviously, had a severe burnout.

Read more >From Perfectionism to Photography: How Carole Rey Overcame Her Burnout



5 Amazing Coffee Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle | The Health Sessions

5 Amazing Coffee Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle

This is a guest post by Monica Henin from Addonkitchen.com.  

If you are one of those coffee lovers who drink in order to get that extra kick in the morning, then you will be surprised to know that coffee is actually a healthy food. Coffee is seen as a drink that will ruin health, but actually, it is a health booster.

People just need to drink it in the right way and in the right quantity – coffee is a stimulant so it may be less beneficial for those sensitive to caffeine. Coffee is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, which help fight against a number of body ailments. On top of that, coffee tastes great, so there is no reason to avoid this amazing beverage. Those who are following a healthy diet can also enjoy coffee, given they buy organic coffee beans.

They can grind coffee beans at home in Gaggia Accademia coffee maker and make themselves a nice cup of coffee every day. But, isn’t a plain cup of coffee boring? I mean especially if it is consumed every day, 365 days a year, it surely is going to become boring someday.

To avoid this boredom, I will share five coffee recipes that can be enjoyed by everybody including those following healthy diet.

Read more >5 Amazing Coffee Recipes for a Healthy Lifestyle



How You Can Gradually Build Your Fitness with Cycling | The Health Sessions

How You Can Gradually Build Your Fitness with Cycling

This is a guest post by Sophie Elise from bestbikesforwomen.com.

 

Are you tired of being out of shape and want to gain your fitness back?

If your answer is yes, then you need to find a workout that fits your lifestyle. But there are thousands of workouts that can help you to achieve your goals. So, which one should you choose?

I would suggest cycling because it’s a fun and entertaining activity. If you are trying to improve your fitness level, then cycling is an ideal form of exercise for you. Because it will help to build your fitness gradually and the fact that it is an immensely enjoyable activity makes it more alluring. Furthermore, cycling also helps us to build our muscle and develop a toned body.

Below I am going to show you exactly how you can build your fitness gradually with bicycling.

Read more >How You Can Gradually Build Your Fitness with Cycling



Why Pacing Beats Push-and-Crash (and How to Best Manage Your Energy) | The Health Sessions

Why Pacing Beats Push-and-Crash Cycles (And How You Can Best Manage Your Energy)

If you’ve been living with a chronic illness for a while, you’ve probably heard of the Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino. For someone who’s seriously sick, each day starts with a limited amount of “spoons” of energy. They carefully have to decided how you can best spend each one, knowing that even mondain tasks like taking a shower or making lunch costs you precious spoons.

The Spoon Theory is a helpful analogy of what it’s truly like to live with chronic illness or disability. But how does it work in reality? How do you decide how to spend your spoons? What do you do when you have no spoons left but still half a day ahead of you?

In my experience, there are two broad strategies: pacing and push-and-crash. 

I used to be the queen of push-and-crash cycles. At the time, it really was the only way to get things done: resting up and preparing before an event – going to school, necessary shopping trips, hanging out with family and friends – putting every last drop of effort into getting to and through the event and then… crash. Hard. It meant my symptoms would exacerbate and I couldn’t do much else but rest the next day(s) to recover from that activity.

Read more >Why Pacing Beats Push-and-Crash Cycles (And How You Can Best Manage Your Energy)



Taking An Ice Bath: What You Can Learn From Breathing & Cold Exposure Training | The Health Sessions

Taking An Ice Bath: What You Can Learn From Breathing & Cold Exposure Training

Ronald Aartsen is a practitioner of Japanese acupuncture and other acupuncture styles with classic roots in Rotterdam & Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He also gives workshops teaching Breathing and Cold Exposure after finishing an instructors year in 2014 with Wim Hof, better known as The Ice Man.

 

1. What is Breathing & Cold Exposure training, based on the Wim Hof Method?

It’s a method that consists of 3 components: breathing techniques, cold exposure and mindset/focus.

 

2. Why would anyone voluntarily take an ice bath? What are the benefits of cold exposure?

Excellent question. If you would have told me before 2014 that I (being a big fan of tropical sun and climates) would be sitting in an ice bath, take outdoor swims in the winter or be hiking through snowy landscapes in shorts, I probably would have thought you lost your mind.

But as an acupuncturist and a meditation & qigong enthusiast I am very interested in our self healing abilities and our inner power. So I read about Wim Hof and the research that was going on and decided to step out of my comfort zone and registered for a workshop.

I loved the effect of the breathing techniques and the power I felt in and after the ice bath! Me as an Indo chilling in a tub filled with ice cubes. And I loved the simplicity of it all. You don’t have to train for years and years to be able to do this.

Let me be clear, the components are not new. The East has a long tradition of similar disciplines and people know the benefits for their health. Same goes for Russia and Northern Europe for example. Wim Hof just made it available to larger group and involved science to research the combination of these techniques.

After the one day workshop I immediately registered for the instructors year including a week of training in Poland and walking up a ski slope in shorts to name one element.

I will just name a few results here without getting into the scientific details. Research has shown that cold exposure can lead to a better functioning immune system (and how to voluntarily control it), increase in metabolism and an increase in brown fat. Combined with the breathing and focus techniques it can help to reduce pain, lead to better cirulation and boost your cardiovasclular system and energy. You can find a great overview on the research here.

The Cool Challenge was a project to measure the effects of cold showering. The report can be found here.

Read more >Taking An Ice Bath: What You Can Learn From Breathing & Cold Exposure Training