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



Road to Recovery: How Zoe Emma Healed Her Chronic Fatigue | The Health Sessions

Road to Recovery: How Zoe Emma Healed Her Chronic Fatigue

When you’re diagnosed with chronic illness, is there anything you can do to improve your health and happiness? Can you (fully) recover from persisting health problems, and if so, how? In this first interview on recovery, Zoe Emma from Heal Chronic Fatigue shares her story.    Tell us a little about yourself. Hello! I’m Zoe … Read more >



A Fresh Take on Sleep Restlessness: How a Weighted Blanket Could Soothe Your Racing Mind | The Health Sessions

A Fresh Take on Sleep Restlessness: How a Weighted Blanket Could Soothe Your Racing Mind

This is an article by James M. Gregory.

50 – 70 million.

That would be the answer if the question were, “How many people in the US have a sleep disorder?”

That number might seem innocent on its own. So people don’t sleep well, no big deal, right? You might shrug it off if you don’t dig deeper and look at the ominous statistics about fatalities and injuries related to sleep deprivation (as reported by sleepassociation.org):

  • 1,550 fatal and 40,000 non-fatal injuries directly caused by drowsy driving alone
  • 100,000 fatal outcomes related to medical errors caused by sleep deprivation

 

An issue with the stats

There are gaping flaws in the statistical model we’re using today. Any sleep therapist with a modern approach could probably write an essay on all the things the stats can’t tell you.

The topic is beyond the scope of this article, but let us takes a moment to point out 3 obvious problems:

  • What constitutes a sleep disorder?
  • How many people are diagnosed vs. how many are suffering in silence or don’t even know they have a problem?
  • How many people involved in the sleep-related accidents or medical errors will be open about it?

You see a pattern here – most of the stats we have are subjective. To be honest, the issue of subjectivity is tricky and there isn’t much we can do about it. Furthermore, statistical models have a way of improving on their own as science moves forward and we tweak the models.

Read more >A Fresh Take on Sleep Restlessness: How a Weighted Blanket Could Soothe Your Racing Mind



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)



3 Ways to Stay Awake Without Caffeine | The Health Sessions

3 Ways to Stay Awake During the Day (Without Caffeine)

This is a guest post by Sarah Cummings from The Sleep Advisor.

The mid-week slump. We’ve all been there. Some of us even experience the midday slump, every single day. Really, it’s exhausting. And when we find ourselves drained of energy, sugar is often the first thing we turn to for a boost. That, or caffeine. And caffeine, while it may appear to be your secret weapon sometimes, is not your friend.

So here are a few ways to stay awake during the day…without the caffeine buzz.

Read more >3 Ways to Stay Awake During the Day (Without Caffeine)