Minimalism is trendy – and understandably so. Over the past decades, our desire to consume has grown as welfare levels increased. But the Marie Kondo craze shows that many of us now have a luxury problem: we have so much stuff that it’s causing mess and stress.
And it’s not just our homes that are overloaded; our schedules are pretty packed too. That’s why more and more people are decluttering their lives to reclaim their time and freedom.
Sounds great, but how do you make minimalism work when you have limited energy and mobility? Take a look at how you can live better with less when you’re chronically ill.
After months of cocooning indoors and indulging in heavy meals, early spring is a great time to get out of hibernation mode and shed your ‘winter coat’. And not just those dead skin cells from the dry winter air – your sluggish digestion and lymph flow can use a boost too.
Over the last few years, detoxing has become a major buzz word. The idea is that our modern world contains so many toxins – in our food and water, cleaning and beauty products, in the air we breathe – that your body doesn’t have enough capacity to fully flush them out. Especially not when your sedentary lifestyle with too much processed foods and too little sleep puts an extra burden on your body’s natural detoxification process.
So these toxins build up over time, clogging up your gut and internal environment, leading to common symptoms such as unexplained fatigue, irritated skin, bloating and digestive problems.
The solution? Doing a detox to cleanse your body.
Or at least, that’s what the thousands of detox programs and juice cleanses available tell you to do.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with the general concept of detoxing. Yes, your body naturally detoxes every day, but it makes sense to want to optimize that process – especially if you lead a typically Western lifestyle and suffer from (minor) health problems.
But although some people have had specular results from juice cleanses, I don’t think going on a detox is right for everyone.
Most detox programs focus on a variety of juices, sometimes supplemented with raw fruit and vegetables. Even though (veggie) juices contain lots of vitamins and minerals, they don’t pack enough protein, fiber, fat and calories to sustain a person in the long run. That doesn’t have to be a problem when you’re on a health retreat. But if you try following a detox program while balancing work and family, you might feel hangry and tired instead of revitalized.
A ‘3-day detox’ or ‘master cleanse’ also feels like a quick fix for a bigger problem. First we overeat during the holidays and then ‘compensate’ by restricting ourselves. This cycle of binge-eating and fasting might lead to a disordered relationship with food. Of course, a short detox program can also be a great kickstart of a healthier lifestyle. But when you make drastic changes, it’s easy to fall back into your old habits – hello cookie cravings! – as soon as your juice cleanse ends.
So can you support the natural detoxification of your body without depriving yourself? Sure! Take a look at these 11 simple ways.
You know how you often feel tired and groggy in the afternoon? That’s your internal clock at work.
You might be more in tune with your work schedule than your body rhythm, but all of us are governed by a biological schedule. Circadian rhythm refers to the countless changes your body experiences over a 24-hour period. From your sleep-wake cycle to hormone production and daily fluctuations of alertness, circadian rhythms affect every aspect of your functioning.
The master internal clock that controls the different clocks throughout your body is a group of nerves in the hypothalamus called the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). Each morning, light enters your eyes and travels along the optic nerve to signal to the SCN that it’s time to start the day’s circadian cycle.
For thousands of years, humans organized their days around their biological clock. But now that we are no longer getting up at sunrise, spending our days outdoors and going to bed when it gets dark, our body clocks get disrupted. And this can cause serious troubles. Research has linked disturbed internal clocks to anything from an increased chance at injuries and accidents to chronic health problems like obesity, heart disease and cognitive decline.
Combining a career and chronic illness is a real challenge. Just getting into the office each day may be more than your body can handle. When you’re healthy enough to earn a living, working from home may be a good solution. Depending on your specific job, you usually have more control over your work schedule and work load. Plus, there’s no commute, no noisy workplace and looking presentable is optional.
Luckily, there are all kinds of jobs you can do from the comfort of your own home. From freelance writing and online coaching to being a virtual assistant or selling stock photography, you can find tons of ideas online. With a good dose of creativity, determination and discipline, other spoonies are earning a living selling apparel on Etsy, creating subscription boxes and even online yoga teaching from bed!
But working from home comes with its own potential problems, like procrastinating, lack of human interaction, blurred lines between work-home life and having to deal with everything by yourself. Not to mention having to deal with the limitations of an unpredictable chronic illness.
So how can you successfully run a business or freelance career when you suffer from health problems? How do you stay productive on flare-up days? Take a look at these 11 tried-and-tested tips for working from home with chronic illness.
It’s widely recognized that your diet can have an effect on your arthritis, as certain foods tend to cause inflammation. But have you thought about how your arthritis can greatly affect which foods you eat?
The chronic pain, stiffness and lack of mobility brought on by arthritis is perhaps most worrisome when it limits your activity in the kitchen. Preparing healthy and nutritious meals can prove challenging to people suffering from arthritis, and the consequence can be malnutrition or an otherwise poor diet.
Being unable to chop up fresh fruits or vegetables can lead one to rely on pre-packaged and processed goods. The inability to open a can of soup can mean settling for some crackers or chips instead. Or worse, it may lead to skipping meals altogether.
But suffering from arthritis doesn’t have to mean sacrificing nutritious meals and healthy snacks. Here are 10 tips for maintaining healthy eating habits with arthritis.
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