How to Create Your Own Action Plan for Recovery (eBook) | The Health Sessions

7 Lessons I Learned About Recovery From Illness

 

 

Today is the big day.

My first ebook, How to Create Your Own Action Plan for Recovery, is available in the new webshop now! 

It’s a 200 – page guide for people with chronic illness or injury, for those who want to rebuild their health after a long sickbed, serious operation or life-altering accident.

Because being chronically ill or injured can turn your life upside down. And the situation becomes even more unsettling when doctors can’t figure out what’s wrong with you. When modern medicine doesn’t have a cure for the pain you experience every day. When at best you’re given pills and therapy to help manage your symptoms, not cure them.

I’ve been there, for many, many years.

I’ve been through the tiring and heart-wrenching process of endless doctors visits and second-opinions, living with a chronic disease that has no remedy, turning to every complimentary therapy imaginable in the hopes of finding comfort or relief.

Diagnosed with juvenile rheumatism, fibromyalgia and ME/CFS during my early teens, I was housebound and unable to do the simplest things for the longest time. Going through the process of fighting illness and acceptance for over 15 years, I learned many things.

Here are the most important lessons that the road to ‘recovery’ has taught me. 

Read more >7 Lessons I Learned About Recovery From Illness



Ready for Change? The 5 Stages of Making Lasting Lifestyle Transformations | The Health Sessions

Ready for Change? The 5 Stages of Making Lasting Lifestyle Transformations

Do you dream of getting fit, strong, happy or more mindful in 2017?

The start of a new year brings out the feeling of beginning with a fresh slate, with 365 brand-new days ahead in which anything is possible. The crispy clean calendar holds the promise of reaching exciting goals, but we all know that many of us have given up on our New Year’s resolutions by the end of January. How can you be the one who makes their intentions stick?

The key to making your health and happiness goals come true is translating your desired end result in the helpful habits needed to achieve them. To get a stronger, toned and more energetic body, you’ll need to eat healthily and move your body on a regular basis. And if you want to feel more zen, you could start a daily practice of meditation or keep a gratitude journal.

Countless of articles have been written on transforming your life for good, but most leave out one important question: How ready for change are you? 

Read more >Ready for Change? The 5 Stages of Making Lasting Lifestyle Transformations



A “To Don’t” List for Spoonies: 11 Things You Should Stop Doing Today

A To Don't List for Spoonies: 11 Things You Should Stop Doing Today | The Health Sessions

 

When you’re chronically ill, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the things you have to do with so little energy. Your to-do list features doctor’s visits, physical therapy sessions and a healthy meal plan on top of all the usual stuff like paying the bills, keeping your house relatively clean and staying in touch with loved ones.

It doesn’t help that our culture tends to define our value based on our busyness and accomplishments. You might feel guilty for taking things slow in a world that celebrates productivity, overcommitment and FOMO. Sure, crossing things off your to-do list is helpful, but it’s not the purpose of life.

But how can you free up time and energy for what is meaningful to you, while dealing with the additional obstacles of living with chronic illness?

By removing the non-important from your life. Introducing: the To Don’t List. 

A To Don’t List simply is a list of all the things you will not do, to make mental room for what is important. It might contain practical things like: “I will not iron my comfy clothes/ host elaborate dinner parties/ say yes to every request.”

But a To Don’t List can also involve more psychological-oriented items; rules for living that guide you in the right direction. From simple intentions like “I will not skip breakfast, stay up to late or check my phone during meal times” to “I won’t get sucked into pointless arguments.”

Here are 11 positive intentions that every spoonie should put on their To Don’t List.

Read more >A “To Don’t” List for Spoonies: 11 Things You Should Stop Doing Today



What Pavlov's Dogs Can Teach Us About Creating Healthy Habits | The Health Sessions

What Pavlov’s Dogs Can Teach Us About Creating Healthy Habits

 

Have you ever noticed how the smell of sunscreen immediately brings back that holiday feeling of excitement mixed with heavenly relaxation?

Or do you crave popcorn the moment you step into the movie theatre, even though you never eat it at home? Does your heart still sink when a ‘break-up song’ from years ago plays on the radio?

These are classic signs of classical conditioning, a learning process in which two previously unrelated stimuli are paired together to produce a new response. Knowing how we learn new habits gives us important insights into why and how we behave the way we do, and it all started with an accidental discovery in 1927 by Ivan Pavlov and his drooling dogs…

Read more >What Pavlov’s Dogs Can Teach Us About Creating Healthy Habits



The Beginner’s Guide to Changing Your Negative Thoughts

A Beginner's Guide to Challenging Your Negative Thoughts | The Health Sessions

 

It’s all my fault.

No one will understand.”

“I’m just a burden to everyone.

 

Thoughts pop up in our heads all day long, uninvitedly.

It happens so automatically that we rarely take the time to wonder if what we’re thinking is actually true. Instead, we take our thoughts at face value and instantly respond with feelings and actions. But when your inner critic or negative Nancy is taking over your mind, it’s time to take back control and change your thought patterns.

Because thoughts are powerful. They influence your mood, your decisions and even your neurobiology. Every time you have a thought (“Oh god, everybody is staring at me!“), your brain releases neurotransmitters and hormones that prepare your body and mind to respond to the (imaginary) situation – by blushing, stumbling, running off or making a self-deprecating joke.

That’s why automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) take a toll on your mental health: they trigger a cascade of biochemical reactions and emotions that adversely affect how you feel and behave.

Read more >The Beginner’s Guide to Changing Your Negative Thoughts