Being diagnosed with a chronic illness can feel like a life sentence. After all, the word ‘chronic’ by definition refers to a continuing event; something that occurs again and again for a long time; or something that’s always present.
The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention defines chronic illness as a health condition that lasts one year or more, requires ongoing medical attention and/or limits your daily functioning. Generally, people with chronic illnesses like arthritis, COPD, epilepsy and kidney disease cannot be cured by medication, only manage their daily symptoms.
Does that imply that having a chronic illness means you can never recover again?
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. Zoe is a 28-year old physiotherapist from England who lives with multiple chronic illnesses. On Actively Autoimmune, she shares … Read more >
Resting sounds so balanced and zen – until it’s something you have to do. When you live with chronic illness, the key to managing your precious energy is alternating activities with plenty of relaxation. Not to mention that thanks to the unpredictability of chronic illness, symptoms can flare up at any time, forcing you to stop and take a break.
At first, binge-watching your favorite series all day long feels fun. But when you’re stuck in bed a lot of the time, while you’d rather be doing something else, resting becomes dreadful, mind-numbingly boring and lonely.
So when you’re having another undesired rest day, is there anything you can do to make the most of your situation? In general, there are 3 strategies you can apply:
Focus on deep restoration and replenishing. By doing simple things that support your health, you may reduce your symptoms – or even the number of future rest days.
Have a better time. Who doesn’t want to feel more comforted and entertained when you’re sick?
Living your best life while being housebound. Of course this is not what you signed up for. But your illness doesn’t have to stop you from doing tiny things that are meaningful to you.
Obviously, what works for you depends a lot on your personal situation. Do you need to rest after doing something fun, or because you’re exhausted from folding laundry? Are you feeling really sick too? Do you live alone or do you have partners, kids or pets that require your attention?
Not all tips will work for everyone, but here’s a list of 47 ideas of how you can make the most of rest days.
One of the hardest things about chronic illness is that there’s no end date. You have no idea when, if ever, you’re going to feel better again.
On days when it feels like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, transformational stories can be powerful tools to keep hope alive. During my sickest periods, I turned to books and movies about epic quests and kick-ass heroines overcoming hardship against all odds to spark my determination. And what’s more motivational than reading true stories about what others have done to overcome illness?
Don’t get me wrong: regaining your former health may not always be possible. No matter how hard you try, your body may not be able to heal itself. And that may be a harsh fact to accept. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t improve your quality of life and reach your own definition of recovery.
So fuel your motivation and determination with these 3 inspirational memoirs about overcoming illness.
More and more medical experts agree that what you eat has a significant impact on your health. After all, nutrients like protein, healthy fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals are the building blocks or your body. And to function optimally, your body and brain require good fuel.
Unfortunately, Western diets high in refined sugars and trans fats cause insulin resistance and inflammation in the body, which contributes to diabetes, heart disease and cancer. And it’s not just your physical health that’s affected by what you eat – the budding field of nutritional psychiatry also links the foods you consume to how you feel and behave.
It’s no wonder that a growing body of doctors are prescribing healthy foods as part of their treatment plan. What’s more, lots of chronically ill people themselves turn to wholesome diets to alleviate or manage their symptoms.
But with an overwhelming amount of information out there, where do you begin?
Take a look at these 10 psychological principles for starting any kind of medical diet.
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