Tips for easy eating when you are unwell

When you are feeling unwell it is far more challenging to eat well.  Having the energy or inclination to spend time preparing food can seem daunting.  Many people find that they lose their normal appetite and enjoyment of food and eating can become a chore.  Some people also feel less like eating if they are low in mood or concerned about their health.

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Katherine Sewell
Cracking smartphone addiction (to help prevent postural pain issues, fatigue and poor sleep)

As an experiment recently, I decided to pretend that I was alien from Mars (as you do) landing on planet earth and just observing how human beings behave. During one short journey by car through North Bristol, I was astonished by the numbers of people using their smartphones. There were delivery drivers texting in cars, kids gathered on a bench all on their phones, people walking along the road either alone or with others looking at or talking on their phones, people sitting on buses starting at their phones, passengers in cars on them... you get the picture! As a child of the seventies who has spent most of her life without such 24/7 access to everything at the touch of button, I can’t help wondering what costs (amongst the benefits) might be incurring as we (and I include myself) become more and more attached and dependent; dare I even say; addicted to our phones. I wonder this at the personal level and collectively as a society especially the impacts on the younger generation who don’t have any experience of anything else and wonder as to the impacts on them? Certainly, from our perspective as specialists working in the field of chronic pain and fatigue, the overuse of smartphones has negative effects. 

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Katherine Sewell
The importance of pleasure (Why it matters)

How many times do we hear the words ‘it’s all about balance’.  ‘Balance is key’. ‘All things in moderation’.  Etc etc.? In fact, if we look at the definition of ‘balance’ we see that it’s ‘a situation in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions’.

Broadly speaking we may find that our lives are split into different areas: Self care, achievement, connecting with others and enjoyment.  Whilst Self care includes exercise, healthy eating, rest, sleep and treating illness; Achievement can include work, chores and study.  Humans are, in general, social animals; we like to be surrounded by friends and share our personal experiences with others.  But the bit that sometimes gets forgotten: enjoyment.  Time to think about the activities that are fun, give pleasure and may be playful.

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Katherine Sewell
How to handle stress (a practical guide)

It’s unlikely that we’ll pass through life feeling little or no stress at all.  (Although many of us can recall a friend or family member who’s “so laid back (s)he’s almost horizontal”!)  Stress is linked to the ‘fight flight’ response; a primitive, normal and natural response that keeps us safe from any perceived threat. 

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Katherine Sewell
Explaining pain to friends and relatives (tips provided)

When you have an ongoing pain condition it can be such a struggle to talk to others about what its like to live with and what practical and emotional support they could give you. In this article, Vitality360’s specialist Occupatonal Therapist and lead Clinician, Beverly Knops who has decades of experience of supporting people in this situation, shares her advice on this topic.

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Katherine Sewell
Is fatigue the same as sleepiness? (how to tell the difference)

It is easy to make assumptions about others based on their appearance or behaviours, but do we also make assumptions about ourselves when we feel fatigued?

The first thought for most people experiencing fatigue is, “I must get some more sleep”.

However, if you are already getting 7 – 8 hours reasonable sleep this is unlikely to make you feel better.

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Katherine Sewell
Make the most of natural light in winter

It’s that time of year again.  The nights are drawing in, the days are shorter, the weather has changed.  Time to dive under the duvet and hibernate.

It can be a challenge to do the activities that are important to us when sunlight is in such short supply at this time of year; especially when we know how vital sunlight can be in so many ways.

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Katherine SewellSAD