Christmas is almost here, and if you’re anything like the rest of us, you probably have a few gifts left to wrap. Fortunately, I’ve discovered a few handy hacks that make wrapping quick, easy and painless. Plus, they’ll have everyone on your list admiring your crafty, eco-friendly handiwork!
Researchers have studied the strong connection between addiction and distance running, proving that many recovering addicts have a unique disposition for the sport. For many, one obsession is replaced by another (usually less destructive) one. The traits that can predispose a person to addiction can also produce fierce athletes.
We hear less about runners who struggle with chronic pain. Of course, the cause of pain determines whether or not a chronic pain warrior is physically able to run without causing further damage. But those who continue to run through the pain, like those who have turned to running as an anti-drug, have a unique mindset and stamina that can lead to success in running and in life.
But what about endurance athletes who already live in a chronic pain state? The jury is still out on this one. We know that activities like running increase feel-good hormones that can help reduce pain, but further research is needed to explore the relationship between chronic pain, endurance and performance.
As a runner who lives with chronic pain, I have my own theories. I think running appeals to me because it puts the ball back in my court. I didn’t choose chronic pain, but I can choose to run. And the pain associated with running is one that I can practice some control over with proper training, recovery and determination. That feeling of control, coupled with the mental fortitude required to run long distances with chronic pain, gives me a sense of power over my pain.
Running isn’t an easy sport, and it certainly isn’t for everyone. But if you’re interested in giving it a try, keep in mind a few tips to start running as a chronic pain warrior:
1. Check with your doctor before you begin running or any new exercise program.
Your doctor can help you decide if running is safe for you and may be able to give you some recommendations based on your diagnosis and current fitness level.
2. Pace yourself and progress slowly.
A general rule of thumb for beginner runners is to increase your weekly mileage no more than 10% each week. Runners with chronic pain should be especially mindful of this rule and give their bodies extra time to adapt.
3. Make rest and recovery a priority.
Any running routine, from the low-mileage beginner plan to an elite training regimen, requires adequate rest and recovery. Take time to listen to your body and don’t ignore any unusual aches or pains. There’s nothing wrong with taking a day off!
Are you a runner with chronic pain? Share your tips in the comments!
It doesn't look like the work-from-home trend will be coming to an end anytime soon. If you're lucky, you already had a home office before the pandemic hit. Or, like me, you had a spare room that became a home office. But even if you have a designated workspace, it's important to get up and move around every once in a while. A lap desk is a game-changer that will allow you to work from just about anywhere - including the couch, the patio or even your bed. It also happens to be an easy weekend DIY project. Check out the instructions below to see how I made this simple desk.
Did you try this project? Tell me in the comments!
This month marks the 75th anniversary of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. In August the Americans with Disabilities Act, which played a major role in giving people with disabilities access to schools and workplaces, celebrated its 30th anniversary. These milestones, combined with the challenges we’ve faced as COVID threatens many of our businesses and livelihoods, have thrust disability employment into the spotlight.
I’ll admit it; I used to think that asking for accommodations to perform my job somehow made me less valuable as an employee and as a human. Of course this isn’t true. And I’ve learned that while some see the needs of people with disabilities as an inconvenience for employers, the resilience, adaptability and determination of those with disabilities often far outweigh the negatives. Fortunately, more and more companies are beginning to realize this and are making strides toward a more inclusive environment.
As a graduate assistant in my university’s Center for Career & Professional Development, I’ve become even more aware of the need for inclusion and immunodiversity in the workplace. To help all students and alumni succeed in their job searches and professional development, we have to remember those with disabilities and/or chronic illness. Luckily, there are more and more resources popping up every day for the growing population of job hunters with disabilities. My current favorite is Chronically Capable, a job search platform created by Hannah Olson, a Lyme survivor who was forced to leave her dream job because of intense IV treatments.
Chronically Capable isn’t just a great resource for people seeking more accessible careers; it’s an opportunity for companies to connect with largely overlooked talent. According to their website, companies that employ people with disabilities have 90% higher retention rates and a 72% increase in employee productivity. And it’s no wonder: employers that have partnered with Chronically Capable provide their teams with the tools they need to succeed. Each employer’s profile includes a breakdown of the workplace accommodations they provide, like flexible work and leave schedules, sign language interpreters, accessible restrooms and fragrance-free workplaces. Many companies also offer the option to work remotely.
Another easily-accessible resource for job hunters is abilityjobfair.org. This site provides live online career fairs with a variety of companies on a regular basis. Job seekers can video chat live with employers on this talk/text/ASL-friendly platform. Abilityjobs.com also offers a job board with thousands of postings by companies seeking people with disabilities.
If you have questions about the ADA, disability employment or accommodations, the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) and the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) are great places to start. JAN even offers an A to Z list of accommodations that you can search by disability, accommodation or work-related function. If you’re not sure how to talk to your supervisor or HR department about accommodations, you can learn how other people with similar limitations have adapted their jobs to fit their needs.
These are just a few of the resources available to job seekers with disabilities. Many colleges and universities also have career and professional development offices or disability and inclusion departments that may be able to help students and alumni in the job search. As more companies realize the benefits of hiring a diverse team and the feasibility of working remotely, more doors may open for people with disabilities. It’s time we start recognizing and appreciating the unique contributions people with disabilities make in their careers every day!
For more great tips on working with a chronic illness or disability, check out this WEGO Health webinar with Ilana Jacqueline and the University of Findlay’s Career Chat with Kara Maruszak.
Whether you’re going back to school, back to work or staying home, fall is approaching – and with it, a new wardrobe! Shopping should be fun, but finding clothes that fit, look flattering and, most importantly, are comfortable is almost impossible when you’re facing the dreaded endo belly.
1. Maternity Jeans
For those days when your stomach is especially bloated and sensitive, nothing beats a stretchy pair of maternity jeans or jeggings. I recently bought a new pair of a:glow™ maternity jeans with a full belly panel from Kohl’s and they’ve been a life-changer!
3. Chunky Sweaters
Sweaters have always been a fall staple, but the chunky knit sweater trend has given new meaning to the word cozy. They’re perfect for chilly days and the best part? They look great with leggings or those maternity jeans!
Besides adding a fun pop of color to an outfit, scarves can give the illusion of a bigger bust and a smaller waist. They draw the eyes up and away from your tummy. Plus, they can work as a mask in a pinch!
5. Push-up Bra
Like scarves, push-up bras can provide the optical illusion of a smaller belly. I have one push-up bra that I reserve for tighter-fitting tops and dresses for just this reason.
6. Dark Colors and Patterns
Autumn is the time to rock those darker tones, and lucky for us, they’re slimming! I’m also a fan of patterned tops, which can help to hide a bulging stomach.
Mr. Rogers was onto something. Anything with an open front is a great disguise for a bloated belly. Plus, cardigans are an easy way to convert those summer dresses and blouses into chilly weather outfits.
8. Compression Undies
For those times when you really want to wear a tight-fitting dress or run a 10K with minimal discomfort, nothing beats high-rise compression underwear. Compression may not be for everyone, but I’ve found that it makes running more comfortable and minimizes bounce.
What are your favorite fall fashion tips for fighting endo? Share them with me in the comments!