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Banishing The Winter Blues – Chronic Illness-Friendly Recommendations [AD]

Pippa stood outdoors and smiling, wearing navy blue winter coat, lilac jumper and pale pink bobble hat. Park visible in back (rather flooded with water at the time!).

AD – This post is sponsored by BetterYou*. Links marked with * are affiliate links, and you can use code LIFEOFPIPPA for 15% off your order. All opinions are my own. Always consult a medical professional before making changes to your medication or condition management, gang!

Oh January. The Monday-est of months. The blank pages of a brand new year don’t seem quite so appealing when they’ve been soaked through by drizzle in the middle of a global pandemic, hey?

The colder months feel so much easier to survive when you have things to look forward to, and fortunately the festive season tends to give us plenty to feel contented with. However, once the festivities are out of the way for another year, the looming months of cold and dullness before the days become lighter again can seem infinitely more difficult to bear. But fear not, friends. We’re going to do our best to change this narrative around.

Now, I know as well as you do that there’s a wealth of well-intentioned information out there on the internet and it would be quick and easy to find hundreds of posts discussing how to tackle the Winter Blues. However, as with most information you’ll find on mainstream sites and in the media, the advice shared often just doesn’t feel inclusive for chronically ill people.

If you try and tell me that the solution to feeling low at this time of year is for me to get outside more, exercise regularly, and book a costly private therapist… well, at least you’ll have given me a chuckle. Although I’m sure these suggestions are coming from a good place, there are dozens of invisible barriers that can make these things more difficult or impossible for those with long-term health conditions.

Because of this, my mission today is to share three of my own recommendations for dealing with these dreaded seasonal blues. They’ve all come from my own lived experiences, so my hope is that they may feel more accessible for other chronically ill folk as well.

View PostBanishing The Winter Blues – Chronic Illness-Friendly Recommendations [AD]

Chronic Illness And Self-Employment – An Honest Reflection On My First Year

Pippa sat at desk working on laptop, hands on keyboard and looking down at screen. Pippa has hair down and is wearing a burgandy woollen jumper, piles of paperback books in background

In December 2019, I made one of the scariest decisions of my life. I resigned from a working environment that was wrecking my physical and mental health and decided that 2020 would be my test year: 12 months to see whether complete self-employment could work for me. Before we go any further, you can read about my line of work and employment experiences up to this point in this piece about becoming a chronically ill freelancer.

I’m writing this post at the end of 2020 (though you won’t see it until 2021!) after doing some serious number crunching, to help me process my thoughts and give me something to look back on. However, I made the decision to share this online having been motivated by Shona Louise’s brave and brilliant blog post about being self-employed, and being a huge fan of Hannah Witton’s chatty videos about money and revenue streams on YouTube.

Though I’m not comfortable enough sharing my exact earnings myself, my reasoning for putting this post out there is that there must be other people as nosey as I am about the behind-the-scenes of people’s careers… especially when chronic illness is a huge factor in somebody’s working life.

View PostChronic Illness And Self-Employment – An Honest Reflection On My First Year

Redefining Success As A Disabled Person – TEDx 2019

pippa sat on edge of stage at TEDx, iconic red carpet and lettering in background. Pippa is wearing a burgandy long sleeved top, black jeans and black pumps.

In December 2019, I took on one of the most nerve-wracking challenges of my life and gave a TEDx talk in York. You can watch the talk on YouTube, and below you’ll find a blog post equivalent of what I wanted to say… all about redefining success as a disabled person. I really hope it gives you some food for thought!

So, I’m the kind of disabled person you don’t see in the media. I haven’t climbed a mountain, I haven’t defied the odds and become a medical miracle, and I have no plans whatsoever to compete in the Paralympics.

Instead, I was lucky enough to acquire a debilitating chronic illness as a teenager. It took five years to find my diagnosis, and even then I was left with no prognosis, no targeted treatment, and no cure. In fact, all I had back then was just a handful of leaflets, some prescription painkillers, and a questionably wobbly wheelchair who I proudly named George Ezra.

I had to recalibrate my entire young adult life to accommodate my illness and really, this is where the trouble first began.

View PostRedefining Success As A Disabled Person – TEDx 2019