MY TOP SIX UPLIFTING BLOGS TO READ FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD…

There are so many different blogs to follow and read but it still amazes me how you can connect with people from all over the world who have a connection with a health condition you are suffering from. My top six are –

1. Pain Palshttp://painpalsblog.com

Pain pals is written by Clare Saul a nurse who suffers, like myself, from chronic back pain and who lives in Middlesex in the UK. Claire writes lots on chronic pain and every Monday she has ‘Monday Magic’, where Claire lists her top choice of inspiring blogs which cover every thing from recipes, writers tips and health posts. Claire also posts lots and lots of book reviews.

2. Reclaiming Hopehttps://reclaiminghope.blog/

Reclaiming Hope, Learning to thrive, not just survive with Fibromyalgia is written by Terri who is a certified personal trainer and health coach. Terri says this has helped her live a fulfilling life while suffering from Fibromyalgia. She writes lots on chronic illness. She posts regularly on ‘Wellness Wednesday’ which can be a post on tips, challenges and improvements. Terri is one of my regular readers and leaves me lovely comments to encourage me when I am going through a bad patch.

3. Fibro Warriers Living Life http://fibrowarriorslivinglife.com/

Fibro Warriers Living Life is written by Melissa who is a certified Fibro Advisor and full time working married Mum who was diagnosed at the early age of 19 with Fibro. She lives in Wisconsin in the US, and writes about Fibro facts, product reviews, videos and much more. Her mission is to learn and help others with Fibro.

4. Fibro Fluttershttps://fibroflutters.com/

Fibro Flutters was founded in 2014 for people suffering from chronic, invisible and rare illness with support and advice. Written by Carole who has Joint Hypermobilty Disorder with a side of Fibromyalgia, and lives in Sunderland in the UK. Now the group has a larger team to steer it in the right direction, the ‘Founding Five Flutters’ but they also work as individuals on their own interests regarding research and advocacy. Basically we are the old-style board room but with a modern approach. Expect to find lots to read on this blog from articles on all types of illnesses and lots more.

5. I Tripped Over A Stonehttps://itrippedoverastone.com/

I Tripped Over A Stone is written by Kim who has suffered from Fibromyalgia for over 20 years and written a book with her friend Karen, “The Shadow Boxers : Fighting Fibromyalgia Your Personal Journey”, a journal full of everything to take your mind off Fibromyalgia. Kim who lives in Minnesota in the US posts are all about Fibromyalgia and it’s important awareness day in May.

6. Fibro Blogger Directoryhttp://www.fibrobloggerdirectory.com/

Fibro Blogger Directory The Fibro Blogger Directory is a directory of people who blog about Fibromyalgia. Set up by Fibro sufferer Lee Good who lives in Australia and says ‘Blogging is a powerful tool and by connecting we can be a stronger voice’. The aim of the directory is to –

  • Connect fibro bloggers
  • Help raise awareness of Fibromyalgia
  • Provide information to the world wide web and other media about fibro bloggers
  • Offer Directory member support

They have a busy Facebook page which features different bloggers daily and Lee’s ‘Fibro Friday’ is a weekly link up by and for people with Fibromyalgia — A place to share and help others understand more about fibromyalgia.

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HOW WRITING/BLOGGING CAN TURN YOUR LIFE AROUND…

As most of my readers may know I started blogging back in 2007 after I had to sell my previous business due to illness.

I wasn’t the brightest of kids and in fact left school with just 2 GCSE’s in Art and Divinity. I had no idea what I wanted to do in life but had always enjoyed writing at school. This was mainly letters to family and friends but I would write page after page after page on what was going on at boarding school.

When I left school my Mum and Dad suggested I went to secretarial college first and then I had a skill I could use if I wanted to go down that route.

I took to shorthand and typing like a duck to water and for the first time in my life achieved a good grade when I left the secretarial college and immediately went into my first job as a secretary with a team of solicitors in Manchester.

I was happy at what I was doing but always fancied doing something myself and always thought I could write a book. Of course back in that day computers were not around and the only way I could get any information about getting a book published was by going to the local Library and reading up on it.

Situations out of my control changed all my ideas when the whole family moved to warmer climates as our Mum (in her 40’s) had suffered a bad heart attack and they advised somewhere warmer for her health.

I never settled abroad and just played around with part time work and looking after my Mum but unfortunately Mum took a turn for the worst and the whole family came back to the UK. We lost Mum at the early age of 53 and life seemed to change quite a lot after that.

I helped Dad out working for him at his offices and learnt all you would need to know about running a business. I then started a family of my own and worked part time and then stayed at home as a full time Mum which back in that day was the norm.

I started on my books again and entered some competitions and still have pages of children’s stories I had written but done nothing about. Fast forward another 25 years and five spinal surgeries later I sold my business and started writing for the local paper on news in my village.

The writing bug had come back and I set up Back Pain Blog I was on a different platform to WordPress which was mainly UK blogs but it closed down so I had to start again. Second time around I named my blog Back Pain Blog UK so people knew where I was based and amazingly I soon had followers and even some of my old ones that had moved onto WordPress had tracked me down.

Since 2007 I have written blogs and articles in magazines for a number of companies, some voluntary, and written on health, food, beauty and local news. I self published my own book on Baking Tips and a book on Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Pain,

I have also written a book for both my children on their life since the day they were born up until they reached the age of 30 years which included of 250 photos. They both treasured these and I have now promised them that I will write a story of their 93 year Grandad’s life who has passed away recently.

I am busy at the moment with an updated version of my Baking Book with lots of tips and all you would want to know about tea and afternoon teas which includes some of my personal recipes.

To say that writing has turned my life around is an understatement after leaving school with just two qualifications neither of which were related to English. I would encourage anyone who is in constant pain or lonely to try and write a blog and make some new friends along the way. It’s something to get up for and something which keeps your brain active.

I have in the last two weeks bought myself an iPad Mini4 which I am writing on at the moment as I can no longer lift a laptop due to the pain whereas this little iPad is perfect for writing on.

Feel free to ask me anything about blogging or self publishing just pm through my blog and I will happily get back to you.

WHY IS IT THAT SENIOR BLOGGERS LOVE TO WRITE ABOUT HEALTH?…

Out of interest, I decided I would take a look for award-winning senior blogs written by senior bloggers. When I tapped in senior/elderly bloggers a few sights came up with lists of their top ten senior sites but most just had lists of health-related blog sites. But I did find a few that had won awards and that had nothing to do with health and care.

One such sight Senior Living lists it’s top ten of mainly health sites.

The New Age Blog – The “new” old age means that people are living longer than ever before. As this New York Times blog states: “Adults over age 80 are the fastest growing segment of the population; most will spend years dependent on others for the most basic needs. That burden falls to their baby boomer children.”

Better Health – Better Health is a repository of articles, videos and audio Podcasts on health topics. You’ll find interviews with healthcare professionals, book reviews, health tips, news and more. The dozens of blog contributors are medical professionals, journalists, healthcare administrators and other specialists.

The Intentional Care Giver – Shelley Webb, a former Registered Nurse and Geriatric Case Manager, says the goal of this blog is “to help calm, simplify and enrich the lives of caregivers of aging parents and loved ones.

Another well-known site Saga Magazine has a great list of 50 top senior bloggers. Their list is set out in categories – Expat Life for the over-50’s, Culture, Politics, Food and Drink, Style and Fashion, Gardening, Arts & Crafts, Sports, History, Personal,  and Humour. However, this list was posted in 2013 and no matter what I enter into the search related to blogs no new posts seem to come up.

 

The Luggage Hero website has awards for most inspiring travel blogs and (drum roll please) I have found a few senior bloggers who have won awards on this site.

Senior Nomabs is a blog written by Debbie & Michael decided in 2013 to experience their retirement in a very original way, as they felt that they still wanted to experience adventures. They decided to live in AirBnBs and have visited over 200 cities in almost 70 different countries in just 4 years. In their blog, they give advice based on their experience in choosing the best AirBnBs on a budget, as well as publishing original articles such as book lists and lifestyle posts. Their story is truly inspiring and motivating.

Silver Lifestyle has a list of the ‘Best Senior Blogs‘ ( only six listed) and although none have awards I personally think some of these are well worth a visit, in particular, Look Fabulous Forever which is for women over 50 to help them feel fabulous in their senior years.

Senior Homes have a Best Retirement Blog award and three are listed but the first two are great fun to read about. Victory Lap Retirement is a blog work while you play, play while you work. Unlike some retirement blogs, which focus only on finance or navigating the worlds of Medicare and modern medicine, this blog is about living well whether you’re fully retired, semi-retired or retired as you define it. Author and website creator Michael Drak refers to his book Victory Lap Retirement as “a retirement book about not retiring,” and his writing reflects that philosophy. Another one on their list is Retire Fabulously is a blog written by Dave Hughes, who started this retirement blog, also wrote Design Your Dream Retirement, a book which, “will show you how to visualize your retirement in an optimistic, possibility-filled light.” What draws me to this blog aren’t just the articles on topics such as best places to retire, mistakes you can make in planning for your next chapter, how to negotiate relationships as a “mixed-retirement” couple (one retires; one doesn’t) along the way. It’s the fresh voice and positive spin on the advice that makes it all seem so doable…with a little smart planning ahead, of course.

After spending quite a few hours researching about this I soon realised that most bloggers and blog award winners tend to be in the younger generation age group and yet blogging is such an ideal hobby for the older generation to make friends and keep up with the latest news. I understand why most I found were all based around health, and care which is of interest to many seniors but in a world that is now full of an elderly generation, it would be nice to find lots more blogs around a better life in your senior years.

 

 

 

6 PLEASANT THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU ARE IN PAIN…

It’s very hard to do much when you are in pain but something simple could help you get through a bad patch. Maybe give one a go…

  1. Write a letter to a friend. We used to write so much more years ago and although we hardly write letters now it doesn’t mean we can’t send one to a friend or family member. I only have a few from my children when they were on their travels but I treasure them all.
  2. Write a short story or a poem. A short story can be written in no time and there are plenty of magazines and papers who having short story writing competitions to inspire you with. I wrote a poem about Fibromyalgia which I put on this blog. If you missed seeing it this is a link to it here.
  3. Buy a colouring book. Colouring books are not just for the kids nowadays. The adult ones are beautiful and can take you away from your pain to another place. Just the front of some of the books makes you feel better. This one, in particular, The Flower Fairies has 45 illustrations to colour, or The Secret Garden, which is perfect for someone who loves flowers.  
  4. Do a jigsaw puzzle. A company called Jigsaw Puzzles Direct have lots to choose from for all ages and a massive choice to choose from. My favourite is the Changing Seasons Jigsaw which reminds me of the Lake District. 
  5. Read a good novel. With everyone having access to Amazon for books now and most of us owning Kindle’s it’s so easy to buy FREE books to read. I use a couple of companies and can honestly say that I cannot remember the last time I paid for a book as there are so many to choose from. The two companies I use are FREEBOOKSY and AMAZON
  6. Look through all your old photo albums. I keep looking at a very popular hobby called Scrapbooking where you turn your pictures into works of art for your family to keep. You can buy books on the hobby where you will learn how to preserve newspaper clippings that you can use in your scrapbook that will stay for years, learn how to create titles that are catchy and witty that is sure to entice the viewers, it will guide you through proper layout of photos by using grids, collage or pockets to accommodate all your photos and mementos in a single page. By the time you finish reading this book, you are going to be able to realize that making an awesome scrapbook doesn’t have to be time consuming, expensive and frustrating. You can use old buttons, loose ribbons, excess card stocks and patterned papers and other reusable embellishments to make your scrapbook unique and fabulous.  

A NEW THERAPY FOR CHRONIC PAIN AND FIBROMYALGIA…

 

JOURNAL THERAPY  is a new therapy which is said to be the cheapest kind of therapy you can have.

All you need is some paper or a notebook and something to write with.

Personally, I use a pencil as I find this easier to write with than a pen.

Things you could write about are:

• Write it daily or weekly and write how your day went and what the next few days hold for you.

• List the best things that have happened that week/day/month or year in your life.

• Describe the worst thing that has ever happened to you.

• Write your own prayer.

• Describe a special moment.

• Write your own mantra.

• Write a dialogue with another person, or describe an event, a part of your body, or a famous person.

• Make a list of your activities, your stresses, your fears, your hopes. What makes you sad/happy and/or your favourite people.

• Write what you have enjoyed watching on the television.

• Write about the weather.

Keeping it as something that you do ‘when you feel like it’, as opposed to ‘must be written’ will, in the end, make it a much nicer experience. It’s also nice to look back over and read a few years on. On a personal note, I find blogging my therapy. Even on my worst days I can find a comfortable position with my laptop and go to another place away from my pain.

A great book on the therapy (and there are many) is  ‘The Write Therapy: How Keeping A Journal Can Make You Happier, Healthier and More Productive’, by Lyn Alderson.