What do you think the best health strategy would be? A bowl of fruit daily, a blog post at regular intervals or a multivitamin?
Some may say that's like comparing apples and computers.
Fruit courtesy of DH
From what I have been reading you are well advised to turn on the computer and start blogging if you are looking for a novel yet accepted method of dealing with chronic disease.
Creative outlets are distracting in a good way. When you are creating something it is a huge distraction from pain or unpleasant circumstances. That's why we see people with hand problems adapting in many ways to keep from losing their creative outlets.
cactus & mutant bunny all knitted by Cat Beattie
The act of writing a blog is a creative work also. I read at The Seated View last week that Lene researched writing before she started her book and found two things essential to success as a writer. It was the second essential where she cited Dorothy Parker and Stephen King that made me remember her post and look back as I was struggling with this one. To see the essentials have a look at her post here.
One thing I have always appreciated in Stephen King is his ability to use details of music, books and surroundings to set his work in a specific time or place. This is a quality you find in many blogs of all types, not just health blogs. Here's my idea of a shelf of interesting books. You can see why advice from King might resonate with me.
I was advised to keep a journal as a method of improving my health in a self management course and was very skeptical of the value. Now I am coming to realize that a blog is a lot like journaling and I can see benefits to continuing to do this.
This is a quote from the Health Mentor program that I mentioned in this post. "Personal reflection has long been recognized as an important learning tool, where new ideas and concepts can become integrated into future critical thinking and practice." It is a learning tool for others as well as for the blogger, so blogging makes you feel good about sharing hard learned information.
If you are a person who likes to help others or is accustomed to being in what I think of as a "helper profession" it can be very satisfying to share your knowledge. Julia's past career as a nurse helps her to do a great job now at Reasonably Well in sharing information about Sjogren's Syndrome and other "fun" issues like bursitis. She's the only person I know who ever made cookies for her infusion nurses - Mousie cookies.
Julia's mousie cookies
And here are some conclusions of a paper by Pamela Ressler, Y. Bradshaw, K. Kwan and Lisa Gualtieri. The data was gathered by online questionnaire and they say it warrants further study but it makes sense to me.
Communicating the Experience of Chronic Pain and Illness Through Blogging
"Results suggest that blogging about chronic pain and illness may decrease a sense of isolation through the establishment of online connections with others and increases a sense of purpose to help others in similar situations.
Respondents reported that initiating and maintaining an illness blog resulted in increased connection with others, decreased isolation, and provided an opportunity to tell their illness story. Blogging promoted accountability (to self and others) and created opportunities for making meaning and gaining insights from the experience of illness, which nurtured a sense of purpose and furthered their understanding of their illness."