Initially I thought I should split this post into two but it sounded better together. These are life hacks on fashion and blogging (or freelancing/working in general) from bloggers who have tried and tested them, as well as some of my own.
Nobody wants to miss out on wearing pretty clothes because they’re in pain, but at the same time spoonies don’t want to be in pain because of the fashion they’re choosing to wear.
Sarah Walker – www.moshingzombies.co.uk
I personally find slip on shoes a lot easier as this reduces the amount of time required for me bending over as I don’t need any more pain in my back! Not necessarily a hack, but is useful if you had someone around who can help button/zip up your clothes for you. I know for me I struggle with fastenings on my back. For lazy days, I prefer staying in PJs or perhaps changing into a baggy tee and tracksuit bottoms, this way I can be as comfortable as one possibly can be with chronic pain.
Online shopping is a god send but sometimes you’re unsure of how garments are going to look, my tip for this is to take your time when looking instore, make sure you’re going at your own pace and don’t be scared to ask for help! I often struggle to lift my arms up (which combined with me being 5ft) which makes it hard to get clothes off the hook, I have had to learn to overcome my anxiety for asking for help because at the end of the day, it makes life easier and less painful for you.
Tania Jayne – www.whentaniatalks.com
To reduce my migraine pain, I have to wear precision tinted lenses. The colour of them at the moment is green. I try to compliment the colour of my tint in what I wear & like to buy cute & stylish frames to compliment them. For my wedding, I bought some pretty frames that would compliment my dress, rather than walking down the isle in black plastic frames. My glasses stick out, so I want them to compliment my outfit rather than clashing & looking ridiculous! I also have to wear hats with brims because my migraines are caused by photosensitivity. I’ve made hats part of my signature look, with different styles & colours to match different outfits. For me it’s important to make this necessity a stylish one & not something that looks out of place. Flat shoes are a must for me too because of my Ehlers-Dalos syndrome, so I make sure they’re pretty ones!
When my pain flares up there’s certain things I actually have to avoid, like well-fitted bras as when I’m hobbling in pain they’re a complete no go for digging into my sides and causing unwanted and unnecessary pain. For me bra extenders are amazing, I wear at least one to two depending on the pain I’m experiencing and it allows my boobs to still look fabulous, whilst being kinder on my back Most people already know that I wear Chaffree’s anti-chafing shorts constantly, but I’d even started to favour them over shapewear. I’m over trying to smooth out my curves and wearing tightly fitted dresses as I can still look great and wear a flare dress, it doesn’t cause any additional strain on my back and that’s more important to me now. I, like Tania above, can only wear flats and I’ve managed to find a pair of Crocs that look like my ballerina flats but they have a lot more support. Not everyone is the same though….
Charli Russon – www.CurvyGirlThin.com
This may sound strange for a girl on crutches, but I love my heels! The bigger the better. Now my left leg drags, twists and walks off on its own so you may think that heels are a massive no! However, I’ve learnt that a heel tenses my muscles, keeps my leg a little straighter, and I actually fall over less in a pair of heels than a pair of unsupportive ballet pumps or converse style trainers. I tend to lean toward chunky heels with an ankle strap as these both offer extra support but a well balanced investment heel (L. K. Bennett are my dream shoes, Carvela my more affordable option) is just as useful – and pretty!
If you’re not willing to try heels (I understand why) then brogues are super supportive and also keep my leg straighter. So do my Sketchers which are ultra lightweight and the memory foam soles mean that my feet are cushioned and don’t ache half as much after a day on my feet.
Blogging / Work
You don’t have to be a blogger to use these hacks!
Tania Jayne – www.whentaniatalks.com
With the pain in my hands caused by my Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, I find dictating blog posts really helpful. This takes a bit of getting used to, but it’s well worth trying. I also find it helpful for minimising screen time, which can add to my migraine pain. You don’t have to be looking at the computer to get your thoughts down on the page & if you’re having a really bad day, you can even lie down & speak your posts! I’ve also found my camera tripod has had a real benefit to my blog. Now I don’t need to hold my body in awkward positions for hours to get the perfect shot. Something that would leave me unable to move for the rest of the day. I just set the tripod up & snap away. Plus, if I need to stretch or move, I can without losing the position I was in! Which was something that was impossible before I got my tripod.
Being a freelancer means that sometimes I can’t pace myself as much as I’d want to and for that, I do have my tricks. I always prioritise client work, so that’s never a problem as I do it when I have the most energy, but when there’s little left over for me, I get by with the help from a couple websites.
https://wordcounter.net/ – When you sign in via Facebook it automatically saves your writing to the letter, even if your computer shuts down in a hurry. It looks at keywords, obviously counts the words as you’ve guessed from the name. But the handiest thing that it does is actually read your posts back to you so you can listen for misspelt words or where you might need to rewrite something as it doesn’t sound right. Often I’m writing out of exhaustion and this has saved my blog from sounding like a 5 year old has wrote it! – @WorthingWeb tweeted me to say she actually dictates her posts whilst Google Speech to text, she simply shouts at her phone in her poshest voice.
Donna Grant- http://www.februarystars.co.uk
Blogging when you have a chronic illness can be challenging, particularly when you suffer from concentration problems and fatigue. I think my main tip would be to decide on a blogging schedule that is realistic for you, whether that is once a week or once a month. There is no point in pushing yourself to blog if it exacerbates your symptoms. When you feel able to write content, use an editorial calendar and schedule posts in advance so that you are ahead of yourself. This means that if you have a flare up you have some leeway and don’t have to worry about your blog going quiet.
Kitty – www.kittyramblesalot.com/
Whenever possible I work in a well lit room, always on a table and I use wrist supports, as well as keeping the screen at eye level. This helps to stop slouching and obviously with back pain, wrist pain and causes less headaches, and less squinting.
Carla – rtoatsblog.com
If you find that you don’t have the time or energy to actually write posts, just try and keep active on social media instead. It’s a great way of keeping your brand and/or blog alive whilst you rest up.
There are lots of ways to ensure that you stay comfy with your fashion, and don’t burn out with your work. Take it easy and be kind to yourself.