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The Health Sessions

Your weekly dose of in-depth advice on a healthy lifestyle and coping with chronic illness.

The Beginner’s Guide to Changing Your Negative Thoughts

A Beginner's Guide to Challenging Your Negative Thoughts | The Health Sessions

 

It’s all my fault.

No one will understand.”

“I’m just a burden to everyone.

 

Thoughts pop up in our heads all day long, uninvitedly.

It happens so automatically that we rarely take the time to wonder if what we’re thinking is actually true. Instead, we take our thoughts at face value and instantly respond with feelings and actions. But when your inner critic or negative Nancy is taking over your mind, it’s time to take back control and change your thought patterns.

Because thoughts are powerful. They influence your mood, your decisions and even your neurobiology. Every time you have a thought (“Oh god, everybody is staring at me!“), your brain releases neurotransmitters and hormones that prepare your body and mind to respond to the (imaginary) situation – by blushing, stumbling, running off or making a self-deprecating joke.

That’s why automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) take a toll on your mental health: they trigger a cascade of biochemical reactions and emotions that adversely affect how you feel and behave.

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Hurray! 10 Healthy Birthday Cakes to Celebrate in Style

Hurray! 10 Healthy Birthday Cakes to Celebrate in Style | The Health Sessions

 

Julia Childs was right: A party without cake is just a meeting.

I’m all for birthday indulgences, but sometimes you just want your treat with a little less refined sugars, butter and accessory bloating. The good thing is: you can have your cake and eat it too!

These 10 celebratory sweets prove that you can bake the most tempting treats from wholesome ingredients like spelt flour, coconut yoghurt, almonds, spices and fresh fruit, without compromising on taste.

No matter if your food style is vegan, gluten-free, raw or Paleo, this sweet selection of birthday cakes has got you covered. Time to celebrate!

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30 Ways to Entertain an Active Toddler When You’re (Chronically) Ill

30 Ways to Entertain an Active Toddler When You're (Chronically) Ill | The Health Sessions

 

Moms don’t get to be sick. And yet, we’re only human, no matter how much we’re trying to be superwoman.

Unfortunately, resting up in bed when you’ve come down with the flu or having a flare-up day is not really an option when you have a active toddler at home and no last-minute child care options.

Now, I don’t see too much harm in letting your child watch a bit more TV than usual when you’re too ill to lift your head from your pillow. But when your illness lasts longer than a day or two, you probably don’t want your little one constantly glued to a screen.

Luckily, with a little imagination and motherly love, you can still keep your two – or three year old entertained indoors while you’re sick on the couch. What works for you obviously depends on the kind of illness you have, how bad you’re feeling, how long you’ve been sick, your toddler’s personality and your family situation.

But here’s a big list of activities to get you and your toddler through a sick day and be a chronically awesome parent.

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Illness and Identity: Redefining Who You Are When Your Health Changes

Illness and Identity: Redefining Who You Are When Your Health Changes | The Health Sessions

Photo by Mon et Mine

 

The house I grew up in will be sold in a few days time. As I go through boxes of childhood memories stashed away in the attic and wander the half-empty rooms I spend such a big part of my life in, I can’t help but think how much of our identity is tied to our circumstances.

The places we live in, the people we surround ourselves with, the roles we play and the things we do, they all become a part of who we are. We literally define ourselves by our profession and habits. One of the first questions we ask strangers is: “So what do you do?” And yet, we usually don’t answer with a list of our activities, but with statements like: “I am an administrative assistant/nurse/graphic designer.”

But when you become severely ill and lose the ability to work, socialize or do the things you love, how we label ourselves and interact with the world changes. There’s an erosion of self where everything you used to think about yourself is challenged by the new limitations of your body. Would you still describe yourself an outdoorsy, fun-loving teacher if you’ve been too sick to be in a classroom of nature for months? But if not, then who are you now that chronic illness chips away at the things that defined you for so long?

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Get Your Greens On: 19 Revitalizing Recipes to Enjoy More Spring Vegetables

Get Your Greens On: 19 Revitalizing Recipes to Enjoy More Spring Vegetables | The Health Sessions

 

Aah, Spring. My favourite time of year.

After those grey winter days, there’s nothing better than feeling the sun of your face and enjoying new life: brightly colored tulips, blossoming trees, ducklings in the pond and vibrantly fresh fruit and veggies.

Spring vegetables are bursting with vitality and nutrients. Leafy greens like baby spinach, Swiss chard and watercress are packed with vitamin C and chlorofyll, the powerful green pigment in plants that allows them to convert sunlight into energy. Watercress even ranks number one on the list of most nutrient-dense foods.

But don’t underestimate the nutritional power of spring veggies such as peas, leeks, asparagus, radishes and rhubarb! Each of these seasonal favourites turns out to be an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants and disease-fighting phytonutrients. Fennel even is traditionally used to help with digestive problems, while artichoke and dandelion support liver health and your body’s natural detoxification process.

Plenty of reasons to get your daily doses of greens in! Have a look at these 19 fresh, colourful and vibrant recipes to enjoy more spring vegetables all day long. 

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About me

I’m a psychologist living with chronic illness. I want to help you feel as energetic, symptom-free and happy as possible, by showing you how to create lasting health habits and by giving you advice on how to cope with (chronic) health problems.

Disclaimer

All lifestyle and health advice is provided for information only. The Health Sessions is not intended to replace a consultation with an appropriately qualified health professional. Always seek the advice of your doctor with any personal medical questions that you may have!