Announcing…my maternity leave

  After nearly 8 blissful months of pregnancy, the time has come to slow down and enjoy my maternity leave. During Spring and early Summer, you’ll still find fresh content on The Health Sessions, just shorter articles on a less regular basis. So stay tuned for those bite-sized health tips, mouth-watering recipes and helpful posts … Read more >



Expert Advice: How to Overcome Obstacles to Exercising with Chronic Illness

Exercise with Chronic Illness

 

It’s hard to ignore the illustrious health benefits of exercising on a regular basis – it boosts your mood, helps you control your weight, promotes a good night’s sleep  and keeps your body strong and fit.

Even if you have a chronic disease, being physically active can improve your health and quality of life, by helping you manage your symptoms and giving you more energy to do your daily chores.

But for people with persisting health problems, there are many obstacles between them and a regular exercise routine – from pain, fatigue and debilitating symptoms to limited mobility and realistic fears of health setbacks.

That’s why I asked a few of the finest fitness experts: “What’s your best advice for overcoming these common barriers to physical activity when someone’s struggling with chronic illness?” 

 

Read more >Expert Advice: How to Overcome Obstacles to Exercising with Chronic Illness



14 Ideas for a Comforting Care Package for a Sick Loved One (+ A Giveaway!)

Ideas for Care Package Giveaway

 

There’s nothing more uplifting than knowing someone is thinking of you when you’re terribly ill. All you want is a little comforting while you’re dealing with the physical pain and emotional turmoil of sickness.

That’s why sending a get-well care package to a sick loved one is a wonderful way to show you care and to wish them a speedy recovery.

And yet you might be stumped for inspiration on what to put in your gift basket. Of course that depends on your friend’s illness, circumstances and preferences in life, but packing both practical items to deal with the daily discomforts and entertaining goodies that offer an escape from the mind-numbing boredom will definitely brighten their day!

Have a look at these 14 ideas for creating a comforting care package for sick loved ones:

Read more >14 Ideas for a Comforting Care Package for a Sick Loved One (+ A Giveaway!)



6 Unconventional Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

Sunset Tanzania | Unconventional Sleeping Tips

 

Dark circles under your eyes. Extra pounds around your waist from craving high-calorie foods. The struggle to focus on your work and just get through the day without emotional outbursts.

You know the alarming picture of what sleep loss will do to you all too well.

It’s not like you haven’t tried all the usual advice for getting a good night’s sleep. You stopped drinking caffeine after lunchtime and you wake up and go to bed at the same time each night. Heck, you even bought the most comfortable mattress and pillow you could find.

And still you find yourself tossing and turning, staring at the ceiling in the middle of the night, debating whether you should quietly get up for a while or stubbornly keep your eyes closed in the hope of finally falling asleep. Unfortunately, following standard sleeping tips is no guarantee for getting plenty of shut-eye when you have a medical condition, when your baby keeps you up all night or when your internal body clock is disrupted from working the night shift.

For people with chronic illness, insomnia is an all-too-common problem. Many health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease, depression and an overactive thyroid, can disturb your natural sleep – wake cycle. Having trouble falling asleep can also be the result of the pills you’re taking or of simply not being able to lie down comfortably due to seriously aching joints and muscles.

If the basic go-to-sleep ideas have failed to get you a good night’s rest, experiment with these 6 unconventional tips to beat insomnia naturally.

Read more >6 Unconventional Tips for Getting a Good Night’s Sleep



Reframing Stress: 7 Psychological Tricks to Change How Stress Affects Your Health

Reframing Stress | 7 Psychological Tricks to Change How Stress Affects Your Health
Photo by Despina Design

 

 

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing:

the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” 

Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning

 

Your mother warned you there’d be days like these. The minutes are ticking away until your big meeting starts, and here you are, stuck in traffic – again. Cars are moving at a snail’s pace, but the thoughts keep racing through your mind. “Hmm, did I lock the front door..? Ooh, I shouldn’t forget to pick up the dry-cleaning on my way home tonight. And we really must find the time to visit aunt Jessie in the hospital this weekend. Maybe after we’ve finished painting the nursery..? Argh, move already, I’m running late!”

You can feel the tension build up in your body. And the day has only just begun.

 

Life is a continuous string of events, from everyday challenges and important milestones to defining moments and daily disruptions. Although there are certain situations that everyone finds upsetting and taxing – losing a loved one, relationship troubles, unemployment or living with chronic illness – whether or not you get stressed following a negative event also depends on how you perceive that situation.

Stress is triggered by external life events and small daily hassles. When you experience more frequent and severe stressors in life, you have an increased risk of developing serious health problems like heart disease, obesity, digestive problems or anxiety. But this relation doesn’t explain why plenty of people thrive in high-pressure jobs or demanding circumstances. Why do some individuals get sick and depressed when something stressful happens while others do not?

Read more >Reframing Stress: 7 Psychological Tricks to Change How Stress Affects Your Health