How to Overcome Summertime Loneliness

How to Overcome Summertime Loneliness | The Health Sessions

 

“The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved.”

– Mother Theresa

 

When you think of loneliness, a bright and sunny day is probably not the first scenario that comes to mind. Long, dark winter nights seem to represent those hollow feelings inside so much better.

And yet, summer time can be a lonely season for anyone who’s not able to fully participate in the festivities during these months, like the chronically ill. Family and friends are away on vacation and caregiving facilities can be closed down for summer or short on staff. This makes getting out and about and socializing even more challenging than usual if you have limited mobility.

And it’s not just about literally being alone and not having someone to talk to and hang out with. Loneliness also refers to feeling alone, like nobody understands what you’re going through. Like Carl Jung said, “loneliness does not come from having no people around you, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to you“. When you have a chronic or invisible illness, being lonely is often a combination of the two, a cruel mix of social isolation and not feeling heard. Because for the people in your life it can be hard to understand why you may not be able to do seemingly relaxing things like spending a day at the beach.

And during summer, the gorgeous weather and ecstatic Facebook updates about festivals, BBQ’s and exotic holiday destinations only seem to rub your nose in the fact that you’re stuck at home, not being able to join in on the fun.

So how can you deal with loneliness? 

Read more >How to Overcome Summertime Loneliness



Parenting with Chronic Illness: How to Take Care of Your Baby and Yourself

 

Parenting with Chronic Illness: How to Take Care of Your Baby and Yourself

 

As soon as you first hold your baby in your arms, you realise that every cliché about parenthood is true: it’s one of the most joyful, love-filled yet hardest things you’ll ever do.

Taking care of a newborn round-the-clock can be overwhelming for any mum and dad, but when you have a chronic illness like MS, fibromyalgia or lupus, parenting comes with a whole extra set of challenges. Unpredictable symptoms, severe fatigue and physical limitations can pose considerable obstacles when you’re looking after a little one.

Here are 12 practical tips for taking care of your baby and yourself when you’re chronically ill.

Read more >Parenting with Chronic Illness: How to Take Care of Your Baby and Yourself



A Study Guide for the Chronically Ill: 23 Proven Strategies

Study Guide for the Chronically Ill

Most kids love the idea of staying home from school for a day. But that delighted feeling swiftly disappears when you’re sick in bed all day every day.

During most of my high school years, I was too ill to go to class. Even the simplest parts of a normal school day tested my endurance: the constant pain from sitting behind a desk, listening to the teacher’s instructions with a foggy brain, taking written tests with inflamed shoulders, the everlasting fatigue that influenced every aspect of my life.

So ever since I was 15, I had to rely solely on self-study from home to earn my high school diploma and later my Psychology degree from the Dutch Open University.

But getting an education when you’re chronically ill comes with its own set of problems, even if you’re able to attend class. For some sick students, a full-time schedule might be too demanding. Others could have severe trouble with concentration, memory and ‘mental stamina’ due to their symptoms or side-effects of medication.

If you’re a young student with chronic illness or disabilities, what are you to do?

Read more >A Study Guide for the Chronically Ill: 23 Proven Strategies



Hope in Times of Chronic Illness

Hope in Times of Chronic Illness

 

“There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, no tonic so powerful as the expectation of tomorrow.”

– Orison S. Marden

 

Someone once told me it’s better not to have hope, because it will only lead to disappointment.

I couldn’t disagree more. Hope has shaped my life time and time again.

Read more >Hope in Times of Chronic Illness



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