Why You Need a Coping Box + How to Create Your Own

It’s the one strategy that’s helped me out more times than I can remember when trying to deal with debilitating symptoms and their accompanying emotions: Having a coping box. When we’re in pain or despair, stressed or lonely, we can all use a little extra support to help us deal with those feelings. In the … Read more >



The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique: How to Deeply Relax Your Body and Mind | The Health Sessions

The 4-7-8 Breathing Technique: How to Deeply Relax Your Body and Mind

This is an excerpt from my ebook How to Create Your Own Action Plan for Recovery, a step-by step guide on rebuilding your health after illness or injury. 

 

If I had to limit my advice on healthy living to just one tip,

it would be to learn to breathe correctly.”

Andrew Weil, M.D.

 

You can survive roughly 3 weeks without food and 3 days without water, but after less than 3 minutes without breathing your heart will stop beating and your cells will die off.

Oxygen is your most critical source of energy. You take between 17,000 and 30,000 breaths each day. And yet, how often do you pay attention to your breathing and how it affects your body and mind?

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33 Ways to Best Support Your Friend in Need

33 Ways to Best Support Your Friend in Need | The Health Sessions

 

Let me know if I can help.

It’s a well-meant, reassuring phrase when someone you care about is going through a difficult time. But despite our best intentions, many of us don’t really know what to say or do when our friend loses a loved one or our colleague faces a life-altering illness.

There’s a fine line between giving someone space to grieve or respecting their need to deal with the tragic situation in their own way and reaching out for support. Although it’s kind not to want to burden your friend when they’re going through such a difficult time, a lot of people find it hard to ask for help when they need it.

That’s why it helps to make a specific offer when someone could use your assistance. Instead of saying “let me know if you need anything“, try to come up with something concrete that you could do to help them: watch their kids, cook a comforting meal or call them once a week to see how they’re doing. Just make sure you only offer help you’re genuinely able to give – letting your friend down when they’re counting on you is inconsiderate.

So what can you do or say to help out? Have a look at these 33 ways to best support your friend or loved ones in need.

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Writing Your Way to a Happy and Healthy 2017 | The Health Sessions

Writing Your Way to a Happy & Healthy 2017

It’s kind of an understatement to say that I love lists, notebooks and planners. As my husband jokingly says: you can tell Jen’s in the house by following the paper trail.

There’s something strangely satisfying and calming about putting pen to paper. And it’s not just me: studies show that regularly writing things down has several benefits for your physical and emotional wellbeing, from boosting your creativity and productivity to an improved mood, less stress and even a stronger immunity.

Now of course you can use digital planners and apps to track your habits, but it seems that writing by hand improves your memory, by combining neuro-sensory experiences and fine motor skills. Even doodling and free-hand scribbling can facilitate thinking, make ideas tangible and help you express emotions when you can’t find the right words.

So have a look at this list of ideas and tools to write your way to a happier and healthier new year! 

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Why Acceptance is Not the Same as Giving Up | The Health Sessions

Why Acceptance Is Not The Same as Giving Up

“Accept what is, let go of what was, have faith in what will be.” 

 

Being seriously ill or injured can turn your life upside down. More than anything, you just want to get better and resume your normal activities. But what if that’s not possible? What if you’re diagnosed with a chronic illness that has no cure?

When the painful symptoms are here to stay, you have little choice but to learn to accept your new reality. But how do you do that when every waking moment is a cruel reminder that your life is not what you thought it would be like? 

Over the last decade, there’s been a strong societal focus on “never giving up”, on keeping going no matter what, on fighting like hell for what you want. And sure, that can be a motivating mindset to deal with challenges like getting a hard-earned degree, training for a marathon or losing those last pounds.

But that mentality doesn’t necessarily help when someone’s faced with horrible circumstances they have little control over, like losing a loved one, surviving a traumatic experience or becoming chronically ill. No matter how much you don’t want it to be true or how badly you want to get better, willpower won’t help you change the situation you’re in.

 

Many people mistakenly believe that accepting a painful reality means you’re surrendering. That it’s a sign of weakness to stop fighting the truth; that you’re a quitter for no longer struggling every day to get your old life back. They’re wrong.

Acceptance is not the same as giving up. 

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