There’s no WiFi in the forrest, but you will find a better connection.
We spend most of our waking hours indoors, working, driving and staring at screens. When you become chronically ill and don’t have enough energy or mobility to go outside, you can get even more alienated from nature.
Science backs our intuitive feeling that being outdoors has many important benefits for our health and happiness. Japanese medicine even studies the healing effects of immersing yourself into the woods, a practice called ‘forest bathing.’So what makes being in green surroundings so healthy?
December, the month of celebrations. From the Dutch Sinterklaas, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years Eve , it’s the time for culturally-rooted festivities all around the globe.
But it’s little different celebrating when you’re chronically ill.
Pain, fatigue and other horrible symptoms can definitely mess up your plans and traditions. Depending on your personal health situation, enjoying things like shopping for presents, cooking an elaborate Christmas dinner, attending parties or even staying up on New Year’s Eve may not be an option – or one you pay a high price for with days or weeks of recovery time.
The trembling legs, relentless nausea or breathlessness won’t go away for a day just because today is a holiday and you want to celebrate. You still feel as good, bad or awful as you do every day, and it’s hard to keep smiling, enjoy the feast at the table and focus on sparkling conversations around jou when you experience throbbing pain or ’embarrassing’ stomach troubles at the same time.
So how can you make the most of the holiday season even when you’re chronically ill?
It’s probably one of the most common dilemmas of the 21st century: “How do I get everything – work, family, household, social life – done with the limited amount of time and energy that I have?”
This problem only becomes more pressing when you suffer from health problems. Because how do you juggle making a living and taking care of your loved ones when your inner battery only charges up to 50% every day and runs out of energy much quicker than everyone else’s?
Basically, there are two broad strategies to tackle a mile-long to-do list when you’re worn out:
Find ways to recharge your battery better – e.g. improve the quality of your sleep, eat nutrient-rich meals or gradually increase your fitness levels.
Experiment with life hacks that help you do everyday things more efficiently.
Now there’s lots of advice on this website (and in my upcoming ebook!) on getting healthier and more energetic, but let’s face it, some days you just have to make do with the tiny bit of power that you have left. That’s why I want to share a series of tips on how you can do more with less energy in all areas of your life, starting with the inescapable job of running a household.
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.
“It’s non-negotiable. Just cook.” – Sarah Wilson on Twitter.
If you want to eat healthily, making your own meals (most of the time) is not an option but a necessity. It’s the best way to have a say in the ingredients, add variation to your overall diet and limit your intake of refined sugar, trans fats and artificial flavours.
Now, I love cooking. And I love all the amazing, wholesome recipes on food blogs these days. But honestly, after a long day of running around after a one-year old, squeezing in writing and household chores during naps, it sometimes feels like too much effort to cut up tons of veggies and spend an hour behind the stove.
You’ve probably felt the same way when you’ve had a tiring day, whether that’s because of work, illness or way too active kids.
And while it’s tempting to just shove a pizza in the oven whenever you’re too tired to cook, as a rule it’s better to find a healthy alternative to ordering takeout or heating up microwaved meals. Processed foods often contain too much salt, too little veg and an addictive combo of high sugar/high fat. And frankly, most convenience meals are just plain bland in taste compared to a home cooked dinner.
So let’s have a look how you can still put a nutritious meal on the table when you’re running low on energy.