How to Make the Most of Rest Days | The Health Sessions

47 Ways You Can Make the Most of Rest Days

Resting sounds so balanced and zen – until it’s something you have to do. When you live with chronic illness, the key to managing your precious energy is alternating activities with plenty of relaxation. Not to mention that thanks to the unpredictability of chronic illness, symptoms can flare up at any time, forcing you to stop and take a break.

At first, binge-watching your favorite series all day long feels fun. But when you’re stuck in bed a lot of the time, while you’d rather be doing something else, resting becomes dreadful, mind-numbingly boring and lonely.

So when you’re having another undesired rest day, is there anything you can do to make the most of your situation? In general, there are 3 strategies you can apply:

  1. Focus on deep restoration and replenishing. By doing simple things that support your health, you may reduce your symptoms – or even the number of future rest days.
  2. Have a better time. Who doesn’t want to feel more comforted and entertained when you’re sick?
  3. Living your best life while being housebound. Of course this is not what you signed up for. But your illness doesn’t have to stop you from doing tiny things that are meaningful to you.

Obviously, what works for you depends a lot on your personal situation. Do you need to rest after doing something fun, or because you’re exhausted from folding laundry? Are you feeling really sick too? Do you live alone or do you have partners, kids or pets that require your attention?

Not all tips will work for everyone, but here’s a list of 47 ideas of how you can make the most of rest days. 

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13 Loneliness Quotes That'll Make You Feel Less Alone | The Health Sessions

13 Loneliness Quotes That’ll Make You Feel Less Alone

It’s one of the saddest feelings in the world: loneliness. Like Freddy Mercury sang: “Sometimes I feel I’m gonna break down and cry. Nowhere to go, nothing to do with my time. I get lonely, so lonely, living on my own.”

Although being by yourself can make you feel lonely, loneliness isn’t the same as having no people around you. Sometimes it can be great to have time to yourself, while other times you may feel lost in a sea of people. That’s because are different kinds of loneliness:

  • Social isolation, when you’re physically alone and don’t have any company. This kind of loneliness is common in the elderly, people who are housebound or when someone’s just moved to a new city where you don’t know anyone.
  • Emotional loneliness is the feeling like no-one understand you or what you’re going through. You feel different than everyone else due to your chronic illness, sexual orientation or world views. What’s more, it may feel like you have no one to talk to, because none of your friends and family truly listen or support you.
  • A lack of belonging – the sense that you have no close relationships or aren’t part of any groups. Maybe you feel left out or even purposely excluded. Social media can also reinforce the idea that everyone is having a great time together – except you.

To make matters even worse, feeling lonely has a negative effect on your physical health too. Studies show that loneliness puts you at a higher risk of becoming ill and even a shorter lifespan.

But loneliness isn’t all bad. Although the feeling definitely hurts, and you shouldn’t be lonely every day, occasional loneliness also has its upsides. Being lone gives you time to think, reflect and remind yourself what’s most important to you. It can stir your creative side – who hasn’t heard of a lonely, tormented artist who created their masterpiece during their darkest times?

Have a look at these 13 loneliness quotes below to make you feel less alone.

Read more >13 Loneliness Quotes That’ll Make You Feel Less Alone

12 Ideas to Eat More Fermented Foods for a Healthy Gut | The Health Sessions

12 Ideas to Eat More Fermented Foods for a Healthy Gut

It’s hard to miss that fermented foods have been making a comeback in the food scene and wellness industry.

And there’s good reason for that. It turns out that this age-old method to preserve fresh produce has many benefits for your health, especially your gut.

Fermentation is a natural process in which microorganisms like yeast or bacteria break down carbohydrates and covert them into alcohol or lactic acids. Not only does this improve the shelf life of foods, it also promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria known as probiotics.

Research shows that probiotics help improve your digestion, immunity and heart health. Probiotic-rich foods also support the restoration of your digestive system after taking antibiotics. What’s more, by promoting good gut bacteria, probiotic-rich foods could reduce inflammation in your body, which is the underlying cause of many diseases.

Pretty good reasons to eat more fermented foods, right? You’re probably familiar with traditional fermented foods like pickles and sauerkraut. But did you know that tempeh, Korean kimchi, kefir and kombucha are also packed with probiotic properties?

There are many guides online to showing you how to quickly pickle vegetables, make sauerkraut and ferment kimchi. But whether you make it yourself or buy them, how do you add more fermented foods to your meals? Take a look at these 12 delicious ways to eat more fermented foods for a healthy gut. 

Read more >12 Ideas to Eat More Fermented Foods for a Healthy Gut

Rallying the Troops: How to Mobilize Your Support System | The Health Sessions

Rallying the Troops: How to Mobilize Your Support System

“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” – Ronald Reagan

It’s an essential element of physical and mental health: having a strong support system.

Research shows that being able to turn to family and friends in times of need is linked to better health and even a longer life. Having a supportive network also helps to protect you against developing mood disorders and post traumatic stress. That’s partly because social support helps people cope better with stress.

When you become sick, you really need all the support you can get. You probably feel overwhelmed by the painful sensations and rollercoaster of emotions. Not too mention that you may not be able to perform everyday tasks like cleaning your home or even getting dressed anymore.

But asking for help – and accepting it gracefully – is not always easy. Maybe you feel embarrassed to admit you need help. Or perhaps you’re scared of letting go of control over your life. Even if you do reach out for support, there’s the whole logistics of organizing practical support when you have to rely on helping hands a lot.

So when it comes to asking for help – and getting it – how can you make things as easy as possible? Take a look at 6 steps to mobilize your support system when you need help.

Read more >Rallying the Troops: How to Mobilize Your Support System

It All Starts With You: 11 Radical Self Love Quotes | The Health Sessions

It All Starts With You: 11 Radical Self Love Quotes

When you think about it, the only constant in your life is you. And yet, many of us struggle to accept – let alone love – ourselves for who we truly are, flaws and quirks included.

Too often, we compare ourselves to others, feeling that we don’t measure up. What the critical voices in our head tend to forget, is that we’re only seeing the highlight reel of other people, while our own journeys are filled with ups and downs. So we beat ourselves up over the mistakes we make. Even when we do succeed, we feel like it’s more a matter of luck than the result of our talents, skills and hard work.

Self love can be especially hard to practice when you have a chronic illness. Because how do you love the parts of your body that hurt, let you down and prevent you from living a ‘normal’ life?

And still, self love has a big impact on your quality of life. Self love helps you to set healthy boundaries, allow supportive people in your life only and practice self-care. When you respect your own wants and needs, you’re more likely to make decisions that nourish instead of deplete you. That’s why Gala Darling states that loving yourself is a revolutionary act.

Take a look at these 11 self love quotes to help you realize it all starts with you

Read more >It All Starts With You: 11 Radical Self Love Quotes