30 Ways to Entertain an Active Toddler When You’re (Chronically) Ill

30 Ways to Entertain an Active Toddler When You're (Chronically) Ill | The Health Sessions

 

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.

Read more >30 Ways to Entertain an Active Toddler When You’re (Chronically) Ill



Illness and Identity: Redefining Who You Are When Your Health Changes

Illness and Identity: Redefining Who You Are When Your Health Changes | The Health Sessions
Photo by Mon et Mine

 

The house I grew up in will be sold in a few days time. As I go through boxes of childhood memories stashed away in the attic and wander the half-empty rooms I spend such a big part of my life in, I can’t help but think how much of our identity is tied to our circumstances.

The places we live in, the people we surround ourselves with, the roles we play and the things we do, they all become a part of who we are. We literally define ourselves by our profession and habits. One of the first questions we ask strangers is: “So what do you do?” And yet, we usually don’t answer with a list of our activities, but with statements like: “I am an administrative assistant/nurse/graphic designer.”

But when you become severely ill and lose the ability to work, socialize or do the things you love, how we label ourselves and interact with the world changes. There’s an erosion of self where everything you used to think about yourself is challenged by the new limitations of your body. Would you still describe yourself an outdoorsy, fun-loving teacher if you’ve been too sick to be in a classroom of nature for months? But if not, then who are you now that chronic illness chips away at the things that defined you for so long?

Read more >Illness and Identity: Redefining Who You Are When Your Health Changes



Get Your Greens On: 19 Revitalizing Recipes to Enjoy More Spring Vegetables

Get Your Greens On: 19 Revitalizing Recipes to Enjoy More Spring Vegetables | The Health Sessions

 

Aah, Spring. My favourite time of year.

After those grey winter days, there’s nothing better than feeling the sun of your face and enjoying new life: brightly colored tulips, blossoming trees, ducklings in the pond and vibrantly fresh fruit and veggies.

Spring vegetables are bursting with vitality and nutrients. Leafy greens like baby spinach, Swiss chard and watercress are packed with vitamin C and chlorofyll, the powerful green pigment in plants that allows them to convert sunlight into energy. Watercress even ranks number one on the list of most nutrient-dense foods.

But don’t underestimate the nutritional power of spring veggies such as peas, leeks, asparagus, radishes and rhubarb! Each of these seasonal favourites turns out to be an excellent source of fiber, antioxidants and disease-fighting phytonutrients. Fennel even is traditionally used to help with digestive problems, while artichoke and dandelion support liver health and your body’s natural detoxification process.

Plenty of reasons to get your daily doses of greens in! Have a look at these 19 fresh, colourful and vibrant recipes to enjoy more spring vegetables all day long. 

Read more >Get Your Greens On: 19 Revitalizing Recipes to Enjoy More Spring Vegetables



Rolling with the Punches: PJ from Pajama Daze on Living with Multiple Chronic Conditions

What’s it really like to live with chronic illness every day? How do you deal with the physical symptoms, emotional turmoil and practical problems? In this interview series, real life ‘spoonies’ share their stories and tips.

Rolling with the Punches: PJ from PajamaDaze on Living with Multiple Chronic Conditions | The Health Sessions

PJ runs the motivational and inspirational website Pajama Daze for people with chronic illness, pain and fatigue. She’s currently writing her first book. 

 

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m 61 years old, retired on disability. I earned a BS Ed and an MA in Communication, am a Certified (PA) Holistic Health Educator, and was a Fellow of the PA Rural Leadership Program. In my previous life I worked in radio and television in both advertising and documentary production. I’ve worked in a couple of independent films, as well having published various pieces of freelance writing and photography. I also worked in community health education for several years.

I am currently writing my first book based on my website Pajama Daze for people with chronic illness. I’m also doing what I can to save pollinators through local projects and my website Posies for Pollinators.

I’ve had asthma all my life, arthritis and minor subluxations at various sites for much of my life, uterine cancer in 2002, three mild heart attacks in 2005, and another in 2008, caused by vascular spasms. It was discovered in 2010 that I have an uncommon disease called Fibromuscular Dysplasia (FMD), which causes abnormal cell growth in my carotid, vertebral and renal arteries, as well as other problems with connective tissue. I suffered with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for 10 years after my heart attacks, but went into remission last summer, thankfully.

 

When did you first get sick?

I first became noticeably symptomatic with FMD in my mid-30’s, though it would be more than 20 years before I was diagnosed. I suffered from severe, debilitating migraines and dizzy spells which, thankfully, have become less prolonged and severe, but still crop up from time to time.

Read more >Rolling with the Punches: PJ from Pajama Daze on Living with Multiple Chronic Conditions



How to Have an Indulging Spa Day at Home

How to Have an Indulging Spa Day at Home | The Health Sessions

 

Do you ever fantasize about running off to an exotic destination for a yoga retreat to kickstart your health? Or pampering yourself with a relaxing day at the spa, to let go of all your stress and worries?

Unfortunately, you might not always have the time, money or mobility for a much needed wellness treatment. But that doesn’t mean that indulging self-care activities are off the table. Just set aside an evening, a full day or even a weekend to have a luxurious spa day at home!

How? By recreating the essential ingredients of the spa experience in your own home:

  1. Peace and Tranquility. A day at the spa offers an escape from our hectic world. The serene surroundings and lack of digital distractions help you take your mind off your never-ending to do list. With a little preparation you can recreate those calming settings in your own home.
  2. Relaxation. We all need to a take break every now and then – and warm baths, massages and yoga are very enjoyable ways to let go off tension and rest up. Fortunately, that kind of relaxation isn’t limited to the spa.
  3. Health Boost. Many people hope to boost their health and transform their body during a luxurious wellness retreat. But there’s not necessarily a need to go on a juice ‘detox’ holiday when you can whip up delicious smoothie bowls and salads in your own kitchen.
  4. Pampering yourself. How good does it feel to treat yourself to a facial, mani, pedi or bubble bath after a tough week? Ok, you have to put in a little more effort than just lying back, but that shouldn’t stop you from pampering yourself with DIY beauty treatments to refresh and recharge.

 

You can adapt these principles to fit any budget, energy level and home situation. Have a look at these 8 ideas to have an indulging spa day at home. 

Read more >How to Have an Indulging Spa Day at Home