How The Spoon Theory Explains What It's Like to Live with Chronic Illness | The Health Sessions

How The Spoon Theory Explains What It’s Like to Live with Chronic Illness

You’ve probably read the term before: spoonies. It’s a nickname for people with chronic illness, that unites individuals with all kinds of health problems on social media.

Because spoonies all share a common struggle: how do you get things done with the small amount of energy that you have? How can you take care of work, home life or even your basic needs when you’re always exhausted, in pain and have limited mobility?

Having to pace yourself is a concept that’s hard to understand for healthy people. Because getting dressed, making meals and doing the dishes is something most people do without even thinking about it. But when you’re chronically ill, those daily tasks can take up much – if not all – of your energy.

One day, lupus patient Christine Miserandino found a striking way to explain to her friend how difficult it is for her to get through the day, by using the items in front of her: spoons. Her Spoon Theory became a widely used metaphor to describe what it’s really like to live with chronic illness.

Have a look at this in-depth infographic from Burning Nights on what the Spoon Theory is and how you can use your daily spoons wisely.

Read more >How The Spoon Theory Explains What It’s Like to Live with Chronic Illness



How to Flourish in the Face of Adversity | The Health Sessions

How to Flourish in the Face of Adversity

It’s an age-old question: is it possible to thrive, not just survive, in the face of adversity?

Countless of best-selling books and blockbuster movies have been made about unexpected heroes, people who succeeded despite the obstacles in their way. But how exactly can you flourish when you’re living with chronic illness, financial troubles or strained relationships?

For decades, the field of psychology focused mostly on preventing and treating mental health problems. But when you’re trying to fix problems and reduce suffering, by definition you’re working to get people to a neutral state, to “zero”. It wasn’t until twenty years ago that renowned psychologists started to investigate how you can lead a good and happy life – how you can get from a mediocre “5” to a blooming “8”.

Flourishing means you’re living in the optimal range of human functioning, where you experience positive emotions, find fulfillment and accomplish meaningful tasks, most of the time. It’s not the same as simply being happy. When people are asked how satisfied they are with their lives, their answer depends strongly on their current mood. But a ‘good’ life depends on more than fleeting feelings of happiness.

In his book ‘Flourish’,  Martin Seligman, the pioneer of positive psychology, states that you need 5 elements for optimal wellbeing: positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment. This PERMA-model is a good template for how to flourish in life, but how do you put these pillars into action, especially during tough times?

Have a look at these 32 actionable strategies from the world’s experts on how to flourish.

Read more >How to Flourish in the Face of Adversity



14 Fresh Recipes for a Healthy Picnic | The Health Sessions

14 Fresh Recipes for a Healthy Picnic

It’s one of my daughter’s favourite activities: having a picnic.

It doesn’t really matter where – in the park, the garden, or even in front of the TV on cold winter days. Because what’s more leisurely than lounging around with a variety of foods you can eat with your hands?

Now that the weather’s warming up, it’s time to round up some outdoor-friendly recipes that are easy to pack up. Some days a simple sandwich with snacks and refreshments will do just fine. But if you’re looking for something special to turn a sunny afternoon in the park into a mini vacation, check out these 14 vibrant dishes and drinks for a healthy picnic!

Read more >14 Fresh Recipes for a Healthy Picnic



How to Deal with the Guilt of Parenting with Chronic Illness | The Health Sessions

Parenting with Chronic Illness: How Do You Deal with Guilt?

It’s the one feeling parents with chronic illness struggle with the most: guilt.

Because it hurts when you can’t take your kids to the park or the playground because of your health. Especially when you see the disappointment in their eyes. It hurts when your kids are missing out on experiences because you can’t take them everywhere. Not to mention the guilt you may feel about overburdening your kids with extra responsibilities or worries about your chronic illness.

In theory, guilt is a useful emotion that forces us to contemplate what we’ve done ‘wrong’ and how we can ensure a better outcome next time. But in reality, you can easily develop a negative self-image, depressive feelings or anxiety when the situation you feel guilty about is beyond your control.

No parent with chronic illness wants to miss their daughter’s sports games or son’s school play. We all wish we could pick up our kids from school, go on bike rides and read bedtime stories each night – but that’s not always possible.

So how do you deal with the guilt of parenting with chronic illness?

Read more >Parenting with Chronic Illness: How Do You Deal with Guilt?



6 Eco-Friendly Actions That Directly Impact Your Health | The Health Sessions

6 Eco-Friendly Actions That Directly Impact Your Health

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There’s no denying it – our beautiful planet is in trouble.

On top of the much-discussed climate change, planet Earth is threatened by air pollution, scarcity of water, deforestation and animal extinction on a large scale.

And the environmental changes are affecting your health – through the quality of the air you breathe, the water you drink, the soil that grows your fruit, vegetables and grains.

Now I’m not a no-waste eco warrior who only eats organic produce from the veggie patch. Just like many of you, I have a limited amount of energy and resources to get everything done. But recently I have started taking tiny steps into a more environmentally-friendly direction. Because it matters – not just to the earth and its future residents, but to my family’s health today.

Let’s have a look at why being a green god(dess) is good for your health and which eco-friendly actions you can start taking today to make a positive impact.

Read more >6 Eco-Friendly Actions That Directly Impact Your Health