Health Sessions: Habits, Happiness and How to Get Things Done with Chronic Illness

Health Sessions: Habits, Happiness and How to Get Things Done with Chronic Illness | The Health Sessions

 

There comes a point in your life when it’s time to stop reading other people’s books and write your own.”

— Albert Einstein

 

I finally took the plunge.

After years of daydreaming about it, I’ve started writing my first ebook, about creating your own action plan for recovering from illness or injury. So far it’s been a pretty challenging project, with many new things to learn while trying to keep The Health Sessions and my family life running smoothly. But just like everything else in my life, it might take me ages to complete, with the inevitable obstacles in my way, but somehow I’ll get there in the end.

With all my time and energy poured into writing the ebook, however, my inspiration for truly useful blog posts has run a bit dry. Luckily, there are 71 articles packed with in-depth advice in the archives, from how-to guide and expert tips to recipe posts and personal essays.

Here are some of my all-time favourite posts on The Health Sessions. Which article did you find most helpful? Happy reading!

Read more >Health Sessions: Habits, Happiness and How to Get Things Done with Chronic Illness



A Beginner's Guide to Challenging Your Negative Thoughts | The Health Sessions

The Beginner’s Guide to Changing Your Negative Thoughts

It’s all my fault.

No one will understand.”

“I’m just a burden to everyone.

Thoughts pop up in our heads all day long, uninvitedly.

It happens so automatically that we rarely take the time to wonder if what we’re thinking is actually true. Instead, we take our thoughts at face value and instantly respond with feelings and actions. But when your inner critic or negative Nancy is taking over your mind, it’s time to take back control and change your thought patterns.

Because thoughts are powerful. They influence your mood, your decisions and even your neurobiology. Every time you have a thought (“Oh god, everybody is staring at me!“), your brain releases neurotransmitters and hormones that prepare your body and mind to respond to the (imaginary) situation – by blushing, stumbling, running off or making a self-deprecating joke.

That’s why automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) take a toll on your mental health: they trigger a cascade of biochemical reactions and emotions that adversely affect how you feel and behave.

Read more >The Beginner’s Guide to Changing Your Negative Thoughts



Hurray! 10 Healthy Birthday Cakes to Celebrate in Style

Hurray! 10 Healthy Birthday Cakes to Celebrate in Style | The Health Sessions

 

Julia Childs was right: A party without cake is just a meeting.

I’m all for birthday indulgences, but sometimes you just want your treat with a little less refined sugars, butter and accessory bloating. The good thing is: you can have your cake and eat it too!

These 10 celebratory sweets prove that you can bake the most tempting treats from wholesome ingredients like spelt flour, coconut yoghurt, almonds, spices and fresh fruit, without compromising on taste.

No matter if your food style is vegan, gluten-free, raw or Paleo, this sweet selection of birthday cakes has got you covered. Time to celebrate!

Read more >Hurray! 10 Healthy Birthday Cakes to Celebrate in Style



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