Sink or Swim: What to Do When You’re Adrift in a Sea of Illness

Sink or Swim: What to Do When You're Adrift in the Sea of Illness | The Health Sessions

 

When you’re chronically ill, you’ll probably experience times when you feel like you’re adrift in a sea of pain, fatigue and debilitating symptoms.

In the distance, you can see people running and playing on the beach. But you’re too far out for them to hear you cry for help.

Confidently you start swimming towards the shoreline. It’s tiring and progress is slow, but you’re getting closer with every stroke.

Then, all of a sudden, an undercurrent gets you off course. You desperately try to fight it, but the pull of the water is just too strong. With every passing minute you’re drifting further out into the ocean.

Suddenly you find yourself in rough water. The waves seem to be getting higher by the minute and you’re struggling to keep your head above water. You’re cold, wet and exhausted from treading water and you start to panic. What’s happening? What should I do? How do I get out of here?

With all your might you try to push the thought of what might be hiding under the surface out of your mind.

Instead, you start pondering on solutions. Do I try to swim against the current and put all my power into peddling back to where I meant to go? Do I save my energy and drift along to wherever the wind and water takes me? Do I make a courageous attempt to dive through the oncoming waves, even though I have no clue how to do that or where I’ll end up?

 

The truth is, I don’t have the answer. Unlike the real world, there are no safety guidelines for navigating the sea of chronic illness.

 

Here’s what I do know.

Read more >Sink or Swim: What to Do When You’re Adrift in a Sea of Illness



How to Effortlessly Make a Healthy Dinner When You’re Tired

How to Effortlessly Make a Healthy Dinner When You're Tired | The Health Sessions

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.

Read more >How to Effortlessly Make a Healthy Dinner When You’re Tired



Seeing with New Eyes: How to Find the Good in Every Day

Seeing with New Eyes: How to Find the Good in Every Day | The Health Sessions

 

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”

– Marcel Proust

 

There’s something good in every day.

It doesn’t always feel that way and that’s ok. Some days the pain of living is just too much to notice anything else. Other times you’re just too tired to care. It’s hard to pick up the subtle signs of bliss when the noise of everyday life drowns out the quietness within you.

And yet, it’s there, waiting for you to pay attention.

Read more >Seeing with New Eyes: How to Find the Good in Every Day



How to Overcome Summertime Loneliness

How to Overcome Summertime Loneliness | The Health Sessions

 

“The most terrible poverty is loneliness and the feeling of being unloved.”

– Mother Theresa

 

When you think of loneliness, a bright and sunny day is probably not the first scenario that comes to mind. Long, dark winter nights seem to represent those hollow feelings inside so much better.

And yet, summer time can be a lonely season for anyone who’s not able to fully participate in the festivities during these months, like the chronically ill. Family and friends are away on vacation and caregiving facilities can be closed down for summer or short on staff. This makes getting out and about and socializing even more challenging than usual if you have limited mobility.

And it’s not just about literally being alone and not having someone to talk to and hang out with. Loneliness also refers to feeling alone, like nobody understands what you’re going through. Like Carl Jung said, “loneliness does not come from having no people around you, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to you“. When you have a chronic or invisible illness, being lonely is often a combination of the two, a cruel mix of social isolation and not feeling heard. Because for the people in your life it can be hard to understand why you may not be able to do seemingly relaxing things like spending a day at the beach.

And during summer, the gorgeous weather and ecstatic Facebook updates about festivals, BBQ’s and exotic holiday destinations only seem to rub your nose in the fact that you’re stuck at home, not being able to join in on the fun.

So how can you deal with loneliness? 

Read more >How to Overcome Summertime Loneliness



The Not-So-Picture-Perfect Road to Health and Happiness

The Not So Picture Perfect Road to Health and Happiness | The Health Sessions

 

Maybe you noticed that, unlike many other health blogs, you rarely see pictures of me sipping green juice or looking fabulous doing yoga on The Health Sessions or social media.

That’s mostly because I’m a pretty private person, who’s watched one too many episodes of CSI Cyber and Stalker. It’s also because I still have a sneaky suspicion that some yoga poses were invented by gurus with slightly sadistic tendencies. And most of the time, my healthy homemade meals don’t look that Instagram-worthy either. (As if eating my dinner when it’s still warm isn’t hard enough with a one-year old at the table without having to take photos.)

But another major reason for not broadcasting pretty pictures of how fun and glamourous a healthy lifestyle can be, is that I don’t want to come off as a hypocrite.

Read more >The Not-So-Picture-Perfect Road to Health and Happiness