8 Mind Games to Play When You're in Need of Distraction | The Health Sessions

8 Mind Games to Play When You’re in Need of Distraction

When you’re living with chronic illness, you often find yourself in need of distraction. You want to take your mind off the pain, fatigue, sadness, worries and boredom. And that’s when mind games can come in handy.

Now you’re probably wondering: why on earth would I need ‘mind games’ when I can simply grab my phone and browse social media, read blogs and watch funny videos to distract myself?

Of course, there’s wifi everywhere nowadays. But online entertainment as a way to cope with physical symptoms and emotional difficulties does have some downsides.

If you’re struggling with mental health, the things you’re reading and watching could trigger anxiety, FOMO or body image problems. And even today there are still times when turning to screens isn’t the best option. For example, the blue light coming from electronic devices inhibits the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Not ideal when you find yourself staring at the ceiling and you’re hoping watching series will help you drift off.

Distracting yourself online can also be difficult when you’re in extreme pain and/or sensitive to light and sound. Anyone suffering from migraine, ME/CFS or sensory overload knows what it’s like to lie in a dark room with no other distractions than your own thoughts. And what about those times when you’re undergoing scary medical tests and treatments and you could really use a mental escape?

In these cases, it’s just you and your mind.

In theory, meditation, mindfulness and breathing exercises would work great during these times. But, if you have enough focus and mental energy to try these practices in the first place, you probably can’t keep yourself entertained like that for hours on end.

What’s more, it turns out that most people would rather shock themselves – literally! – than being left alone with their thoughts. So when it’s just you and your mind, what can you do to pass the time without going crazy?

Try these 8 mind games when you’re in need of distraction! 

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10 Summer Essentials for a Fun Staycation | The Health Sessions

10 Summer Essentials for a Fun Staycation

Ok, you’ve got your bathing suit, shades and sunscreen covered. But which other summer essentials do you need to turn these warm months into a fun and relaxing time?

No matter if you’re hitting the beach or hanging out in your backyard, here are 10 must-have items for a summer to remember.  

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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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Life in the Slow Lane: 21 Ideas to Embrace Slow Living | The Health Sessions

Life in the Slow Lane: 21 Ideas to Embrace Slow Living

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu

Those endless Summer days are a perfect invitation to adopt a Mediterranean pace of slow living, with time for siestas and home-cooked family meals al fresco. With the sun on your face and great company, what more could you need?

In our fast-pace world, taking time to slow down, savor the moment and enjoy simple pleasures has become a luxury. The notions of “you only live once” and “living your best life” has given many of us a sense of urgency. Every moment has to be seized and used productively. Combined with technology that tempts us to be ‘on’ and connected at all times, there’s little room left for slow living. Time even wrote a notorious piece about the Dutch concept of ‘niksen’ – which literally means doing nothing – as if sitting still and staring our of the window is something revolutionary.

But when you’re living with chronic illness, you’re probably used to life in the slow lane. Having little energy, reduced mobility and requiring lots of rest usually means taking things slow. Because slow living due to health problems isn’t a choice, you might feel sad, angry, frustrated and some real FOMO.

But going faster isn’t always better. Slow living has some serious benefits for your health and happiness. Here’s why you should embrace a slow lifestyle – and how to do it. 

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21 Mini Adventures to Spice Up Everyday Life (Even If You're Chronically Ill) | The Health Sessions

21 Mini Adventures to Spice Up Everyday Life (Even If You’re Chronically Ill)

Are you hungry for adventure or longing for that rush of excitement that a first-time experience brings you?

Life with chronic illness, injury or disability can be pretty dull – with mostly unpleasant surprises instead of exciting ones. Unfortunately, backpacking through Europe, rock climbing or partying at festivals are probably not in the cards for you right now. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bring a sense of novelty and excitement to your day-to-day life.

When you break out of your usual routine, your brain releases the happiness hormone dopamine to store information in your memory and create new neural connections.

So if you have some energy to spare, boost your happiness by shaking things up with ‘mini adventures’.

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