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’.
Summertime is upon us, and that means a lot of people will be spending time outdoors. However, if you are an individual with health problems, you may not be able to spend as much time outdoors as others. Therefore, you need to come up with ways to pamper yourself at home in order to keep yourself occupied during your free time.
Since many people exert a lot of time and energy into their work, coming up with leisure activities at home to occupy your time that doesn’t include rest may be challenging. If you are one of those people who can not spend much time outdoors, and are struggling to figure out what to do in your spare time at home, you have stumbled upon the right post. In this article, we will be discussing four ways to pamper yourself at home!
Great stories remind us that we are not alone. Despite our differences, we all have similar struggles, fears, dreams and hopes. By identifying with a book’s character, we can see our own situation from another point of view and discover new ways to deal with our problems.
But what if you have a hard time finding fictional figures you can relate with?
‘Sick lit’ is the somewhat questionable name for a new genre of novels, featuring characters who are faced with illness. Following John Green’s blockbuster book The Fault in Our Stars, lots of gripping stories about terminally ill teenagers and their tragic romances have hit the book shops and movie theaters.
However, there haven’t been many novels written that put living with chronic illness in the spotlight. Maybe that shouldn’t be surprising, because let’s face it, being chronically ill is kinda boring. Instead of going on ‘before-I-die’ adventures, life with MS, chronic migraine or Lyme disease feels more like an endless repetition of doctor’s visits, therapy and sick days in bed.
Fortunately, the sick lit below shows a glimpse of what it’s like to be diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, HIV and osteogenesis imperfecta. And although they’re mostly young adult novels, the older ones among us can still relate to the medical dilemmas, everyday problems and existential questions that the protagonists struggle with.
So if you’re looking for a relatable read, check out these 6 captivating novels that star chronically ill characters.
Life gets all of us down sometimes. And that’s perfectly normal – you shouldn’t push your sadness, anxiety or loneliness away. But it isn’t helpful to get stuck in a cycle of negative thoughts, feelings and behavior either.
Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do to instantly boost your mood. You might be tempted to drown your sorrows by eating junk food, having one more glass of wine or obsessively checking your phone. Those actions might brighten your mood for a moment, but they’ll only make you feel even worse afterwards.
To really get out of your funk, take a look at these 45 ways to cheer yourself up when you’re down (that don’t involve ice cream).
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We’ve all experienced how singing along to your favorite tunes or trusting your thoughts to your diary can make you feel better. But did you know that regularly engaging in creative activities actually boosts your happiness and health?
Art therapy is a kind of therapy that uses creative self-expression in the form of painting, drawing or sculpting to support the diagnosis and treatment of psychological problems. Other creative activities like music, dancing and writing are also praised for their health benefits.
Studies show that art therapy not only provides distraction, but also relieves stress and improves your mental health. Because visual art transcends language, it helps people express emotions that are hard to put into words. Even celebrated artists like Frida Kahlo and Van Gogh probably turned to painting as an emotional outlet, to help them cope with disability and mental illness. What’s more, being creative can evoke positive emotions like joy, awe and inspiration – all of which help build your resilience.
Art in all its forms can even promote your physical health. Recent research reveal that art therapy reduces pain when offered during acute hospitalizations. Listening to your favorite music also results into requiring less pain medication after surgery and boosts your brain health. Finally, dance training turns out to be a helpful tool in rehabilitation settings, to improve the balance and gait of patients with reduced mobility.
Pretty impressive, right? So how can you apply art therapy in your own life to boost your health and happiness?
First of all, you should know that art therapy has less to do with being ‘artistic’ than you might think. It’s about expressing yourself in a creative way, for your own pleasure and self-development. You don’t need special skills or difficult techniques. So silence your inner critic and perfectionist tendencies and take a look at these44 creative ideas to get started.
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