This is a guest post by Trysh Sutton from Pure Path.
The use of essential oils is an underrated, natural approach to dealing with the symptoms associated with many chronic illnesses. Individuals who go this route are usually able to save money on medication and reduce side effects that come with them.
But what are essential oils?
Essential oils are extremely concentrated, organic compounds that are in liquid form and sporting many of the benefits of certain plants without the need to have an unusual number of these plants physically available. As an example, it takes over 240,000 rose petals to create just 5ml of rose essential oil and almost 3,000 lemons to create 15ml of lemon essential oil.
Compassion is a admirable trait that forms the heart of our society, religions and humanistic views. Our minds and bodies seem to be wired to care. When you see somebody else suffer, your brain reacts to their pain as if it was your own. Not only do you instinctively empathize with others, the part of your brain that wants to alleviate their distress also lights up. Studies show that when you feel compassion, your heart rate slows down and the bonding hormone oxytocin is released.
Tuning into other people’s feelings in a kind manner doesn’t just help them – it makes you feel good too. Feeling compassion can improve your relationships, boost your resilience and give you a more optimistic outlook on life – all factors that are linked to a happier, healthier you.
And the good news is, you don’t have to become the next Mother Theresa or Gandhi to cultivate compassion. Simple things like looking for similarities between yourself and others or really listening to what someone’s saying also encourages feelings of compassion.
In the Dutch language, there’s an important distinction between ‘medelijden’ (compassion or pity; literal translation: co-suffering) and ‘medeleven’ (sympathy; literally: co-living). It’s a good thing when you genuinely want to understand what somebody’s going through and taking action to help them, but that doesn’t mean you should take on their suffering.
Because compassion is about being kind to yourself too. True self-compassion is not the same as a narcissistic self-love, being easy on yourself or making excuses. It’s about paying attention to your needs and taking a caring approach, instead of a self-critical one.
Have a look at these 12 heartwarming quotes to encourage compassion for others and yourself.
This is a guest post by Mike Jones from Schiz Life.
The holiday season can be challenging for anyone, no matter the reason. But while for most people the biggest struggle this winter will be to decide on what presents to get everyone, for others the holidays can be a personal hell. Coping with depression, anxiety, schizophrenia or any other mental disorder during Christmas and New Year’s Eve can be particularly hurtful due to the constant pressure of having to behave in a certain way.
Not So Merry Christmas
Unfortunately, Chrismas is not such a merry time for everyone. According to research published by Randy and Lori A. Sansone in the US National Library of Medicine, the use of emergency psychiatric services decreases during the holidays, only to be followed by a spike in activity shortly after. For people dealing with mental disorders, the holiday season can be an emotionally draining period.
What is more obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression or schizophrenia and love life just don’t seem to mix. The lack of a significant other or tensions in an existing relationship can be more emphasized during the holiday season when you suffer from a mental disorder. And due to this, you may have the tendency to blame your illness more and feel worst. This is normal, and what you can do about it is slowly learn how to cope.
Do you secretly swear internally when someone cheerfully tells you you have so much to be thankful for?
When you’re going through dark times, practicing gratitude can feel more like a mandatory exercise than a genuine act. I mean, when you suffer excruciating pain every day, struggle to make ends meet or are grieving the loss of a loved one, it’s hard to feel grateful for the things that are going well.
“It’s not that happy people are grateful, it’s that grateful people are happier.” – Erik Barker
But how do you cultivate gratitude when you feel sick, sad, disconnected or cheated on by life?
Don’t just go through the motions. True thankfulness goes deeper than rattling off a list of things you know you’re supposed to feel grateful for, like having a roof over your head and food on the table. Practicing gratitude shouldn’t be a chore. You can only tap into a deeper experience of gratefulness when you sincerely like to make your life – and that of the people around you – better.
Here’s how you can feel thankful for the good things in life, even when life is hard.
You’ve probably seen the articles about why self-care isn’t selfish and the lists of activities you can do to look after yourself. The stories invoke images of massages and spa days, sipping vibrant veggie juices in trendy yoga outfits and snugging up with a blanket and a book in front of the fireplace.
But when you’re energy and mobility are limited, self-care becomes a lot less glamorous than the picture painted in magazines and lifestyle blogs. Chronic illness can turn even the most basic forms of self-care, like taking a shower and cooking a meal, into a challenge.
At the same time, our health care systems put a growing emphasis on individuals taking control over their own health and actively managing their illness. We’re expected to eat healthily, exercise, get enough sleep and think positively, or seek professional help whenever we can’t.
Of course that’s a good thing. It’s your body and your life, and ultimately you’re the one who has to take action to make the most of whatever situation you’re given. But how can you do that when you feel sick, exhausted and in pain?
Let’s look into what it really means to practice self-care with chronic illness.