16 Quotes to Help You See the Beauty of Solitude and Stillness | The Health Sessions

16 Quotes to Help You See the Beauty of Solitude and Stillness

It’s a common but underestimated side-effect of living with chronic illness: spending a lot of time alone. Because you’re stuck at home while your family and friends are off to work, school and sports. Because your migraine or crippling fatigue force you to crawl in bed, in darkness and quietude. Because you need to rest in between activities or simply can’t join in on social activities.

It can be hard to spend so much time in solitude and stillness. But being alone is not necessarily synonymous to being lonely. You can be completely content on your own, and you can be surrounded by people yet feel like no one understands you.

Although we all need company and social connections to feel good, you can also find beauty in solitude and stillness.

Spending time alone gives you space to tune into yourself. Stillness silences the voices of others telling you who you should be and why you should do, and gives you space to listen to your own thoughts, feelings and intuition. More so, being on your own offers you time for self-reflection. Without distractions from the outside world, it’s easier to get a clear picture of what you want in life, what matters most to you and how to achieve those goals and dreams.

Time alone also allows you to check in with yourself physically. By paying attention to your physical sensations, you learn to notice your body’s triggers and warning signs in time – and what helps to feel better.

What’s more, stillness can help you stress less. When your body relaxes and your mind calms down, you activate the restorative part of your nervous system. And less tension often leads to better sleep at night and improved concentration during the day. Getting quiet also lowers your cortisol levels and blood pressure, both important markers for your overall health.

So what can you do to make your alone-time reflective and restorative instead of lonely? 

First of all, it helps to purposefully choose ‘me-time’ instead of letting loneliness overwhelm you. On the surface, you may be doing the same things, but emotionally, there’s a big difference between mindfully laying in savasana to recharge and staring at the ceiling feeling bored, sick and alone. If spend a lot of time on your own, you could make a plan to deal with social isolation or a list with fun things you can do at home alone.

Secondly, in our always-on world, we should all unplug from time to time to make space for stillness. Disconnect for an hour, a day or a weekend to spend time with your own thoughts and sit with your feelings. Enjoy analogue hobbies like reading magazines, playing guitar or brewing your own beer without getting distracted by messages, notifications or your favorite show in the background.

Finally, get into the habit of journaling for self-reflection, soul-searching and finding fresh perspectives. Practicing mindfulness and the art of savouring will also turn your time alone into more meaningful moments. You may not always be able to escape the loneliness and boredom of being on your own, but you deserve to get some upsides from all that alone-time too.

Take a look at these 16 inspiring quotes to learn to see the beauty of solitude and stillness.

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The #1 Question to Ask Yourself to Break Bad Habits | The Health Sessions

The #1 Question to Ask Yourself to Break Bad Habits

When you’re living with chronic illness like diabetes, heart problems or Crohns disease, it’s more important than ever to have a healthy lifestyle. Eating a balanced diet, moving your body and managing stress well can all help you deal better with painful symptoms or prevent worsening of your health condition. It’s no secret that smoking, … Read more >

Real FOMO: What to Do When You're Missing Out Because of Chronic Illness | The Health Sessions

Real FOMO: What to Do When You’re Missing Out Because of Chronic Illness

We’ve all had this dreadful feeling: There’s this amazing concert of your favorite band and all your friends are going, but you can’t make it.

The fear of missing out, mostly known as FOMO, has become a buzz word over the past few years. Thanks to Instagram and TikTok, you get live updates of the fun your friends are having at parties and on exotic holidays, making you wish you were there too.

But there’s a big difference between this ‘social media envy FOMO’ and the fear of missing out thanks to chronic illness. Because instead of that pang of disappointment that you’re not able to be everywhere and do everything all the time, you may not be able to do anything at all. ‘Chronic illness FOMO’ is not a one-time incident, but a deeper sense of loss.

When you’re too sick to take part in social activities like summer barbecues, the annual family weekend or New Year’s Eve parties, it can be really lonely. And it’s not just because you’re missing out on so many experiences, but you feel a little left out too. Those ‘Oh you had to be there’ inside jokes can make it harder to fit in at times when you are well enough to join in on the fun.

When you’re experiencing legitimate FOMO, what can you do to cope?

I don’t have all the answers, but hopefully these tips can provide some solace.

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Emotional Loneliness: 5 Things to Do When Nobody Understands You | The Health Sessions

Emotional Loneliness: 5 Things to Do When Nobody Understands You

You can be in a room full of people and still feel incredibly lonely. No one really sees you, hears what you’re trying to say, or understands what you’re going through. When you feel this way, what can you do?

People often think that loneliness and being alone are the same thing. But that’s not necessarily true. You can be on your own and have a great time, curled up on the couch with a good book, playing the piano or taking yourself on an artist date. If you’re introverted, you probably even need alone time to recharge.

That’s why loneliness isn’t so much a state of solitude as it is about feeling alone, while you crave human connection. That emptiness can be caused by having a limited social network, with little (close) family and friends to talk to and spend time with. But there’s a second kind of loneliness that’s often overlooked: emotional loneliness.

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10 Cozy Ideas to Cope with Social Isolation | The Health Sessions

10 Cozy Ideas to Cope with Social Isolation

When you’re living with chronic illness, you’re probably no stranger to social isolation. Lasting health problems often force us to limit our work and social life, and spend a lot of time at home instead.

But this year is different, even for us. Inviting people over may be restricted, or a risk you’re not willing to take. And going outside can be even more challenging than before.

So what can you do to get through this period of social isolation? Obviously, a lot depends on your living situation, if you have housemates and your health condition. But here are some ideas to get cozy at home this Fall and Winter.

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