30 Small Acts to Spread Kindness (Including Cute Printables) | The Health Sessions

30 Small Acts to Spread Kindness (Including Cute Printables)

This article is in collaboration with Mint. 

Though life looks a little different right now, the most important things are still right at our fingertips: The people that matter to us and the moments we share with them. Even if only long-distance, or for a few minutes, putting a smile on someone else’s face can out both of you in a great mood.

Not only does doing something kind feel good, but it can actually be good for you, too. Research shows that being kind to others can help speed recovery from illness and even lengthen your lifespan. However, additional research has found that repeated acts of kindness are necessary to sustain the oxytocin boost you get from doing something nice for another person. That’s why creating a habit of compassion and kindness can be incredibly beneficial to your mental and physical health.

Whether you sign up for weekly volunteer sessions, or go out of your way to smile at passers-by, the intention and consistency is more important than what exactly you do, so don’t stress about making the biggest impact. Small acts can go a long way.

To jump-start your kindness habit, here’s a list of small acts of kindness you can do. Try completing all 30 in the month, and you’re sure to feel especially happy.

Read more >30 Small Acts to Spread Kindness (Including Cute Printables)

Parenting with Chronic Illness: How Not to Overburden Your Kids | The Health Sessions

Parenting with Chronic Illness: How Not to Overburden Your Kids

All you want as a parent is for your kids to be happy and eventually become kind, responsible adults.

But then again, you also don’t want your children to have to grow up too soon. Unfortunately, being a parent with chronic illness can make your job a lot harder.

When mom or dad becomes sick and does not get better, the life of your entire family changes. Kids may have to learn how to do things independently more quickly than you would have liked to. What’s more, your son or daughter may worry about you or feel sad you can’t attend their concert or ball game.

Now there’s nothing wrong with doing chores around the house and learning taking care of each other. But as a parent who’s daily functioning is affected by chronic illness, you’ve probably found yourself worrying: What effect will my disease have on my kids? Am I putting too much weight on their small shoulders?

When a child takes on the job of looking after their parent(s) instead of the other way around, we call this parentification. There are two kinds of parentification:

  • Instrumental parentification: The kids take over many or all physical chores of the parent(s), including looking after siblings or paying the bills.
  • Emotional parentification: Children are asked to provide emotional support to a parent and listen to their (adult) problems.

This kind of role reversal disrupts the development of a secure attachment and has far-reaching effects on kids’ mental health. Parentified children may show signs of depression and anxiety, constant worrying and physical symptoms of chronic stress, like headaches and stomach pain. Even later in life, adults who were parentified as kids have an increased risk of mental health problems, substance abuse and getting involved in unhealthy relationships.

When you can’t shield your kids from the reality of living with (severe) chronic illness, what can you do to not overburden your kids? 

Every family, illness and situation is different, but here are some suggestions.

Read more >Parenting with Chronic Illness: How Not to Overburden Your Kids

20 Cute Care Package Ideas from Small Businesses | The Health Sessions

20 Cute Care Package Ideas from Small Businesses

When you want to send a care package to your sick friend or get your lonely neighbour a little something, it’s often convenient to order your gifts at big companies. Especially when you’re low on energy, time or money, you probably buy everything you need in one place at discounted prices.

But buying from small businesses definitely has its benefits too. For one, you support the dream and income of people like you and me, not stock holders and algorithms. Cheap generic products also don’t always reflect the true costs being made.

What’s more, when you move away from mainstream corporate chains, you’ll find tons of original, creative and personalized gifts. Independent businesses often offer something different, craftsmanship that makes them stand out.

And in some cases, you even help fellow spoonies who might not be able to work a regular job make a living.

That’s why today I’m sharing comforting care package ideas from independent business.

To be completely transparent: None of the small businesses or independent artists mentioned below paid to be a part of this post. This list was created to support the work of people and companies I genuinely love and have followed for a long time. In a few – but not definitely not all -cases, I’m a proud affiliate partner. This means I receive a small commission if you buy a product through my links, at no extra costs to you. At the time of writing, The Health Sessions does not accept sponsored posts. All opinions are always my own and my goal is and will remain to provide helpful and relevant resources.

With all of that out of the way, check out over 20 cute care package ideas from small businesses, solopreneurs and creative artists.

Read more >20 Cute Care Package Ideas from Small Businesses

How to Prepare for Pregnancy When You Have Pre-Existing Health Problems | The Health Sessions

How to Prepare for Pregnancy When You Have Pre-Existing Health Problems

This article is written by Fay Irungu. Before planning to become pregnant, women should take certain steps to help reduce any risk to you and your unborn baby. Ideally, you want to be in proper health before becoming pregnant. But when you have a chronic illness, how can you successfully prepare for pregnancy despite your pre-existing … Read more >

13 Loneliness Quotes That'll Make You Feel Less Alone | The Health Sessions

13 Loneliness Quotes That’ll Make You Feel Less Alone

It’s one of the saddest feelings in the world: loneliness. Like Freddy Mercury sang: “Sometimes I feel I’m gonna break down and cry. Nowhere to go, nothing to do with my time. I get lonely, so lonely, living on my own.”

Although being by yourself can make you feel lonely, loneliness isn’t the same as having no people around you. Sometimes it can be great to have time to yourself, while other times you may feel lost in a sea of people. That’s because are different kinds of loneliness:

  • Social isolation, when you’re physically alone and don’t have any company. This kind of loneliness is common in the elderly, people who are housebound or when someone’s just moved to a new city where you don’t know anyone.
  • Emotional loneliness is the feeling like no-one understand you or what you’re going through. You feel different than everyone else due to your chronic illness, sexual orientation or world views. What’s more, it may feel like you have no one to talk to, because none of your friends and family truly listen or support you.
  • A lack of belonging – the sense that you have no close relationships or aren’t part of any groups. Maybe you feel left out or even purposely excluded. Social media can also reinforce the idea that everyone is having a great time together – except you.

To make matters even worse, feeling lonely has a negative effect on your physical health too. Studies show that loneliness puts you at a higher risk of becoming ill and even a shorter lifespan.

But loneliness isn’t all bad. Although the feeling definitely hurts, and you shouldn’t be lonely every day, occasional loneliness also has its upsides. Being lone gives you time to think, reflect and remind yourself what’s most important to you. It can stir your creative side – who hasn’t heard of a lonely, tormented artist who created their masterpiece during their darkest times?

Have a look at these 13 loneliness quotes below to make you feel less alone.

Read more >13 Loneliness Quotes That’ll Make You Feel Less Alone