3 Strategies for Socializing in Person When You’re Chronically Ill | The Health Sessions

3 Strategies for Socializing in Person When You’re Chronically Ill

This article is written by Frankie Wallace. 

Dealing with a chronic illness often comes with several challenges and obstacles. However, one of the issues that doesn’t get enough attention is how difficult it can be to socialize and maintain some sense of social normalcy. Between fluctuating issues that your body has to deal with to mental hurdles that cause you to cancel plans, it’s not easy to keep up an in-person social life when you’re trying to manage an illness.

Thankfully, it’s also not impossible.

While we’re lucky to live in a time that makes it easy to connect with people online to combat loneliness, it’s not the same as interacting face-to-face. While you should absolutely take advantage of technology in your everyday communication, it’s important to connect in person with people you love, too.

With that in mind, let’s cover a few tips for socializing in person that will make it easier to put yourself out there while managing your condition.

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10 Tried-and-Tested Tips for Parenting School-Aged Kids When You're Chronically Ill | The Health Sessions

10 Tried-and-Tested Tips for Parenting School-Aged Kids When You’re Chronically Ill

Congratulations, you got through the hands-on baby and toddler years, with all the sleepless nights and endless diaper changes! Now that your kids are going to Kindergarten or elementary school and becoming more and more independent, you will get some freedom, time and energy back, right?

Kids between the ages of 4 and 12 are building their own lives, with school, sports and hobbies. But they still need plenty of practical help and guidance from their parents, whether that’s playing taxi, checking up on homework, packing school and gym bags or managing their social calendars with play dates, birthday parties and extracurricular activities. And that’s assuming your child is perfectly healthy and happy, otherwise your to-do list includes plenty of doctor’s visits, dental checkups, physical therapy or resilience training against bullying too.

Managing your kids’ lives can be challenging and overwhelming for any parent, but even more so if you’re living with a chronic illness like MS, diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis. Your health condition can limit your mobility, making it difficult to drop your kids off at school or take them to piano class. You probably also don’t feel like having kids over to play when you’re having a migraine attack, just like severe fatigue and chronic pain may stop you from being able to attend your child’s sports game. Not to mention that symptoms popping up suddenly messes up the best laid plans.

But somehow, your son or daughter has to get to school and swimming lessons in time, no matter how good or bad you feel. And you want your kids to have a happy childhood with play dates and fun activities, without being hindered by your illness.

How can you manage your school-aged (4+) kid’s life while managing your own health?

A lot depends on your specific condition, your family and living situation, your neighborhood and your country’s schooling system. Not all of the advice given below will suit your needs or be applicable to your situation, but hopefully you’ll find some helpful suggestions.

With that in mind, here are 10 tried-and-tested tips on parenting school-aged kids when you’re chronically ill.

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Living with Limitations: How to Set Healthy Boundaries and Communicate Them | The Health Sessions

Living with Limitations: How to Set Healthy Boundaries and Communicate Them

When you’re living with a chronic illness like endometriosis, COPD or chronic pain syndromes, you probably face limitations on a regularly basis. You can only walk so far before your legs or back give in. You can only work for a number of hours a day before fatigue and pain get the better of you. You can’t handle the stimulation of crowded rooms, bright lights and windy weather for a short period of time before getting a migraine attack or sensory overload.

Living with limitations can feel like a juggling act, worrying about which ball you’ll have to drop and how to keep getting meaningful things done despite your chronic illness. And it doesn’t just affect you, but also the people in your life.

How do you explain to your family and friends what you can and cannot do due to chronic illness? And how do you set healthy boundaries and communicate them to the people around you?

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COVID-19 and How to Support a Loved One in the Hospital | The Health Sessions

COVID-19 and How to Support a Loved One in the Hospital

This article is written by Frankie Wallace. 

It has been two years since the advent of COVID-19 changed our world. But as much as we all yearn for an end to the pandemic, the reality is that new variants continue to emerge and hundreds of thousands of people each day are falling ill, some proportion of whom will be hospitalized.

But when it’s your loved one who is sick in the hospital with COVID, those statistics suddenly take on a new meaning. When it’s someone you love, all that matters is helping see them through this crisis, all that matters is ensuring they return home healthy.

And yet, if your loved one has coronavirus, you are likely to be quite limited in your visits and your interactions. If you are allowed to visit at all, it may only be for a brief amount of time and you will almost certainly be required to mask up and maintain social distancing. So how do you provide comfort and support for a hospitalized loved one under such difficult conditions?

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