7 Ways to Make New Friends When You're Chronically Ill | The Health Sessions

7 Ways to Make New Friends When You’re Chronically Ill

Unlike those playground years, it’s a lot more challenging to make new friends as an adult. Everyone’s busy with work, travel or family, so most of us spend our precious time with the people we already know and love.

When you’re a grownup with a chronic illness, forming and maintaining friendships becomes even more difficult. How and where do you meet interesting people when don’t have the energy to go out after work, or worse, when you can barely leave your home?

Even if you’re able to socialize, you probably face some obstacles. Maybe your illness forces you to open up about personal things early on, or you’d love to hang out but struggle to share your limitations without scaring someone off. It might also be hard for relative strangers to understand how your chronic illness affects your everyday life.

Does that mean it’s impossible to make new friends when you’re chronically ill? Of course not – just like everything else related to health problems, it’s only more challenging.

Take a look at 7 ideas how you can still meet new people and grow supportive friendships despite chronic illness. 

Read more >7 Ways to Make New Friends When You’re Chronically Ill



The Difference Between Genuine Optimism and Toxic Positivity | The Health Sessions

The Difference Between Genuine Optimism and Toxic Positivity (And Why It Matters)

When’s the last time someone told you to “just be positive” after sharing your struggles?

There’s a tricky relationship between positive thinking, health and happiness. Over the past decade, experts have promoted positivity as a simple but highly effective tool to lead a happier and healthier life.

And rightfully so. Positivity has been linked to lower levels of stress, stronger immunity, better cardiovascular health, increased feelings of physical and emotional wellbeing, and even a longer lifespan. Cultivating positive feelings like joy, hope and inspiration also builds good mental habits such as attention, resilience and optimism, which in turn buffer the potential negative effects of stressful times.

But anyone’s who’s ever been seriously sick knows there’s another side to positive thinking and health. 

Read more >The Difference Between Genuine Optimism and Toxic Positivity (And Why It Matters)



12 Date Night Ideas at Home for Spoonies | The Health Sessions

12 Date Night Ideas at Home for Spoonies

Let’s be honest: living with chronic illness isn’t terribly romantic. When you’re sick, you probably don’t feel very sexy, nor do you have much energy for typical date night activities. Going on a romantic night out just isn’t that obvious when you’re tired, in pain or suffer from severe food sensitivities.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make time for love when you’re chronically ill. On the contrary;  now more than ever you may want to have fun together, forget about your worries for a while and strengthen your bond.

Thankfully, with a little creativity you can still have a fabulous time together. And the good news is, you don’t even have to leave your home to relax, rekindle and do something exciting. Because in the end, a romantic or playful atmosphere matters more than what you actually do.

So if you’re looking for new ways to enjoy each other’s company despite chronic illness, take a look at these 12 low-energy ideas for a cozy date night at home. 

Read more >12 Date Night Ideas at Home for Spoonies



How to Do a Loving-Kindness Meditation (And Why You Should) | The Health Sessions

How to Do a Loving-Kindness Meditation

When you think of meditating, do you picture sitting in lotus, focusing on nothing but your breath? ‘Emptying your mind’ isn’t the only kind of meditation. You can do a relaxing body scan, practice a walking meditation or count your breaths. A little less known, but not less meaningful, is the loving-kindness mediation.

A loving-kindness meditation is a mindfulness technique used to increase feelings of warmth and goodwill towards yourself and others. As you might expect, experiencing warm feelings has several benefits for your wellbeing. In her book Positivity, Barbara Fredrickson shows how regularly practicing loving-kindness mediation produces positive emotions like joy, contentment and gratitude. Studies also found that doing loving-kindness meditation increases your compassion, helps you feel more connected and improves your self-image.

What’s less obvious, is that doing a loving-kindness mediation also supports your physical health. Because mindful awareness lowers your stress levels, having loving thoughts improves your vagal tone – a physiological marker of wellbeing – and decreases pain.

Sounds pretty good, right? If you also want to give your happiness, relationships and body image a boost, take a look at how you can do a loving-kindness meditation. 

Read more >How to Do a Loving-Kindness Meditation



5 Key Ways to Support a Loved One with Chronic Illness | The Health Sessions

5 Key Ways to Support a Loved One with a Chronic Disease

This article is written by Melisa Marzett from Essay Editor.

It’s a real shock to find out that someone you care about suffers from a disease that could lead to disability or even death. To family and friends, it may seem like their plans and dreams together have faded, and only uncertainty, loss and grief remain.

“Loneliness constantly tormented me, it seemed as if I was cut off from everyone,” says my friend Kathleen, whose husband suffered from chronic depression. “Nothing ahead could be seen. We could not even invite guests or go to someone. In the end, we almost completely stopped communicating with people.” Many relatives, just like Kathleen, experience guilt because they feel there’s little they can do to help.

Swiss-American psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross established that a significant part of ill people go through several stages of grief when diagnosed with a (life-threatening) illness. What do these phases look like and what can family and friends do to support a loved one with a chronic disease?

Read more >5 Key Ways to Support a Loved One with a Chronic Disease