8 Tips to Build Your Resilience When Dealing with Chronic Illness | The Health Sessions

8 Tips to Build Your Resilience When Dealing with Chronic Illness

This article is written by Katherine Smith.  

If you live with a chronic illness, inner strength is so important to ensuring physical health. Here are 8 ways to empower yourself to both mental and physical wellness.

It’s no overstatement to say that the burden of a chronic illness pays a heavy toll on the body, both physically and mentally, even if the immediate nature of the illness is predominantly physical. While it’s vital to keep your physical health up, maintaining and building your inner resilience throughout your condition is integral in the path to recovery.

Here we look at 8 ways to strengthen your mental fortitude so that you can fight and overcome the chronic illness you might be battling.

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8 Mind Games to Play When You're in Need of Distraction | The Health Sessions

8 Mind Games to Play When You’re in Need of Distraction

When you’re living with chronic illness, you often find yourself in need of distraction. You want to take your mind off the pain, fatigue, sadness, worries and boredom. And that’s when mind games can come in handy.

Now you’re probably wondering: why on earth would I need ‘mind games’ when I can simply grab my phone and browse social media, read blogs and watch funny videos to distract myself?

Of course, there’s wifi everywhere nowadays. But online entertainment as a way to cope with physical symptoms and emotional difficulties does have some downsides.

If you’re struggling with mental health, the things you’re reading and watching could trigger anxiety, FOMO or body image problems. And even today there are still times when turning to screens isn’t the best option. For example, the blue light coming from electronic devices inhibits the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Not ideal when you find yourself staring at the ceiling and you’re hoping watching series will help you drift off.

Distracting yourself online can also be difficult when you’re in extreme pain and/or sensitive to light and sound. Anyone suffering from migraine, ME/CFS or sensory overload knows what it’s like to lie in a dark room with no other distractions than your own thoughts. And what about those times when you’re undergoing scary medical tests and treatments and you could really use a mental escape?

In these cases, it’s just you and your mind.

In theory, meditation, mindfulness and breathing exercises would work great during these times. But, if you have enough focus and mental energy to try these practices in the first place, you probably can’t keep yourself entertained like that for hours on end.

What’s more, it turns out that most people would rather shock themselves – literally! – than being left alone with their thoughts. So when it’s just you and your mind, what can you do to pass the time without going crazy?

Try these 8 mind games when you’re in need of distraction! 

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A Simple Guide to Hip Flexibility Exercises  | The Health Sessions

A Simple Guide to Hip Flexibility Exercises 

This article is written by dr. Kristina DeMatas from Sporty Doctor.  The hip flexors are a group of muscles around the top of your thighs that connect the upper leg to the hip. This muscle group allows you to bend at the waist and raise your leg to your chest. Some of the main hip flexor … Read more >



It All Starts With You: 11 Radical Self Love Quotes | The Health Sessions

It All Starts With You: 11 Radical Self Love Quotes

When you think about it, the only constant in your life is you. And yet, many of us struggle to accept – let alone love – ourselves for who we truly are, flaws and quirks included.

Too often, we compare ourselves to others, feeling that we don’t measure up. What the critical voices in our head tend to forget, is that we’re only seeing the highlight reel of other people, while our own journeys are filled with ups and downs. So we beat ourselves up over the mistakes we make. Even when we do succeed, we feel like it’s more a matter of luck than the result of our talents, skills and hard work.

Self love can be especially hard to practice when you have a chronic illness. Because how do you love the parts of your body that hurt, let you down and prevent you from living a ‘normal’ life?

And still, self love has a big impact on your quality of life. Self love helps you to set healthy boundaries, allow supportive people in your life only and practice self-care. When you respect your own wants and needs, you’re more likely to make decisions that nourish instead of deplete you. That’s why Gala Darling states that loving yourself is a revolutionary act.

Take a look at these 11 self love quotes to help you realize it all starts with you

Read more >It All Starts With You: 11 Radical Self Love Quotes



Beat the Winter Blues: 7 Self-Help Tips to Ease Seasonal Affective Disorder | The Health Sessions

Seasonal Affective Disorder: 7 Self-Help Tips to Beat the Winter Blues

Do you start to feel down, sluggish and carb-hungry as soon as the days are getting shorter?

This time of year, when it’s cold and dark outside, can trigger the winter blues in many people. It’s no wonder the third Monday of January was dubbed ‘Blue Monday’ by the travel world to promote trips to exotic destinations.

Seasonal changes, especially a lack of daylight, can disrupt your biological clock. Your internal clock regulates countless of bodily functions, including your sleep-wake cycle, alertness and energy levels, and your mood.

In around 5% of people living in northern latitudes, these changes in circadian rhythm contribute to feelings of depression. These recurring depressive episodes in autumn and winter are called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Just like a ‘regular’ depression, seasonal affective disorder is characterized by a depressed mood, loss of interest in activities, withdrawal from social interactions and problems with sleeping and appetite. Symptoms like oversleeping and craving carbohydrate-rich foods are characteristic for winter seasonal affective disorder.

According to the American Psychological Association, January and February are the most difficult months for people affected by seasonal affective disorder. If escaping to a tropical island isn’t an option, what can you do to beat the winter blues?

Take a look at these 7 ways to ease your seasonal affective disorder and brighten your mood this winter.

Disclaimer: Always seek help from your doctor, psychologist or other medical professionals when you struggle with severe depression and/or have suicidal thoughts! 

Read more >Seasonal Affective Disorder: 7 Self-Help Tips to Beat the Winter Blues