Posts Tagged ‘Breathe’

24 Ways to Ease Up

June 11, 2021

With apologies to Paul Simon, there must be… 24 ways to ease your living.

Why 24? Why not? It’s a start! That people have to go online and type the words “How to relax” into a search engine should be indication enough that modern life may be getting too stressful. Why, with all the innovations and timesavers, do we feel more and more rushed?

Time is a constant – it always remains the same. What changes are our expectations of how much we can accomplish in that same old time. It’s scientifically proven that stress can lead to sickness and that relaxation is one of the things that can soothe the savage beast.

Hopefully everyone has at least one favourite way to wind down, because not every stress soother will suit every single person. Next time you feel tense and uptight, try out one of these ways to relax. Perhaps some will work for you, while others might inspire you to write your own list of ease-up ideas.

  1. Dance.
  2. Mono-task, as opposed to multitasking.
  3. Progressively tense each muscle, holding each for 5 seconds then releasing.
  4. Stretch.
  5. Go for a walk.
  6. Play a game. Sudoku, crosswords, hopscotch, whatever.
  7. Soak in a bath.
  8. Laugh.
  9. Turn off your electronics. Enjoy the quiet.
  10. Read.
  11. Take a 5-minute break to clear your mind and breathe.
  12. Cover your eyes with an eye pillow. Allow your anxious eyeballs to feel like they’re floating rather than gripping.
  13. Play with your pet.
  14. Drink a cup of hot tea. Or iced if that makes you feel better!
  15. Take a whiff of a favourite soothing scent, maybe citrus or lavender.
  16. Clean out the drawers of your dresser. De-cluttered can equal destressed.
  17. Soak your feet in Epsom salts.
  18. Listen to your favourite music.
  19. Light a candle and watch the flame flicker.
  20. Write in a diary.
  21. Talk to a friend.
  22. Make everyday activities more meditative. Like walking, for instance. Rather than rush down the hallway, place one foot in front of the other and really feel your feet ground into the earth with each step.
  23. Unplug (or turn off) your phone.
  24. Strive to take deep breaths to reach the tight spaces of your body – try to feel your breathing in your lower back and your shoulders

Source: PC Health by Shoppers Drug Mart

Self-Care

July 24, 2020

I figure today is the perfect day to discuss this topic, as today July 24 is Self-Care Day,!

What is Self-Care?

Self-care, as defined by the World Health Organization, as what a person does for one’s self to establish and maintain health and to prevent and deal with illness. This includes hygiene, nutrition, lifestyle & activities, environmental factotrs, sociao-ecpnomic factors and self-medication.  This includes physical as well as mental & emotional health.

So, basically, taking care of one’s self.  & showing yourself some love.

But this is something us with chronic illnesses have a problems doing.  We tend not to prioritize ourselves in the grand scheme of things.  It is something we need to do to help ourselve help get us better. Not healed, but better.. I guess a more appropriate word would be improved (that is another blog post in & of itself)

So what to do to help ones self? There are a ton of things you could do. Here is a by no means exhaustive list of thngs to help improve your personal health, or self-care.  A search on Google will give you additional ideas as well as suggestions for 30 days of self-care, a cheat sheet or a self-care checklist. I’m sure the list below includes information from these sources.

Self-Care Ideas

  • Take a walk
  • Meditate
  • Call a friend
  • Go out for a coffee/drink with a friend
  • Read
  • Warm bath, or hot tub
  • Yoga
  • Tale a nap
  • Dance or just listen to music
  • Sing
  • Keep hydrated
  • Sexual Acrivity
  • Compliment someone else (You’d be surprised at how well this can make you feel)
  • Plan kindness activities
  • Colour.. or Paint.. Do something creative
  • Knit, sew, crochet, macrame, needlepoint. Make something
  • Mani/pedi
  • Get a massage
  • Hug your kids, furbabies, nieces, nephews, grandkids
  • Stretch
  • Watch something funny – Tv show, movie, theatre
  • Plan a dream vaction
  • Plan what you would do if you won $25million
  • Take a trip to the salon to get your hair done
  • Get dressed up just to get dressed up.. If you look good, you feel good
  • Journal
  • Declutter a space on your home
  • Say or find posotive affeirmations. My mirror says “You’re Beautiful”. Who am I to argue wiht the mirror mirror on the wall?? 😉
  • Volunteer
  • Try something new
  • Ask for help!
  • Unplug. (This one is difficult for me)
  • Plan & eat a nutrional, healthy and delicious meal, bonus if its a new recipie
  • Hang with a friend
  • Watch funny videos.. I like Jeff Dunhan & Fliffy
  • Exercise
  • Eat dessert, but not every day!
  • Start a new, good habit
  • Create a bucket list.. A fanaticl one or a realisitic one, your choice
  • Pop Bubble Wrap!
  • Watch cute videos online – I love puppy videos, and the kitten ar cute too.. 🙂
  • Go for a drive
  • Deep slow breathing
  • Play with or cuddle with your pet
  • Learn a new skill
  • Practice positive selft-talk
  • Walk outside, feel the grass under your feet. (watch for glass if not in your backyard)
  • Forgive. Not for them, for you. it help you heal
  • Talk with someone, even a therapist or councillor
  • Remove negative people or groups from your social media
  • Family activity day
  • Make a list of what you are grateful for. Start with being alive, having shelter, and a full belly.. Go from there.
  • Sit in front of the campfire – Make smores, spider dogs, or mountain pies
  • Learn something new
  • Play a sport you enjoy, or watch it professionally

So..  Lots of choices as I said, There are alot of other options out there.  Remember this activitiy, or lack threeof, is to make you feel better.

My Go To’s:

  • Meditate
  • Slow, deep, easy breathing – helps me sleep
  • Read
  • Drive – I love to drive.
  • Muisc – Listen, sing or dance to.
  • Volunteer (I’ve been a Scouter with Scouts Canada in some form or another for almost 20 years. – COVID’s made it a challenge)
  • Mani/Pedi – by myself or at a salon
  • Hair Salon – Love the head massage when she washes my hair
  • Sitting by the campfire, preferably with friends or the Cubs with approapriate libations & snacks
  • Massage therapy
  • Exercise, when viable.. Walks, jogs, Yoga Aqua-fit, arriba dance, etc..  dependng on pain & energy levels
  • Hot Tub. I prefer bewtween 99-102.. Can’t do hotter. 😦
  • Huggs 🙂 From wherever safely possible
  • Sex, with or without a partner
  • Go for a drive
  • Compliment somone – their hair, nails, clothing, shoes, etc..
  • Forgive
  • Colour and/or paint
  • Knots. Not a typical activity, but i like the challenge, plus im a Scouter, go figure.
  • Socialization with friends & family
  • Play or Cuddle with Lilly, my dog. ( See: “She Saved Me” post for more info on her.)
  • Call someone or at least check in for only that purpose, to see how they are.
  • Think or plan how i\I’d spend lottery winnings
  • & the obvious – Journalling. My blog, my instagram & facebook pages help me express myself.

What to Avoid:

  • Excessive or inaprropriate drinking or drug use
  • Maintaining toxic relationships
  • Argue excessively
  • Ovedoing an exercise routine
  • Stressful situations
  • Gambling
  • High-risk behaviours
  • Voilence to one’s self or others
  • Other self-destructive behaviours
  • Self-isolation (except as needed for COVID, but even then you can zoom or call or text) aka Social suicide
  • Becoming abusive
  • Self-defeating Mindsets
  • Narcissism
  • Self-harm
  • Personal neglect – Physical or mental
  • Refusing help

What self-care activities do you do?

What new activity would yuo like to try?

What is setting you back?

Brain Fog

June 2, 2009

Brain Fog
By Kristy Bassett

Brain fog is possibly one of the most frustrating symptoms I have, not being able to think clearly can lead to major problems. It can not only be embarrassing not being able to think clearly, it can be dangerous.

The first thing to learn when you suffer brain fog is to never participate in any activities where you could be a danger to yourself or to others while it’s there. For me this has meant avoiding cooking and driving when the brain fog is a problem, this may be unavoidable at times, but where possible stick to this rule!

So what can be done? Unfortunately there are no miracle cures to lift the fog, but it can be managed. It’s worth investigating what is causing the fog in the first place.
Possible causes:

  • poor sleep
  • autoimmune disorders
  • hormonal imbalance
  • chronic fatigue/fibromyalgia
  • pain medication or the pain itself
  • allergies
  • iron deficiency and other nutritional deficiencies
  • blood sugar drops
  • dehydration
  • If you are able to pinpoint the cause, it may be possible to treat it simply. For others, the cause may not yet be known, or if it is known there may not be any more that can be done about it.


    Managing Brain Fog:

  • Try to avoid activities that are beyond your capacity, if possible rest is advisable
  • Caffeine: If there is no choice but to be able to function, it is the one time where stimulants such as tea or coffee may be a good idea to get through. This shouldn’t be a routine, but can be a crutch if necessary. Remember that once the caffeine has worn off you will likely feel worse than you did before the caffeine consumption. Warning: regular caffeine consumption is not recommended for those with fatigue.
  • Supplements: MAY help if there is a deficiency to improve energy: the most beneficial to energy are B vitamins, iron and coq10.
  • Manage your pain: (if this is the reason) as well as you can
  • Make notes as reminders: if you have to remember a lot of things in a day, it may be handy to write a list on a notepad to carry around with you, so things can be ticked off and not missed
  • Set reminders: this can be in a calendar, or diary, or through a computer program, whatever is going to be something you check often. Reminders can be for events such as a birthday, or when a bill is due as an example.
  • Take regular time outs: even if you are busy, it’s possible to take 5mins to shut your eyes, or do some stretches. This can help clear your head and stay focused; if your mind isn’t well focused the last thing you want is to overwhelm it.
  • Be sensible with your activities: Finally tackling some great written work may not be the best idea at these times, reading can be a good idea, but keep it something you can easily focus on, don’t add to frustrations just because you’ve always wondered if Dickens really is that good.
  • Work when you’re at your best: If it’s possible, try and work at the best time of day for you. Some people may find that the brain fog is worse earlier or later in the day.
  • Eat regular meals: avoid high sugar meals when you eat. A sugar spike means your sugar will drop. You don’t have to be diabetic to have sugar spikes and drops.
  • Avoid known allergens: both environmental and food allergies.
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Avoid chemical exposure: If you are chemical sensitive, be sure to avoid chemical exposures from creams, cleaning products, etc. Those with chemical sensitivities may find exposure triggers brain fog
  • Open a window if in the car: I cannot actually explain this, but even being a passenger in a car has been a trigger for brain fog for me personally, opening the window a touch can help this.
  • Deep breathing: It could help to clear your head just to do some simple deep breathing, it helps to swing your arms above your head as you breath in, and slowly lower them as you breath out, the action will help open the diaphragm and allow for deeper breathing.
  • Exercise: This recommendation comes with a warning, for some people with certain conditions this could be a very bad idea. If the fog is a side effect of extreme fatigue, physical activity could make it worse, in these cases rest is what’s needed. For others a short walk may clear the head.
  • It may be helpful to keep a diary; this is helpful to monitor any symptoms. Keeping a record of when the brain fog occurs can help identify possible triggers. It also allows you to identify what makes it worse and what makes it better. A little trial and error of techniques to manage it such as those mentioned above will be needed to find what works best for you.

    Source: The Recovery Room – http://www.recoveryroom.com.au


    My own comments:I agree with most of What Kristy has said..

    Pace yourself at all times, and rest as needed. Rest is taking at least fifteen minutes to relax, preferably laying down with your eyes closed, otherwise you are not truly giving your body a break.

    Water is awesome – it helps clean the toxins out of your body, a natural flush so to speak. 8- 8oz glasses of water. Myself I can stomach that much straight water.. I half juice with water when I can.. Makes it easier.. But not too much cuz juice can be high in sugar & calories.. An alternative to crystal light or other 0 Calorie powder if you can tolerate the sugar substitute.

    Skip the caffeine.. In addition to the crashes & everything Kristy mentions there is also the fact that if you drink too late (& how late is too late depends on the caffeine & sugar content) it will keep you up and be detrimental to your sleep..

    Eating regularly is my biggest problem. The recommendation is three small meals a day with three snack in between.. This allows your sugar levels to be more consistent over the day that sparatic eating, as well as the simple 3 squares a day. You are also less likely to snack. If you are going to snack, try & make it veggies.. Keep pealed carrots & celery in the fridge and have a stock of fresh fruit around. I usually avoid raw veggies, ignore the fruit & go for cookies. I do find it easier to make salads at night with dinner than a 2nd veggie because I keep a greens salad mix in the fridge that is ready to go & you can add more if you want; cucumber, radish, pepper, apples, celery, or cheese are options here. Just a tip to make things a bit easier.

    Reminders are necessary for me.. We’ve tried also of different plans and tricks to help with this. We’ve used a white board. We’ve used an automated to-do list on the web. We’ve used an online calendar, as well as a local (on my pc) calendar – this helps keep my appointments organized as well as birthdays/anniversaries, but not daily stuff around the house. We tried post-its, and notebooks but I’d loose them or start a new book/list. I currently have a written to-do list that we re-evaluate daily or every other day to keep me on track, to adjust for pain & fatigue, and to prioritize tasks.

    Avoid allergens – I think this is a no brainer.. gets tested if you haven’t already. I have my environmental testing done.. need to get my food testing done.

    Exercise, in my opinion is necessary, despite what Kristy says. I try to do yoga & aqua fit regularly.. I agree that some are not able to do that much, so even a walk around the block, or one of those exercise videos specifically for Fibromites. I have one and it’s all based in a chair. There is also chair-based yoga in some areas that are available, usually for seniors.

    Kelli