Posts Tagged ‘Breathing’

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

How Do You Sleep

July 26, 2020

What position do you sleep in? Do prefer to sleep on your back? Or are you a side sleeper? Or do you just drop face first? Or are you sprawled ou, taking up the whole bed?

How you sleep, the position you are in does reflect on how well you sleep and on your overall health.

Side Sleeper: Arguably the most comfortable and most common, this position is beneficial for those with back pain, acid reflex & sleep apnea. Your airway is open, your head is aligned, and your esophagus is elevated, preventing the reflux. However side sleepers can theoretically get extra wrinkles cuz the skin sags in one direction consistently and for long periods of time. And if you sleep in s tight fetal position you can impair your breathing and even worsen conditions including.arthritis, back pain & joint pain. Finally, if you have to choose between the right & left, choose left as sleeping on your right can cause organs to shift slightly as you sleep putting pressure on each other & specifically the stomach aggravating acid reflex.

The word is that side sleepers are an easy-going people, who welcomes everyone with an open heart. Those who prefer sleeping on the left may be more creative while those in favour of the right side are more likely to have an addictive personality, at least according to one survey.

Personally, this is how I prefer to sleep, fairly consistently on my left.. Moreso for comfort than the reasons above. I can sleep on my right, but it seems to aggravate my bursitis most days.

Back Sleeper: If you value your beauty sleep, this is the position for you as your weight in your face is evenly distributed preventing sagging & this wrinkles. Additionally, lifting your head slightly while sleeping on your back prevents acid reflux. However for those with sleep apnea, the position of the head results in worsened sleep apnea and snoring. Additionally, pregnant women who sleep on their backs apparently have s higher rate of still births.

The word is that back Sleepers are the most likely to wake up recharged and good-to-go for the day. It may also signify having really unrealistic and high expectations of both yourself & others.

I can not sleep in this position, myself.. Well, technically, yes I *can* but sleep is erratic, sporadic and not refreshing. Sleeping on my back tends to leave my body in a bad place. Typically when I get up after having slept, even only part of the night on my back, my body will retaliate, increasing my pain levels a good solid notch or two.

Tummy Sleeper: I don’t know anyone who prefers this as their go- to sleep position. The only plus with this position is your airway is open preventing both snoring and sleep apnea. However, sleeping this way really does a number on your back. The physical position on your tummy caused you tummy to relax into the bed. This causes problems with the spinal alignment of your back and neck. As the front of your body sinks more into the mattress, there is more pressure on your muscles, joints and organs resulting in pain.

The word is Tummy sleepers tend to be a social butterfly and a very amicable person. However, they may come across a little brash at times. They do not like being criticized, as they are insecure on the inside.

Personally, while I will lay on my stomach the odd time when I’m having a restless night, I don’t think I have even truly slept right on my stomach. When I was young, I remember being a tripod with my weight on the one arm, the same hip & opposite knee as I’m cocked over but not flat on my tummy. But I can’t even do that anymore.

Tips on improving your sleep.

Side Sleepers need to ensure the pillows adequately supports the neck but does not extend it the other direction (I’ve done that – gets a nasty crick). Put pillow between the knees or thighs to help align the hips.

Back Sleepers need to place a pillow between the knees to relieve strain on the back and sure the other pillow aligns the neck and spine in a natural, neutral position.

Stomach Sleepers need to prop the head up enough with a pillow to allows easy breathing but the pillow should also keep your face straight & facing straight down preventing snoring, back pain, and neck pain. (So a donut pillow?) Additionally, you can place a pillow beneath the hips to prevent your abdomen from sinking, putting your spine out of alignment.

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?? ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • 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.. ๐Ÿ™‚
  • 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. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
  • Huggs ๐Ÿ™‚ 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?