Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Thankful Thursday (on a Wednesday) from a lazy blogger

Life is busy. No, priorities are different than they were 6 months ago. So no pretty pictures this time, but I hope I can convey exactly how much contentment there is in my life at the moment. Again, I just want to capture how good I feel at this exact moment and document how I feel like I've finally got my groove.

Things I am thankful for this week:
  • a home concert (as in a concert in someone's home) from the lovely Sam Buckingham (if she's touring near you soon, which she probably is if you live in Oz, check her out, she's well worth it)
  • another gig at my favourite underground bookshop/cafe/music venue, Beyond Q by The Tiger & Me. Another great act. I'm so glad that I've been able to catch so much excellent live music lately.
  • Canberra and all it's wintery loveliness. The people who inhabit it who love to do weird and wacky things. The people who don't mind having a little bit of stillness (which others might interpret as silence) at gigs, savouring every last whisper.
  • trying out Bikram yoga and discovering that while it makes me super tired, I actually quite like it and love how flexible the hot room makes me (weeks of practice at regular yoga wouldn't have gotten me that bendy)
  • starting running again because I found out that my ski neck warmer doubles as ear protection so I don't get those pesky ear/headaches from cold air while running
  • being able to walk the 40 mins to work on the coldest day of the year (-5 anyone?) and yet somehow not notice that it was freezing until I got to work and had chilblains all over my hands. ouch. clearly I've acclimatised.
  • basically having the motivation and good health to exercise pretty much every day for the last few weeks
  • having cravings for healthy foods, and having a good attitude about food because of that. I have always been one to crave crappy sugary foods, but lately I've realised just how much they affect my moods and I am have been reducing them and I am so much more stable as a person because of it! 
  • realising how strong I have become as a person in the last year, and the huge leaps and bounds I have made not just in my physical health, but also my mental health
  • finding a masters course in Durham (as in in the UK) that pretty much looks like the answer to all my prayers. I've had so much fun daydreaming about it. It's basically all I can think about at the moment.
  • my family. I really miss them sometimes (like tonight when Sam Buckingham played Joelene which my dad always sings to me) but I like that they are just at the other end of the phone if I need them.
Ok. Maybe one gif.
I'd say I'm about this contented at the moment:
(If you don't get it, go watch Black Books now.)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Challenging thoughts

I've been taking a break from most endo related (and subsequently this-blog-related) stuff in the past few weeks. I've hid all the endo group feeds from my news feed, and I've stopped reading the scientific literature. It was all getting a bit much for me and stressing me out. I was feeling very healthy endo-wise, and maybe even taking a little too much on, and I found that reading about other people who were unwell was psyching me out and making me wonder when the bad times were going to hit for me again. (Never a good thing to wonder.)

I'm currently undertaking the e-course The Pain Course: Online Treatment for Chronic Pain. They recommend that you take 4 hours a week to read the course materials go through the DIY exercises. I'm learning some great techniques for learning how to manage the negative thoughts that come with chronic pain. (Did you know that 1 in 2 people with chronic pain experience anxiety and/or depression?)

One of the techniques that we have learnt so far is Thought Challenging. As there is no way to stop the negative thoughts, this technique looks at ways to manage them. This is where, instead of dismissing the thought (eg "Cheer up!" "Ignore it." "Get over it."), you acknowledge the thought, question it and then do something helpful. As a result you end up being much kinder and more supportive to yourself.

This is actually a concept that I had been introduced to by my psychologist late last year, although she did not explain it to me in quite the same way. It's been helpful going through this technique in the course again, and I have already noticed that I've been using it more consistently.

Did I mention that the course is free? You should sign up for it if you have any kind of chronic pain and have trouble dealing with the impact that that pain has on your life. The course is aimed at chronic pain originating from injury, so it's particularly good for those who suffer from that kind of pain.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

How to turn a bad day good

  1. When you're huddled in blankets on the couch at 7:45 at night feeling a bit sorry for yourself even though you're the one who keeps blowing people off because you're not feeling good, tell yourself that you are not going to get into this spiral again.
  2. Sign up for the gym's free weeklong pass.
  3. Decide its a little to late to go and try and sign up tonight.
  4. Don't let that stop you exercising - blow the dust off your housemate's Dance Central 3 DVD and get changed into your exercise gear.
  5. Dance like an idiot for an hour.
  6. Decide that you need to accomplish a small task, and so put on a load of laundry.
  7. Decide you still have energy and do a 10 year old Pilates for Dummies DVD that you haven't looked at for about two years.
  8. Stop being indecisive and book those flights that you have been umming and ahhing over to Adelaide this weekend.
  9. Bring the washing in before it freezes into a solid block of intertwined work shirts.
  10. Jump around the kitchen to cheesy pop songs while doing the washing up.
So that's how to cure the winter & post-holiday blues, no heater or chocolate necessary.

PS This is kinda how I feel (from megfee):

i wouldn’t trade my life for anyone else’s. because not everyone gets to have this experience. and maybe it’s lucky that i do. and others may live their lives “better–but not with my peculiar flavor and music.” this is my lot and i’ll be damned if i don’t figure it out. and frankly i’d like to see how it all plays out. which is to say, i’m invested in the story. i’m invested in the story of my own life. which, i think, is not a bad place two be at twenty-seven.
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