Archive for ‘Health and Wellness’

January 1, 2020

Your 2020 "Givens"

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Annie Spratt

Happy New Year! 2020 – a round year to round out your list of “givens.” 

In order to manage my disease, I’ve developed a list of “givens,” – the things that allow me to live “companionably” with RA. This list has evolved over the years to include more self-care. I have also given myself time to incorporate it into my lifestyle. Suffice to say that I was not quite ready for some habits. Or perhaps the habits weren’t ready for me!

Here are some examples of the things on my list of givens:

  • Getting some form of exercise/movement each day. This could be as simple as putting on some tunes and dancing around the living room, going for a swim, doing Essentrics or venturing out for a walk. Cleaning also counts.
  • Choosing foods that are nutritionally sound, even if I slip up with some of those things on my “naughty, but nice list.” Ice-cream, chocolate….
  • Listening to my body and learning its language.
  • Making sure I get enough rest and sleep.
  • Transforming my stress.
  • With stress transformation, comes the realization that sometimes life, and RA, can get in the way of bowing down to my givens. If that’s the case, I pick up the list the next hour or the next day. The important thing is that I get back to it as soon as possible.

Driving in a New Direction in 2020

A new year and a new decade may just the catalyst you need to expand your list of givens that will drive you in a new direction. If your resolution list is as lengthy as your “Dear Santa List” once was, you may wish to pare it down to make it more manageable. You want to be successful at each step along the way.

Start small. Another option is to do this Start, Stop, Continue exercise that is reflective of where you’ve been, whether you wish to stay there and what needs fixing/adding/augmenting. 

For me, it is a better “vehicle” than that (often broken down) resolution list. This is the destination for 2020: New Year Renewal

What things are on your “given” list for 2020?

 

July 4, 2019

#574 – Live Better with RA – Tip #9

ListenSelf

Tip #9 – Learn to Listen to Your Body

What do you need? Rest? Better nutrition? A walk in the park? A good laugh? A heart-to-heart with a friend?

Identify and honour your needs. It’s an important aspect of self-care. Stress can hamper your ability to hear what your body is asking for. When you learn to quiet the cacophony that is stress, you are better able to listen to the quiet murmurings of your heart. If you fail to heed them, you might find that your body turns up the volume. You may experience more discontent, pain and negativity that detract from a life well-lived.

Tune in to your needs. They are often quite different from your wants. For example, I often reached for a sugar fix when I was feeling sluggish. I now know that I sugar-coated what I really needed, which was a nap, or at the least, a restorative time-out.

Get in the habit of tuning in to your heart and asking for what you need. Shhhh! It’s often a very quiet voice that speaks to you. Remember, it may be shy, especially if it is unused to being heard! 🙂

Read how my body “spoke” in a dramatic way in the Emergency Room.

Work to build a relationship with yourself. (Stress coaching can help sharpen this skill. Contact me for more information.)

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May 20, 2019

#572 – Live Better with RA – Tip #7

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Image courtesy of B S K.

Build Your Team

When you have RA, you may have a tendency to figuratively withdraw and move to an “island,” but don’t.

Your healthcare team is an important part of your journey with RA. Doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, naturopaths, nutritionists, coaches, osteopaths, chiropractors, acupuncturists, therapists and friends all have a role in your health and well-being. You may not need them all, or you may need different ones at different times in your life.

Choose them with care.

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May 8, 2019

#571 – Live Better with RA – Tip #6

Tip #6 – Accentuate the Positive

We’re hard-wired to scan our environment for danger. Unfortunately, for some, our experiences have us performing this operation far too often.

In one study, optimistic subjects had increased cell-mediated immunity, whereas a drop in optimism showed a decrease in immunity. Other studies show that an optimistic attitude about aging can help people live longer, and optimistic cardiac patients are less likely to be readmitted to hospital.

One way to flip your perspective is by practicing gratitude on a regular basis. Another is to do stress techniques, which help to lighten the load and carry you into a better frame of mind.

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