My house is still messy.

Changing your perspective really can be a personally restorative act.

Let me explain – take cleaning the house for example – I feel like it’s a chore, so, given a chance, I avoid it! If I just took the view that by keeping the house clean it would be easier to live here, things might be different…(note, I haven’t mastered this yet and as a result always struggle to keep the house respectable!)

It’s the same with exercise – if we see it as a chore, quite simply, it will be!

But yet if we see it as not only being protective of our physical health but also our mental health – the game suddenly changes!!  When we are soaking up endorphins and achieving – we can easily choose our marvellous life, largely because we are feeling strong and confident from our efforts.  Are you following?

Perspective by definition is “a particular attitude towards or way of regarding something; a point of view”**  We make our best decisions when we can be aware of our own attitudes and points of view.

Now for the questions – how do you view physical activity?

Do you do it because you love the endorphins or because you think you should because of that chocolate slice you had for morning tea (or similar)?

What if you chose to view physical activity as an act of self-care and not torture?  It puts a whole new perspective on it really, doesn’t it?

Do you think choosing to change your perspective would make your life more marvellous?

** Reference – http://www.dictionary.com

 

Photo via Visualhunt

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World Diabetes Day

I’m on my high horse about Diabetes again for this blog.  Yes, someone I love has diabetes and next Monday 14 November is World Diabetes Day.

Imagine having to give yourself multiple needles per day – could you do it?

Imagine being told you have to do this for the rest of your life – this is not a temporary arrangement.

Take a minute to consider there are no ‘days off’ or ‘holidays’ from diabetes.

Imagine someone questioning why you need to worry so much about your blood glucose levels – I’m guilty of this, but the other way around – I have been more worried with the lack of concern for the blood sugar than the person with the diabetes!  I promise though it has been out of genuine concern!  I can imagine my loved one’s inside face was just like Elmo’s (in the picture) though?!

FACT:  Diabetes is a Chronic Disease – it is persistent and relentless.

Each day there is so much to think of as a person with diabetes – so much so that it is or can be ‘hard work’ just to keep it under control.

Do you know a person with diabetes?  Have you ever respectfully asked them what their condition means to them and how it affects their everyday?  By having a greater level of understanding about the condition, it allows us to increase our awareness of why their self-care is so important.

So this World Diabetes Day – Monday 14 November – take some time to:

  • recognise that diabetes management can be exhausting (as with any chronic disease) and
  • acknowledge those with this condition and maybe even, if appropriate, praise them for dealing with diabetes, every, single day.

 

Featured Image Credit- http://insulinnation.com/wpcontent/uploads/2015/09/Anger_meme_620px.jpg

Be the Change.

Points to ponder from ‘Embrace’ the documentary

Be the change.  Last night I watched ‘Embrace’ the documentary – acknowledging body diversity and highlighting the impact of how much less than positive body image affects people, mostly women.

Taryn Brumfitt does a great job – as she describes, she was ‘compelled’ to know more after her ‘not typical before and after’ photos went viral.  They didn’t go viral because she was a smart woman, a loving wife and capable mother of three, but rather because her photos showed that she was at a better point in her life when she was ‘bigger’ rather than when she was at her thinnest.

I won’t say any more, I don’t want to spoil the show, because you should see it, as should every young person, boys included – positive body image isn’t just about the girls in our society.

Taryn, as part of the Body Image Movement is doing lots of amazing stuff, but I believe as the most important component, she has made it her mission to get ‘Embrace’ the documentary into schools.  This is an area we need to help to create positive change in celebrating body diversity and encourage positive body image.

Here’s my top 5 points for you to ponder:

  1. Society is us – you often hear ‘society’ referred to as something that is out of our control, but is it really?  We are the people who shape the lives of those around us – we are society and if we want to see or make a change in ‘society’, it has to start with us!
  2. We need to love our bodies – Taryn words it well – “…our bodies are not ornaments, they are vehicles for our dreams….’  And this takes practice.  How good would it be if we were measured for doing the things that make you happy, being a good role model, creating something that we are proud of or contributing to ‘society’ rather than what we look like.  This is the message we want to send our young people, especially our girls.
  3. Life is too short to compare your body to someone else’s – especially if it’s the excessively photoshopped model you see on the magazine cover.  The unobtainable image is just that, unobtainable.  And you don’t have to look far to realise how fragile life can be – take some time to stop giving yourself a hard time.
  4. Even ‘the perfect girls’ don’t believe they are perfect – what if you did have ‘your perfect body’ and you were miserable?!! Skinny DOES NOT equal happy.
  5. We choose to make either the positive or negative attitudes contagious – Which one will you choose?  Not only choose, but send as a message to our young people?

Our bodies are our friends and our homes – how about you try being as compassionate to ourselves as we are our dear friends, share stories and the message we are all beautiful, just as we are.

#Ihaveembraced

Self-care – (yes, again!)

Last week’s blog was about using the school holidays as a prompt for some self-care time especially aimed at Mums – you can read it here:(https://wellnessassistblog.wordpress.com/2016/06/28/attention-mums-go-on-take-a-break/

And since I’m currently lucky enough to be spending some time with my children, this week’s blog is going to be quite brief.  I’m just going to go on a little more about why self-care is so crucial to wellness (yes, again).

Self-care time (aka – practicing being good or kind to yourself) can be as simple as just looking at things from a different perspective and to realise that you are doing in an awesome job of life right now.  All too often we aren’t good to ourselves and then we expect others to be that way??  You know, this is what the definition of resilience (as per The Resilience Research Centre) – the ability to navigate and negotiate your resources in any given context.  To do this however, you need to recognise before you can navigate and negotiate!

You see sometimes, not only do we all need a pat on the back sometimes, we also need to perhaps remove yourself from a situation to see it for what it really is (of course, only when and where this is safe to do so)

I was talking to a dear friend of mine, just today and she perfectly reminded me that we all have our own battles.  When stop (ie. have some self-care time) we allow ourselves to see the battles from a different perspective.  Which subsequently makes constructing a preferred path clearer and more manageable.

You may think this sounds confusing, but it is just adding to my research and validating the belief that self-care is certainly a necessity of wellness, not a luxury.

That is all from me today!  Enjoy your week!

Attention: Mums – Go on, take a break!

Hello fellow school holiday adventurers – as a Mum, there is a part of me that loves this time and there is a part of me that is in a spin about how I will juggle the children and all of the other commitments.  I suspect I’m not alone…..

No, this isn’t a ‘school holiday survival’ blog – its actually a little note about using school terms as a lead to schedule a cycle of self-care for yourself.  That is – for your wellness, schedule yourself a break every 3-4 months!!  That’s my advice to the Mums out there – keep reading to see why!

Obviously, the break is unlikely to be in the school holidays exactly, unless you are a teacher – what I’m saying is to use the school holidays an prompt to factor in this self-care time.

Some people may need some mini-breaks in between, but to have a ‘time-out’ scheduled on a regular cycle is just such a sensible approach for self-care.  My argument would also be that it is better for your household harmony too!  We know hat sometimes things just need to be diarised to make them happen!

This said time is for the purpose of:

  • doing nothing – that’s right, nothing at all – do you accept this part of the challenge?
  • Taking some time to feel grateful – for all that you have.  In fact, write down the things that you are grateful for – going forward, refer back to it periodically.
  • This is not a time for feeling guilty, you know, the ‘mum’ type of guilt – everyone will be absolutely fine without you for your scheduled time (**this time might only consist of a few hours if your children are really small or extend to a few days if they are a bit older)
  • Knowing you’re enough!!  Take some time to add yourself to the things you are grateful for – know that you are doing your best right now and that’s all you can do!
  • Catching a glimpse of the person you were before you were a Mum – its no secret that we change in lots of way once we become Mums, however, it doesn’t mean we like the person we were any less!
  • Taking your time, like, not rushing to the next engagement/appointment – for once respect the time you give yourself.

This said time is not for:

  • household chores – I’d put money on those still being there when you return!
  • using technology – this equates to doing something, see dot point one in what this time is for.
  • planning anything – this is not self-care – you can do that another time.
  • to-do lists – you know the ones you have when you manage some rare time without the children, do it when you finish your time-out – it will be clearer then anyway!

Note, this time needs to be planned in advance to allow time for babysitting arrangements to be made and for you to be comfortable with the plans.  Don’t complicate this – keep it simple – just make time for it because you know it will make this parenting gig a little easier!  For example, I met up with a friend at her house last weekend and had a sleep, at her house – it was SOOO good!  Life with children can be intense, it is easier when we can put some perspective on the things that matter.

I think I’ve talked about self-care before and why its so important for wellness and thriving and general good health.  The notion of using school holidays as a prompt was something that seriously, just came to me today – do you like?

Featured Image:  Photo via <a href=”https://visualhunt.com/”>VisualHunt</a&gt;

 

Nobody wants a broken down car….

When I was younger, I remember my Mum saying ‘you don’t have much if you don’t have your health.’  I’ve been blessed with a very wise Mum (in that instance and countless others too).  It may shock her to hear me say, she was right – but she was, and still is.  Though, even with that in mind, we often take our health for granted, don’t we, until something goes wrong?  Have you done that?

If we take some time to look after it (and ‘service it’, like I’m sure you do for your car) you will most certainly not regret it.  Its really up to us as individuals to ‘perform the preventative maintenance’ on ourselves!  I’m not into cars at all – that analogy just came to me as I was typing – seems to fit well though, even if I say so myself!

What preventative maintenance I’m talking about?  Its just simply about taking responsibility for your health and managing it accordingly.  The thing is, making not so great health choices might not noticeably affect you in the short term.  But if you keep choosing unhealthy options, it will catch up with you in the longer term.  Just saying.

You see, the human body is quite amazing and extremely efficient.  It is capable of compensating for a long time (depending on the specific function), but when it stops working the way it should, only then, do individuals start to consider seeking health care, see the second paragraph for a better plan!

The other really important thing you can do, which only takes a few conversations with your family – is find out about your family’s health history.  Why is this even important?  It is especially important when it comes to knowing your risk for the lifestyle diseases.

The term ‘lifestyle diseases’ refers to conditions which are contributed to by such factors as poor nutritional intakes and physical inactivity – both frighteningly common in first world countries.   They include conditions as heart disease, stroke and Type 2 Diabetes.  There are some predisposing factors we can’t do anything about (like increasing age, family history/genetics and even gender in some cases to name a few) and then there is the factors we can alter like (inadequate nutritious food intake, amount of physical activity, alcohol intake and tobacco use).  So, knowing your risk factors and choosing to manage them is crucial to providing ‘preventative maintenance’ and taking responsibility for your health!

That’s right, we are in control (behind the wheel) of our own health.  Do you take your health for granted (cruise control)?  If not, what have you done to take control (take the steering wheel) of your health lately?

 

 

How is your next holiday looking?

So….you ate too much chocolate at Easter??  The chocolate distracted you from looking after yourself?  ‘It was a gift – I had to eat it!’  ‘Can’t let it go to waste’. Blahblahblah – who has heard some of those excuses out of their own mouth or someone close to you’s mouth in the last few days?  They could be seen as excuses or for the sake of this blog, lets call them distractions to your healthy lifestyle.

We all have distractions in life – they may look different for different people, but they are there, lurking around.  They might be well meaning edible gifts from family and friends or they might be in the shape of cute small people, who take up the much of your time.  Or it may really bother you how people on your ‘newsfeed’ persistently post their ‘perfect’ posts – it doesn’t matter what it is, there will always be distractions!

It is how we manage these distractions that matters!!  Do you know what yours are?  Do you know the distractions that stand between you and your healthy lifestyle?  There also lies the question, can we afford to be distracted from our own health??  Personally, I don’t think so, what’s your thoughts?

On that note, you know what I find strange, is that most people will spend longer planning their next holiday than deliberately taking time to look after their own health??  Are you guilty of this??

WARNING – I’m pretty sure I have said this in a previous blog and I will continue using this line because it is so simple yet so valuable. – self-care is not selfish. 

Self-care includes knowing what your distractions are so you can find an achievable and sustainable solution or compromise for them!  Obviously, some distractions are part of life eg. like those small cute people I referred to in the second paragraph – we love them dearly AND they don’t have to be a distraction!  For example – include those said small people in your healthy lifestyle – be a role model to them – show them that exercise and eating well is fabulous or that having a go at something new can be lots of fun.  Solutions will come at you, if that’s what you focus on – how much do you want to be healthy??

I guess the message is – distractions are always there, but they are only distracting if you let them be!