Category: Health

The Wonder of Walking

'Don't walk behind me; I may not lead.Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow.Just walk beside me and be my friend.'From Winnie the Pooh

I love walking.  No matter how tired I am, if I push myself (or am pushed by a friend) and I get my trainers on and get out and walk, I always feel much better.

I used to be the most sincerely unfit person.  When I think back a good few years, even walking a short distance, say to the corner shop, would have me thinking of taking the car.  I had all sorts of excuses as to why my sedentary lifestyle was ok.  Little did I know that walking could make a huge difference not only to my physical health but my mental health.

Today’s quote is from the oh so fabulous Winnie the Pooh (AA Milne), is a reminder that while we are walking for exercise, walking with a friend adds another dimension.

Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead

Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow

Just walk beside me and be my friend.

I am so honoured to have friends who walk beside me,on actual walks and generally in life.

Today’s quote is going out to all my friends who have encouraged me on my fitness journey and taken the time to walk by my side. (You know who you are!)

Thank you.

Kerry x

 

My new Handbag Essential – A pocket sized headache reliever

handbag essentials

My new handbag essential – A pocket sized headache reliever.

I don’t go anywhere without my new Migrastick.  It is tiny, but mighty and packed with natural Mint and Lavender – a perfect combination.

I started my fascination with essential oils some years ago and although I have a little collection by now there are a few bottles that I reach for time and time again.  One is lavender and another is peppermint.

I know I take far too many painkillers, and I also know that isn’t good for you.  So when I saw this I just had to try it.  An all natural solution with no baddies (like parabens, preservatives and colourings), Migrastick has definitely helped me through a stressful day or two.  And as a bonus comes in a tiny lipstick sized container that can fit in my teeny tiny handbag.  (I have a little addiiction to tiny handbags that I can wear over my body and keep my hands free)

There is something about essential oils that really works for me.  The cooling touch of the Migrastick applied to the temples immediately gave a burst of refreshing and uplifting peppermint overlayed with lavender.

I took a peek in my Armotherapy bible – to understand how these oils work together, and it all makes sense.  Peppermint oil helps treat nausea, headache and is helps with pain relief.  I have always found peppermint oil uplifting.  Lavender on the other hand relieves nervous tension is relaxing and works on eliminates pain too! A win win in my book.

I am always on the look out for products that make life a little easier, and this little one which is available at most pharmacies has found it’s place in my handbag.

My handbag essentials as pictured here are:

  1. My prescription specs (even in the winter for glare)
  2. My mobile – I honestly can’t be without my social media and emails
  3. My debit card and a little cash. I don’t carry much, really just for emergencies
  4. At least 2 lipsticks. I am trying to remind myself to top up during the day
  5. My Migrastick

Thanks for reading.  If you dare, tell me the 5 most important things in your handbag please?

Kerry xx

 

 

Pushing beyond your limits

Push beyond your limits (2)We all have limits.  I know I have reached mine when I am ‘crying tired’.  It was my mom who first used that phrase.  It really is so descriptive.

Yesterday I reached crying tired.  I have been putting my all into learning my new job, where I have literally hit the ground running.   Throw in horrific traffic problems where it is taking me up to an hour and a half in stop start traffic to travel a normal 20 minute journey. And then for a final flourish add in packing up my home.

In addition to this I had reached the end of my ‘battery life’.  Let me explain, I have pernicious anaemia.  As I cannot absorb B12 through my tummy – and B12 is what oxygenates your blood – I have to have it injected on a regular basis.  I compare myself to a battery operated toy.  Twenty-four hours after receiving my injection I am at full battery capacity.  The couple of days before it is due and I am really run down and tired.

I am not looking for sympathy here, just explaining how I came to reach my limits.

The only problem is that when you do reach your limits sometimes you have no option but to push through them.  I had to get up early this morning to travel to work, put my brave face on and handle the job in front of me.  I had to think up some solutions to my move which is was becoming a logistical nightmare and simply push on.  Giving up isn’t an option.

Today as I am reading the post I am calm.  I pushed beyond my limits – not quite sure how, but I found that extra 10 percent needed to keep going.  I had a great day and am now fully ‘charged’.

Next time I get crying tired, I need to remember to keep pushing beyond my limits.

Thanks for reading my belated Wednesday quotation.  Please feel free to share.

Kerry xx

 

Talking about blogging, and more on the Radio

Kerry Manning talks to Angela Faull on the Chatroom on CRCfm 102.9 by Crcfm on Mixcloud

 

I was delighted to talk to the lovely Angela Faull on CRCfm – the local community radio station in Castlebar.

I really love blogging and sharing ideas and this was a fantastic opportunity to have a chat.  I honestly forgot it was going out live on the radio until it was over.

We started talking about blogging but, Angela is a skilled interviewer and I landed up talking about some subjects like depression and pain, that I normally shy away from. We also talked about friendship and how I learned the joy of walking.

I would love it if you would have a listen, and would appreciate any feedback.

Thanks for listening.

Kerry xx

Treating my hands to a bit of Revive

icarevive

 

I love magazines, I guess I have a bit of an addiction to them.  As you can imagine I was delighted to receive a copy of the first ICA magazine, and after setting myself up with a cup of tea I sat down for a good read.

Tucked in the back was an advert for Revive, a Galway based company who are developing some fabulous health supplements.  I knew about the ‘green’ Revive (Revive Active) as my sister had been raving about it.  I had also had a little sample in my ITWBN goody bag!  But here was a blue one – and one especially for joints.

My hands are a constant struggle for me since being diagnosed with arthritis.  They simply hurt all the time, and I am struggling with flexibility.  Because I am me, I am doing everything I can to keep going, including injecting with methotrexate which is a bit hectic to say the least.

I am delighted to say that I have added the Revive joint formula to my anti- arthritis arsenal.  The supplement that comes in a sachet and is mixed with water doesn’t taste like chocolate, but it isn’t bad at all.  It has all the building block ingredients that are supposed to reduce pain and increase mobility.  With any luck it is also going to repair cartilage, and reduce inflammation ( a biggie for me).

My new breakfast addition from ReviveI have been taking it for over two weeks now.  Last night a friend was over and asked me how my hands were.  I had to stop for a minute to think.  They hadn’t been hurting all day!    Could be a coincidence, but I will take whatever pain-free days are available.

This is a long-term solution and I will be updating everyone on the blog regularly.  Revive uses the slogan the science of nature.  I can do that!  I am delighted that I am not adding any more baddies into my blood stream, and feeling better to boot!

Thanks for reading and please feel free to share your feedback.

Kerry xx

 

Think less, sleep more – my relationship with Insomnia

 

Insomniacsonly 2 sleeps to Christmas (2)I have had a relationship with insomnia for many years.  I think I have it under control and then wham another night with two ten minute naps and I am sitting at work struggling to focus.

It was so bad at one stage, that my sister kindly send me a version of the image attached, reminding me that as an insomniac I only had two sleeps to wait until Christmas (6 months ahead).

After a particularly bad bout of sleeplessness recently a friend said to me ‘Kerry, you need to think less’.  Simple but it was a bit like a lightbulb moment.

I have a lot going on at the moment, working notice is my current job, preparing for a new job, wondering where I am going to live, house hunting, some personal issues, packing, the list goes on.  When my friend mentioned the idea of thinking less, I thought I had to try it.  Combined with my other insomnia busting tricks listed below, I had a fantastic night’s sleep and was woken by the light shining through the gap in the curtains.  I had even slept through my alarm.

Here are some of my old and new tips to combat wide eyes at night.  Now all I have to do, is remember to follow my own tips.

  1. Work out how long you need to sleep – I need around 6 hours. At one stage I was so tired I was heading to bed around 10 exhausted and then of course I was awake and tossing and turning from about 4 am.  I tend to aim for 11.30, have a little read and then lights out.  My alarm goes off at 6 and then I have the choice of a little slumber before hitting the shower.
  2. Bath before bed. Nothing like it – it is a real treat to run a hot bath with some nice lavender oil and relax while soaking.  Straight into bed after that and out like a light.  Read about my bath time ritual here.
  3. No screens in the bedroom. My TV is downstairs, as is my laptop and iPad.  Work is not for the bedroom.  I am still guilty of this as I keep my phone by my bedside.  Apparently the light mimics daylight and tricks our brains.  I really must try to plug it in downstairs and leave it.  Not quite sure I am ready though.
  4. Crisp clean sheets. If I have been having a bad patch, that hot bath is followed up with a slide into crisp clean sheets.
  5. There is nothing worse than being cold.  I have an underactive thyroid and this sometimes means my body cannot get warm.  I love my electric blanket and even admit to using it on the chillier nights in the summer.
  6. Aroma moments. Aromatherapy is a hobby for me.  There are always little bottles around the house for one remedy or another.  While lavender is an all time favourite, for sleep I use german camomile.  The tip was given to me by a friend years ago.  It is bright blue!  Put a few drops on a hankerchief or cloth and tuck it under your pillow.  Sweet dreams ensured.
  7. Think less – finally added to my list. Empty your mind and remind yourself that your worries and thoughts will still be there tomorrow.  It is time for sleeping now not thinking.  I have even read about the idea of writing things down in a book – and leave them there for the night.

So now will wish you sweet dreams.

Kerry xx

How to find the balance between Yes and No – is YOLO the answer?

Yes (2)

 

As a card holding people pleaser I have had to learn how to say no.

After yet another week and weekend of non-stop activities a friend kindly pointed out that I may have over commitment issues.  I was a bit taken aback, but when I thought about it I realised that he had a point.

If I had plans for 8 in the evening, it was really easy to sneak another arrangement in after work.  A Saturday was fabulous and could be divided up into all sorts of slices.  Breakfast, housework, a craft class, and hour to work on my blog, drinks and dinner.  I found myself scheduling my life away.

Why did I do this?  After stopping and actually staying home for a couple of evenings and thinking about it I realised that it was a combination of being a people pleaser and a serious case of YOLO – you only live once.  I simply want to do everything.

I really do love life and love celebrating life.  If I have to choose between doing something exciting, meeting up with my friends or my sofa – I don’t choose the sofa, no matter how much I know I need it.  Now, there is nothing wrong with living life in the moment– in principle, but we have to have some downtime too.  Our bodies need to rest.

Rest and relaxation is as important as eating.  It is also as important as socialising.  So ultimately it comes down to balance.

I have had to learn to listen to cues from my body and know when a no is better than a yes.

What I have learnt is that saying no is not offensive and it is acceptable.  People do understand when you say no, and you can always reschedule  and plan for another day.

I live with a blood disorder called Pernicious Anaemia.  It is complicated to explain, but the bottom line is that I do suffer from severe fatigue from time to time.  Those are quite often the days when I have to simply say no thank you.

At my friend’s farewell, instead of saying goodbye, he reminded me about my over commitment problem.  Yes, I said and walked swiftly down the road to my second engagement of the evening.  His words stayed with me and when I finally got home at 10.30 that evening and received a text message to say that the party was in full swing and that I was missing out, I said no.

I think that this might be my balancing act that I will live with.  Good thing I enjoyed the see-saw as a child.

Thanks for reading

Kerry x

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