Calm, Exercise, Happiness, Music, Reading, Walking, Writing

Ways to Happiness…

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Are you looking for the ever elusive happiness?

How do you find it?  

Well, it’s there under the surface, very well hidden at the moment but if you delve deep you will find it.

Following on from my previous post about happiness I’m looking at possible ways to find it.

‘I think the best way to experience happiness is through a calm mind. Helping your mind to become calm and relaxed at the moment is not an easy task, but it is the best way to experience happiness.’

Five popular ways to calm the mind

1 Music

Listening to music can have a calming effect. Classical music is generally recommend to be better at helping concentration and mood, although other types of music are also good if you like listening to them. I tend to listen to particular radio programs because they give a good mix of thought provoking music and some chat which can move your day along.

2 Reading 

Reading a book is another way to find some calm in your day. Searching out an interesting book that will grip you and will get you instantly absorbed by the plot, can be really exciting. Your mind is transported off to another place and taken away from your worries. Check out books available online from your local library.📚 

3 Walking

Walking every day even if it’s for a few minutes can make a huge difference. I usually try to walk for about an hour a day; even on a cold day it’s really helpful. It can help to stimulate the brain to look at a world outside your four walls and experience natural surroundings. It’s also a great form of exercise for most people and it can help you keep fit.

4 Meditation 

Meditation can help to calm the mind and experience happiness in some form. I enjoy meditating as this gives me some form of relief from any anxiety I maybe feeling. My page Meditation and Mindfulness gives more tips.

5 Learning something new

Trying out a new skill like learning a language, or starting to learn painting in watercolours. I started learning french recently and have found I remember a lot from my school days. I have been able to use it to help me write poetry in french. A creative skill is a very useful tool and are great ways to be totally absorbed by something you enjoy doing.

I hope you’ve found my post helpful and can explore your own ways to happiness.

Blog, Cherry blossom, Poetry, Trees, Walking

#Cherry Blossom

pink flowers tree
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Lost in thought, I saw a beautiful cherry blossom tree when I was doing my walk, this week. It cast my mind back to a trip to a fruit farm a few years ago. During the middle of the cherry blossom flowering season April. I remember the scent of the flowers as I walked past the masses of cherry trees. Memories are priceless and mine of the cherry blossom scent and aroma haven’t faded..


🌸
Walking amongst the cherry blossom 🌸

Sweetly scented

Pink blossom

Drifts through

Warm light air

Like confetti at

A spring wedding

Flower petals

Scattering over

Lush green grass

Now, it’s spring

At last!

Poem by Nick

 

bloom blooming blossom blur
Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

Ancient woodland, Chronic illness, Fibromyalgia, Invisible illness, Trees, Uncategorised, Walking, Woodland

Just a walk…

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Bluebell Woods Photo by Nick

Now we are staying home, my one walk a day is more important that ever before.

I have to admit walking is something I hated, as a child. I remember having to go on walks and thinking, how much further, my legs will fall off in a minute!

So, what changed my opinion of walking?

I first started walking regularly before I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, about fifteen years ago. I’d been suffering with lower back pain and sciatica, which got progressively worse.  I was unable to work. My doctor said I need to go to physio first; to get the muscles and joints moving and when I’m mobile to start walking regularly.

At the time I thought it was really unhelpful advice as I could barely move, let alone walk anywhere!  But after a few painful physio sessions. I started with short bursts at first of 5 to 10 minutes, progressing to longer walks.  Now I do a regular walk every day and have not suffered from back pain so much; I also have more energy to do things.

I find my walk stimulating now; especially on a fine sunny day, it can really lift your mood.

Observing nature and seeing trees come into leaf as spring approaches is really refreshing.

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Bluebells Photo by Nick

I live near a park and I can vary my daily walks through wooded areas and quiet residential streets. I usually spend about 25-45 minutes on a walk and vary the terrain.

Being a fibromyalgia sufferer I notice any temperature drop as the weather changes, straight away. My joints feel stiff, I get more pain and all my symptoms get progressively worse. I still try to keep active if I can everyday by walking. I wear layers and thermals to keep warm.

I have a pair of waterproof walking boots; which are great to wear in heavy rain. I bought mine from a outdoor clothing and footwear shop in the winter sale. I’ve also invested in a waterproof jacket,  woolly hat, thermal gloves and socks.
I find it difficult keeping my hands and feet warm, when it is really cold. Research shows we loose most heat from our hands and feet; so it makes sense to keep these areas as warm as possible.

If you plan to begin walking and have not exercised recently it would be advisable to start slowly first. If your joints are very stiff it might help to try gentle exercises before you start to warm up the joints.

When you feel ready to start put on some comfortable shoes and suitable waterproof clothing for the weather.  Start off slowly with short bursts of 5 to 10 minutes and gradually build up from this.  You will find you get more confidence and can do longer distances.

For more information about walking and exercise have a look at the NHS Walking  guide. Check before setting out the latest update in your area, on staying safe during the Coronavirus pandemic.

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Blog, Chronic illness, Exercise, Fibromyalgia, Hydrotherapy, Invisible illness, Pilates, Sitting Exercises, Uncategorised, Walking

Mobility Secrets with Fibromyalgia

photography of woman in pink tank top stretching arm
Photo by Nathan Cowley on Pexels.com

It’s really important to keep as healthy as possible, as your level of stamina fluctuates so much.

When you have Fibromyalgia it is a daunting prospect, keeping fit. Particularly starting out for the first time, with a new exercise.

On a visit to my Physiotherapist recently I mentioned I go walking regularly. She said doing moderate exercise can build up strength and help with mobility.

After I was was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 2004, I found that exercise helped me a lot to keep a reasonable level of mobility. But I struggled to find things I could do. 

I have made a list of everything that has helped me that you could try. If you’re starting out try hydrotherapy first and then some gentle flexibility exercises.

Hydrotherapy

I found gentle exercise in a warm water pool can help. The water supports your body and has less impact on muscles and joints.

Research has shown that lying in warm water helps the body to relax and lowers pain perception.

A therapist that specialises in hydrotherapy or a qualified physiotherapist that has a good understanding of fibromyalgia, can help you to work out some exercises.

Your local sports centre or gym may have these facilities and let you have a couple of trial sessions.

Sitting Exercises

If you have limited mobility, sitting exercises could be a better option than other ways of exercise.

The NHS website has sitting exercises along with flexibility exercises that might be worth trying.

person rolling green gym mat
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Pilates

Pilates strengthens the body as a whole, the main aim is to improve core strength. Regular sessions can help to reduce the risk of injury by increasing flexibility.

I  developed my own tailored exercise routine, by trying out different exercises, from visits to a physiotherapy practitioner.

If you go for physio ask the practitioner for advice and help about what exercises are best for you.

I practice these regularly once a day, for about ten minutes in total. Although, I had to work up to doing this amount gradually at first.

Walking

I found walking to be the most accessible and best for my circumstances.  Walking can help to boost your energy levels and enjoy nature.

If you suffer from low mood, walking on a regular basis is a good non medical therapy, to help feel more positive.

If you are on a low-income, it’s no problem to try out as there is no sign up charges.

If you are new to walking it is best to start with 5 to 10 minutes at first and gradually increase this as your body gets used to the exercise

You will need to try out a pattern that suits you.

When you first start you may need to get some comfortable shoes and wrap up well with thermal layers on cold days.

Have a look at my post on walking  for more tips.

woman street friends fun
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The NHS live well  website has a lot of really useful tips to get you active.

I hope this post has helped to give you ideas to improve mobility for Fibromyalgia. My goal is as always to help others with Fibromyalgia and similar invisible illness.