Finding relaxation techniques to help de-stress…

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with fibromyalgia. Although if your reading this without fibromyalgia the techniques are still worthwhile to try; we all need to know how to relax.

The constant pain experienced with fibromyalgia makes every day tasks more difficult to do.

Simple things like preparation of a meal and shopping for food are tasks that become challenging.

I choose simple meals to cook that have a minimum of preparation. Buying some vegetables ready to cook; like butternut squash can speed up prep time and help to avoid struggling to cut them up.

Having my shopping delivered has made a big difference and can help me budget easier.

Like most things you find your own way to getting these jobs done.

My experience….

When I was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia I had pain in my neck and shoulder constantly.

I remember thinking I’d do anything to get rid off the pain.  I was constantly visiting my doctor for help with various ailments, due to fibromyalgia. It was suggested I try physiotherapy.  I went along and was given various exercises to carry out along with relaxation techniques.

The relaxation exercises were really helpful, although it took a while to learn how to do them properly and get some benefit from them.

Why should I try relaxation?

Just the thought of being able to relax can seem out of reach if your in pain. Finding ways to de stress and relax is something that can make a difference.

Our bodies are under a lot of stress constantly and I found this stress had a big impact on how severe the pain was.  When I was able to relax the pain was not as severe.

How do I relax?

There a number of techniques you can try and it’s a good idea to try more than one technique, as you may respond better to certain ones. It’s more beneficial to practice for as long as possible, up to 20 minutes.

What can I try?

Breathing Exercises

To do this properly, find a quiet place you can sit for a while. Start to focus your mind on your breathing. Take long, deep breaths, try not to rush these. Breathe from your belly and focus your attention on the sound and feel of the breath. By concentrating on breathing it can take your mind away from other thoughts. Check with your health professional to see if this is suitable for you, if you have experienced breathing difficulties.

Body Scan

Try this technique by taking a few deep breathes first. Now focus the mind on the body as a whole and scan it from top to bottom for areas that seem tense. Think about each area in turn and imagine each part in turn, releasing tension in the muscles. When you have completed each area. Try another full body scan again, the tense areas should feel much more relaxed. This technique helps your mind to become more aware of areas that need attention.

Mindfulness Meditation 

Taking mindfulness a step further incorporating it into daily meditation practice can encourage the mind to work in a regular pattern.

Mindfulness meditation works by silently spending a few minutes every day thinking about one aspect of the body, such as breathing awareness and acknowledging thoughts.  When they arise and bringing back attention to the breathing. Take a look at my post.

Visualisation Therapy

To carry out this exercise successful you need to concentrate the mind on places and images you find calming and encourage positive thoughts. Looking at photos from the past or remembering places you have visited could help. There are apps that you can download to help with this technique.

Yoga

Yoga is a gentle form of exercise that combines controlled breathing with movement and postures. It’s a good choice if you want to improve your flexibility. It’s recommended to start by joining a group to learn the basic poses. Check with your doctor first to see if they think it’s suitable for you.

Most of these techniques can be carried out almost anywhere to help reduce stress and concentrate the mind.

As with all forms of exercise check with your doctor first it you are not sure if an exercise is suitable for you.

You can find further help and information on the following resources:

NHS Breathing Exercises for Stress

Mindfulness Meditation

NHS Yoga

What’s going on, in my house?

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What’s Going On, In My House? Photo by Nick 

I’ve written a short children’s poem. 

I had the idea recently when I was woken up in the early hours, by rustling coming from some bags containing clothes from the loft.

I like seeing animals but I’m not so sure I would like to be face to face with a wild one, in my home.

After sorting through the bags one by one in the garden no mouse was found.

No explanation can be made other than the contents may have slowly moved position unexpectedly. Other than that the mystery is unsolved….

 

What’s going on in my house?

 

There once was a mouse….🐭

He got into my house 🏠

Rustling around 🐭

I heard him in the night 🌚

I thought he might take fright

Rustling around 🐭

What a sight

This mouse 🐭was alright,

Rustling around 🐭

Was he, Looking for food?🥘

Amongst the clothes👕👖

In my house 🏠

Where has he gone…🐭

Rustling around

Is he, In the garden now?🌷

Of my house 🏠

 

Since writing this the mouse in the house mystery has been solved.

Mice appeared in the house on several nights.

Causing chaos, waking us up and running amok through clothes, in wardrobes, climbing blinds, hiding under the beds and over furnishings.

Luckily not eating any food but getting very close to finding it in the kitchen. I’ve bought numerous containers to store food and clothes in; to stop some of the rummaging.

It’s worrying because they are classed as vermin, we could pick up something from them if they did get into food preparation or eating areas. Every surface has to be scrupulously clean.

We’ve had to stay elsewhere for some nights, to try and get some sleep. Thanks to my kind relative for putting us up for a while, at short notice.

My carer said it feels like we are on holiday. Not because we are enjoying ourselves but because we have had hardly any sleep for ages and feel jet-lagged!

We’re back home now and hopefully we can get to work cleaning up the mess.

As anyone who has had similar problems will know it’s uprooting when something like this happens. 

Let’s hope they are gone for good this time.

Tell me about…Fibro Fog?

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Fibromyalgia produces a number of conditions that are part of living with an invisible illness. 

One of these is cognitive dysfunction or Fibro fog. Due to sufferers feeling confused, experiencing short term loss of memory and mixing up words.

Before I was aware I had fibromyalgia I was often told;

‘Your a scatter brain…’

‘Why do I have to keep repeating this to you…You should be able to remember…’

Usually because I’d had forgotten the time I’m meeting someone or instructions about completing a task.

I used to feel frustrated that others had fantastic memories but I had no ability to retain information.

Now I know why, I’ve been suffering from fibro fog.

It’s true most people at some time in their lives have difficulty recalling things but with fibro fog it can suddenly hit you out of the blue.

At it’s worst I’ve found myself standing in front of someone I know and chatting to them as they look familiar but I cannot remember there name or anything else about them!

That’s really embarrassing!!

Or perhaps even worse than this I’ve forgotten to take tablets I need to help me feel better.

I end up remembering to take them days afterwards and feel annoying with myself for forgetting something so obvious.

What’s causing these symptoms?

Probably the most likely explanation of this is due to poor sleep quality. Added to this fatigue and the daily routine of living with pain all contribute to the severity of Fibro fog.

How can I cope better with these symptoms?

It’s been documented that fibromyalgia restricts the blood flow to the brain. Managing pain levels by practicing some  simple relaxation exercises or meditation and mindfulness can help.

When l was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia I had great difficulty relaxing. Learning some simple relaxation exercises helped me to cope better with the pain, and gradually I’ve found my symptoms have improved. I’ve worked out ways to lower my stress levels and experimented with different techniques for improving the quality of my sleep.

Look at my posts on  meditation , mindfulness , sleep exercise and diet. These all play an important part in contributing to our general health and well-being.

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Other ways to remember important information

Making a list of tasks you must do, perhaps keeping a diary or getting a calendar to make a note of important dates.

The most important of all is to not worry about getting things wrong it’s inevitable that we will forget something important. I think we tend to overcompensate for our short comings. Better to get what we can right and accept what we cannot and move on.

A bird’s eye view of the Grand Canyon

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A break from the familiar this week.

An adventure into the distance with a difference, soaring, free above mammoth rock shapes…

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In front of me stretches a vast sight, the Grand Canyon. The profile of the rock is striking; it varies so much.

Some of the rock face has collapsed due to erosion and incredible shapes have been created in the rock.

I’m a condor and I’m perched on some rock, on top of the rim looking down into the canyon.

As I take off I drift, effortlessly across the sky, and look down onto the Colorado River below.

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As it winds through the majestic rock, it glistens in the sunshine.

I look up and see the clouds cast dark shadows onto the rock below.

The yellow and orange tinges of colour are contrasted by the dark shadows.

Yesterday the rain came and flooded everywhere; now the rapids are flowing faster.

Clouds covered the tops of the rock from view for a while.

The air feels really clean and fresh; it’s really peaceful here; I can hear the rush of the wind around my wings, as I soar higher into the sky.

It seems like I can fly forever here and see gigantic rock structures stretching into the distance for miles and miles.

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