Sit up straight - slouchy only looks good on bags & boots!
Good posture lifts self-esteem and mood - so sit up straight - NOW! Have you? Did it make you feel instantly different in your body and mind? Thats what my yoga has been encouraging me to do after I've finished, I've noticed I'm more aware of my posture, of how I'm sitting and standing, even when I'm out walking the dog. You know I'm sitting up tall in my computer chair right now don't ya. I'm also sitting with my legs crossed buddha style - that's not so appropriate according to the health & safety folks, but I've always done it, in all the years I worked in an office my feet were rarely on the floor if I was at my desk, my legs are so short, I can't find a comfortable place where I can sit at the right level with the desk and my chair. You really needed to know that didn't you!
We're talking stress eating in the virtual workshops this week and I'm trying to get members to think about ways to lower stress levels in the first place and not just how to control the stress eating. I'm also trying to practice what I'm preaching.
Stress is how we feel when the pressure we're under exceeds our ability to cope.
I finally understood that sentence last night, I really did. I had the best virtual workshop, I really came off feeling lifted, laughing, it had been so good to see members I hadn't seen since the start of lockdown, it was awesome, it really was. I was BUZZING, then I walked into the living room and straight away I could see mom wasn't in the same mood as me, oh no, she was hateful and angry and frustrated and any other like word you can think off. Now a few weeks ago, this caused me to get truly stressed out, full on meltdown, tears, a feeling of not being able to cope, you got the picture. But last time, I felt able to cope with the situation, I tried to explain, I'd only been an hour, I was back now and I was sorry she felt this way. It took me over an hour and a half to get her even to talk to me, she just kept ignoring me, but because I'm feeling more relaxed and in control, I was okay with it. I'm thanking Yoga with Adriene for that, I really am. I've done a lovely 25 minute session with her this morning, Alfie helped me, it's quite sweet, he actually sat staring at the laptop screen at one point watching her and it's quite bizarre that every time she does downward dog, he comes and sits directly underneath me on the mat. Again his presence doesn't annoy or stress me because I'm feeling calm and realising it's about the experience of being there, not the perfection of the poses.
We all react differently to pressure and stressful situations, what makes one person feel anxious can motivate another, even the way we react can vary on the day or our mood. Some stress when it's occasional or low-level can actually be a positive thing, it boosts our brain power and prepares us to face challenges and helps us to go that extra mile.
But we all agree that too much stress, especially over a long period of time is not good at all, it's really bad for us and can cause both mental and physical illnesses so we don't want that to happen. So we need to do things to stop us from getting to that point when we are running on empty, which is why I want people to find ways of de-stressing which is why I'm loving the workshop topic this week.
One thing you can do is stop trying to please everyone - it's impossible! That's why I was able to handle my mom last night, for one hour yesterday I was focused on pleasing my members and myself, she sulked, I ignored her behaviour, I know she has dementia, but other people do that don't they, sulk when things are going their way, ignore them too!
One suggestion this week for helping you to de-stress which wasn't already on my list but I loved was to look at old photos, Elle was talking about photos of your kids when they were babies to remind you they weren't always little lockdown loonies driving you round the bend, but I thought this would work with any good memories, photos take us back to a moment in time, this one below is me and mom in the back garden on a sunny day talking silly selfies, two years ago, just after she'd turned 80. I've just found it out to ask people on Facebook a favour, here it is if you want to do it too, she'd love it, this was the post;
My brother has been writing my mom letters (then taking pics & messaging them to me to print out) she reads them over and over again, he's also been making little video messages for her which she loves. Yesterday the dementia nurse rang to talk to her and she loved that too. She's a social person really, so if you have a few minutes, write my mom a letter, just say hello, tell her how you're handling lockdown, tell her what your kids are getting up too, hell get your kids to write to her, get them to make a little video, anything to make her feel a little more like people care and love her. Make an old lady smile! I can print the letters, if you take a photo and message them to me.
So even though she kicked off when I came down, I didn't stress eat, I made this salad instead, and I was rather proud of myself!
and helping with the distressing as always is my crochet, I did some more of the flowers, although I'm not a fan of using cotton, it's not so easy to crochet with so it'll take time to finish this thing. I may raffle it though to raise money for the NHS as it's going to be rainbow colours. We shall see.
I've got a busy morning, on my virtual workshop again at 8.30 in the Dudley & Walsall group, then on again as a support at 10.30, that'll keep me occupied. Hopefully mom will sleep through most of that, then I'm off the virtual's till Saturday morning 9.45. Come join us, it's a great way to catch up and distract yourself from 'real' life for half hour, it's great to be reminded there's so many others feeling just like you do and doing what they came to cope. Get a few tips on Stress eating too - now that's worth it.
Right that's me, it's my big brothers birthday today you know, it's brilliant because this time last year we didn't think he'd make it, he'd been diagnosed with cancer in the January and they'd told him it was terminal, that they couldn't give him a 'how long he'd got left' timeline and they'd thrown everything at him, radiation, steroids you name it. Today's a good day, what I'd give for one of his uncomfortable, overwhelming big bear hugs. I say uncomfortable because we've never been demonstrative in our house and all of a sudden he was and it took some getting used to, but I did and now I'd love one, so if you're in a house with someone you love, go give them a big bear hug.
Mwah, luv ya, let's have a great day.
Love me xx