Her Real View: Tips For Brain Fog {Mental Health}

It happens in old age but it can also happen because of your mental state, being too overwhelmed, burn outs and medications can cause it – brain fog or forgetfulness. You begin to do absentminded things you otherwise may have not done before like forgetting the stove on or not remembering certain events as if they’ve been erased from memory.

I started becoming more and more absent minded last year. I started to forget simple things I would otherwise remember like why I entered a room to begin with. I started to know myself and know what I will remember (like locking the door before I leave or turning off the lights) and what I may forget (that bottle of ketchup for the fourth time at the store).

With learning about the new me came doing things a little different. I use technology new and old to help me remember the important stuff and I try to meditate to exercise my brain.

Using technology like calendars, timers, alarms, voice notes and notepads make it that much easier to write things down and have them literally at your fingertips.

Wall calendar’s are nice to have and can give a better visual for important dates and schedules for the forgetful folks like us. I like to use both a paper calendar and my iPhone to keep important things in mind.

Post-it notes are a staple in my home office. I jot notes, dates, ideas, you name it and stick them around my desk. When the task is done or date has passed I simply toss them into the recycle bin. Not very eco-friendly of me but I’m old-school and that’s how we were taught. You could replace post-it’s with a dry erase board too. I just don’t have room in my little space for one.

-Telling someone. When it comes to important dates or appointments it can help to tell someone else about them. I let my partner know my schedule, he sometimes has to remind me of appointments and I also remind him of his. I even tell my mom and she reminds me. Nothing like a Mom reminder.

-Napping. Not always convenient but even a small 10 minute nap can help reboot your brain and give you a little energy in the afternoon. Too long of a nap (past 45 minutes) will definitely leave you groggy and not able to sleep that night so be cautious of what time of day to nap (1pm-4pm) and how long (10-30 mins tops). Set an alarm to wake up just in case. Either way your body and mind will thank you for taking the break.

These are just some of my own personal tips for helping your memory during a brain fog. If your memory is a serious concern it could be caused by a medical condition. Please see your doctor for proper medical advice.

Her Real View: Why Winter Sucks {when you have chronic pain} #HipDysplasia #Osteoarthritis #chronicpain #spoonie

We are smack dab in the middle of January and honestly we were spoiled and lucky in December 2019 that the real winter weather held out until now. Winter can really suck for those of us who suffer daily from chronic pain.

The weather. When it hits below freezing, ice is on the pathways and snow all over the sidewalks, I prefer to stay in. My bones ache the colder it is outside and the colder I get. If I shiver, it makes it even worse.

Uneven ground. Despite my disability I have responsibilities and one is walking my kids to the bus stop every morning. This becomes difficult in the winter. My cane has an ice pick on the end and my boots have removable cleats just in case but walking on uneven, icy ground causes pinches and pulls that are extremely painful. My body fights just to walk a small distance in the winter and by the time I return I’m exhausted.

Ice. The scariest thing about going out in winter. I have more confidence wearing my cleats and using my canes ice pick but I sometimes don’t wear the cleats and use the ice pick if I’m going somewhere in a car; slips happen and when they do my entire body pays.

Isolation/Depression. With so many things to worry about during the winter time I find myself more isolated, sometimes more depressed.

How do I get through the suckiest season with chronic pain?

Keep busy. I do as much as my body and mind will let me to keep busy if I’m stuck indoors. Hobbies, light chores or even relaxing for a day. If I’ve been isolating myself my spouse notices and he makes me go out with him. Nowhere special even if it’s just out for a coffee, he takes care of me and for that I’m grateful.

Keep active indoors. Since walking or doing anything outside aren’t good options to keep myself in shape during the winter, we invested a little in a mini home gym. An exercise bike to help stretch my hips and surrounding muscles (used $10 and it works!), 5lbs weights and a small sized medicine ball for knot stretching and such. It’s not much but it works and it helps keep me motivated with workout goals. It’s harder on my severe pain days but it’s necessary for my condition.

Dress for the weather. If I do have to go out I make sure I overdress for the weather. I don’t care who laughs at the pompon on my toque!

Be careful. When I do have to go out I’m careful. I use my cleats and ice pick if I have to go any distance beyond my driveway. I take my time when I walk the kids to their bus stop. It’s alright for now, my seven year old walks as slow as I do.

Know my limits. I’m still working on knowing my limits. Even if I keep myself locked up inside doing stuff, too much physical activity like standing, bending, stretching, walking up stairs, carrying anything heavier than my 5lbs chihuahuas etc all exhaust me quickly and the more tired I am the more sore I become. I try to tell myself “enough”.

Im sure those of you also suffering with chronic pain can relate.

Let’s try to make it to April! 😂 🧊

It’s January 2020: What will it bring you?

Sorry for the lateness of my first post of the new decade…

Welcome to January 2020.

The holidays came and went; I felt detached, constantly thinking about something going on right after the new year celebrations. Back to real life and facing something I’ve been dreading.

I feel like I’m slipping backward again; back into the dark abyss. I don’t want to slip, I don’t want to fall. I’ve been working too hard on myself to let someone or something break me down again but reality is, it is breaking me down again.

My goal for January is to get over this hurdle that’s been causing me so much mental stress and anxiety. I can’t control the outcome. I can do my best with the best of my abilities and pray to god it pans out in my favour. I need to build myself up again but it’s so hard when everyday is a guessing game.

I know you don’t know what I’m taking about and you’re probably confused but if you can spare some positive energy, send it my way. I could use all the positivities I can get.

I’m hoping January will bring me some answers. Once I get these answers maybe then I can breathe.

What will January bring you?

Her Real View: A Christmas Hip Dysplasia Story.

On November 9th of 1989 I underwent a major, reconstructive preservation surgery on my left hip. I was only 9 years old and I still remember my surgery date. It was one of the most terrifyingly confusing times of my childhood life.

I didn’t exactly understand why I had bad hips or why I needed surgery except to “make it stop hurting”. I spent a couple of weeks in hospital and the next month and a half casted from the chest down to my pelvis. The right leg of the cast ended there while the left extended all the way down to my ankle, keeping my hip, knee and entire leg on the left side straight as it healed from surgery. I was bedridden and couldn’t walk the entire time. I felt useless and a burden. I even had to have a tutor come in to keep me up with my school work.

It felt like forever and then Christmas time came. Unlike the other kids who probably had lots of toys listed for Santa, I only wanted one thing; to have my cast off and walk again. Imagine a 9 year old who didn’t care about presents under the tree.

I was determined to have it taken off. I was determined to walk before Santa came. I wanted to have a normal Christmas. I wanted to be happy again.

Christmas Eve of 1989 my parents brought me for an appointment at the children’s hospital and it was announced by my surgeon at the time that my cast was coming off.

I remember the sound of the casting saw, the chunks they took off one by one revealing my pale and weak left leg. It looked like a flaky piece of overcooked spaghetti. The nurse and doctors sat me up. I felt great! That is until I stood up from the table and passed out cold. Oops. After that, I was on my way home to enjoy Christmas with my new crutches and no more cast.

I don’t even remember what kind of gifts I got that year under the tree (probably whatever was popular in ’89) but I do remember how I felt.

I felt like the luckiest kid in the world; my wish was granted and I had my legs back…at least for a few years.

1989 had to have been the worst but best Christmas of my childhood wrapped up in one big red bow.

**Unfortunately I recently found out that the wrong kind of surgery had been done on my growing bones back in the day. I’m now 38 and lived most of my life with my bad hip not properly taken care of. I’m back to square one. It feels like 1989 again except now I know.

All I want for Christmas is the pain to go away.**

Her Real View: Positive Quotes

Having depression means sometimes thinking I’m doing really good only to have something happen and a relapse; back to square one.

Today, I’m sharing some positive quotes we can all look back on from time to time and remind ourselves that we are important and loved, even if sometimes we don’t feel it.

I choose happy, even on the days I feel sad.

Her Real View: Meditation For Mental Health {CBT} #Dysthymia #Anxiety #MentalWellness #HealthandWellness

Meditation for mental wellness

Meditation is a practice where the individual focuses the mind on a particular thing {object, thought or activity like breathing}, to help with focus, awareness and to achieve a mentally clear, emotionally calm and stable state of body and mind.

Of course everyone and their mother has heard about meditation in some form or another and millions of different people from all walks of life around the world practice different forms of meditation. Here in North America meditation is often recommended as part of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy {or CBT} for those of us with mental ailments, as it can be simple enough to learn and has health benefits.

These benefits of meditation can include a lowered heart rate, better focus & attention span, stress & anxiety reduction. People have also reported benefits such as helping with addiction, generating kindness and enhancing self-awareness.

Now, I am a newbie When it comes to all of this. I don’t know much about meditation but I am learning and willing to learn more if it’ll help me and anyone else. When we start something new, we have to start from the bottom, right?

I found a useful fitness website that explains a bit more about meditation for beginners like me (and maybe you?). Click here to see the post and become inspired!

My therapist recommended trying meditation; I’ve actually been doing deep breathing with yoga, not the same as what I’m talking about with the therapist but close.

We tried a five minute meditation session focusing on breathing, sounds and sensations. It was an interesting experience which honestly left me in a better mood that afternoon.

My “homework” was to continue once a day 5-10 minutes. I am so busy it’s hard to squeeze in those 5-10minutes but I have to try. I know when something isn’t working for me and what could work. One form of meditation type we did in an earlier session didn’t work and I didn’t like it (repeating a phrase). This time the form we tried felt different; something I would like to continue learning about and weaving it into my life.

One of my favourite apps I’ve mentioned before is my breathe app on my Apple Watch. It begins slowly, giving you a moment to get into the mindset and you breathe following the pulse on the watch. You can set the app to do sessions for minimum one minute to several minutes, depending what you need. I usually do two to three minutes. The app chimes when the your session is complete and even tells you what your heart rate is.

Of course you don’t need a fancy watch to get into meditation. Your smartphone also has meditation and breathing apps if you check out the App Store or google play store for you android users. You could also do without as much technology and stick to light music, candles and a timer can that help you set the atmosphere or you can just do it quietly. That’s why I like these types of exercises, you basically do them as you see fit for you. If you want to sit, stand, lay down or do yoga poses during meditation, it’s all up to you.

Have you ever tried meditation? Let’s chat in the comments below! 🙃

Her Real View: “The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” – Agree or disagree?

“The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.”what do you think about this sentence? Do you agree? If you enjoy or accomplish something with time spent, is it really a waste of time after all?

Life goes by quickly; I’ve thought about that a lot in the past while. My kids are growing up and I am growing older; everything changes fast and before you know it you’ve spent all your time. I’m almost 40; I’m not that young anymore.

I don’t think spending time with people or on things that bring you joy, happiness or prosperity is time wasted. I don’t think living your best life, even if it’s not the same road as everybody else takes is a waste of time. I don’t think trying, failing and getting up to try again in anything in life is a waste of time.

I think what one person may see as a waste of time is important to another’s happiness and that’s why we shouldn’t judge each other. We are each here to spend our time as we please and live our lives as we choose to, in a way that we know. In a way that we can feel accomplished at the end of the day no matter what we are spending our time doing.

Nobody can choose to waste your time except you. Wasting time to me would be spending time with the wrong people, thinking money is the only thing that matters, living to make someone who doesn’t even care about you happy, working a job you hate, the list goes on.

Taking care of you and living up to your full potential is not wasting time.

What do you think? Let’s chat in the comments!