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How comfortable are you with being uncomfortable?

How comfortable are you with being uncomfortable?

How comfortable are you with being uncomfortable?

The reason I ask is because there’s been times in my life when I’ve felt very uncomfortable with the idea of being uncomfortable.

My experience of being uncomfortable

When I was at school I used to have to catch two buses to get home. On cold, wet, winters nights it got very uncomfortable. Often I’d be soaked to the bone, freezing wet, carrying my P.E. kit and my violin case (and if timetabling was very poorly thought out, my cookery basket too) 

After 5 years of that I got very fed up of weather full stop. Once I passed my driving test I was able to avoid the discomfort of waiting for the bus altogether. 

Nowadays I’ll still think twice about going out if it’s raining because I hate the thought of being that uncomfortable again. In fact on rainy days you’ll still find me sitting under a blanket with a good book and a cup of tea by the fire, rather than getting soaking wet outside. If possible that is.

Dancing in the rain

Not just physical discomfort. I’m not comfortable with being emotionally uncomfortable either!

But comfort doesn’t just cover staying warm and dry in my car. It’s more than that. There’s been times in my life when I’ve not wanted to be uncomfortable so I’ve avoided social situations or situations that I’m not 100% sure of the protocols. 

I’ve not invited people to do things in case I had to face the discomfort of them saying no to my offer. I’ve avoided interviews in case the interviewer asks me something I can’t answer or asks me to perform a task I’m unfamiliar with.

I’ve not tried certain foods in case I don’t like them and avoided pubs and social events if I’m not sure whether we’re buying rounds or not. Or what the dress code is. I’m not averse to buying a round, but I want to get it right, so I don’t have to deal with the discomfort of doing the wrong thing.

In the past I’ve felt the need to hide out of the way of people, just in case they decide they don’t like me. 

I’ve learned now not to do this so much as I’ve realised having the marmite effect on people can actually be really helpful. 

If people love me, then great but if they don’t then it’s probably helpful for them to run away screaming (perhaps silently, we don’t want to upset the neighbours now do we?) 

They’re not going to add anything to my life are they if they don’t like me. If they don’t like me, don’t get me, don’t want to spend time with me, the best and most comfortable thing I can do with them is set them free and concentrate on those who do want to spend time with me! 

Reflexology is not an alternative therapy

Have you tried being uncomfortable though?

It can be quite liberating. When my children were younger, I was dragged out a couple of times during thunder rain and got soaked to the skin then, but in a safe way. 

As I wasn’t having to wait for a bus and then go to school in soaking wet clothes, it did feel a bit safer to be uncomfortable. It felt bizarrely quite nice listening to the splash of the rain as it hit the pavement, to smell the smell of the rain as it connected with the earth. It felt good to have the rain blash against my face, soaking my hair to my head. It felt even better when I came back inside to a change of clothing and a steaming hot cup of tea. I almost enjoyed it.

It was like the time when I did my sky dive. On my very first flight (as you do!) During the 25 seconds that it took me to fall at 125mph I couldn’t breathe. The wind was flapping my cheeks. 

There are still things I find a challenge, like recording videos but each time I do one it gets a little bit easier and a little bit easier until I imagine it will just become second nature in the end.

Moving from uncomfortable to comfortable

So how do we make that transition from not wanting to feel uncomfortable to being comfortable in that given situation? It boils down to taking baby steps. 

So instead of jumping in the deep end straight away, take a smaller step.  I could record a short video, edit it a little if necessary and then post it online. I could record a podcast or I could just record myself for my own eyes until I got better at it. But if at first it’s really hard, it’s important not to get too disheartened. Be gentle with yourself and if you find it tough, just try again a different day.

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What is Diabetes?

What is Diabetes?

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic condition affecting 20% of the population of the UK. In a person not living with diabetes the pancreas creates and releases insulin automatically as required. This helps the body to turn glucose into energy and to regulate the levels of sugar in the blood. In people who are living with diabetes this either doesn’t happen at all, or happens in an ineffective way. So the blood ends up too much sugar in it and the body cannot process it properly.

Types of Diabetes

Type 1

Type 1 diabetes is where the body does not produce insulin at all. Insulin is needed to control blood sugar levels, so insulin injections or an insulin pump will be needed to correct the levels of insulin in the blood.  There is an autoimmune element to type 1 diabetes. The cells of the pancreas attack themselves until it stops producing insulin. Type 1 diabetes is commonly diagnosed in childhood but not exclusively so.  There is often a hereditary element to diabetes and there are no lifestyle changes that could have prevented it.

Type 2

Type 2 diabetes is where the body either doesn’t produce insulin or cannot use it effectively.
People with type 2 diabetes may have to take medication, or in some cases use insulin. Some patients will be advised to change their diet and lifestyle, which will be enough to keep diabetes under control.

Unlike Type 1, Type 2 can sometimes be reversed by following a low-carb or low GI diet and taking plenty of exercise. Weight loss can also help in the case of those people who are carrying a little extra weight.

Some people are thought to be in a pre-diabetic phase where they haven’t quite got diabetes yet but should make some precautionary changes to their diet and lifestyle to help prevent it from developing into Type 2 diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes

There is also gestational diabetes which is found in pregnancy where the body has a high level of blood glucose and is not producing enough insulin to deal with it all. Often people with gestational diabetes will find that all symptoms and problems go once the baby is born, although some people do continue to have diabetes after the birth.

Symptoms of diabetes

Whilst around 60% of people with type 2 diabetes experience no symptoms before diagnosis, here are some of the symptoms to watch out for

  • Extreme thirst
  • Unexplained weight loss (where you’re not actively trying to lose weight)
  • Extreme tiredness and fatigue
  • Skin not healing as quickly as expected
  • Blurred vision
  • Recurrent bouts of thrush and genital itching
  • Needing to urinate frequently especially during the night.

If you have noted any of the symptoms listed above it is important to go get checked out by your GP. They will be able to run some tests and offer a diagnosis and treatment if needed.

Getting support to help you live with your diagnosis

There are several support organisations available to help you cope with living with diabetes. There is a wealth of information available on the internet too.

Useful Resources

www.diabetes.org.uk

www.diabetes.co.uk 

Look after your legs

Look after your legs

Look after your legs

Taking care of our legs is vital. There are lots of ways that we can help our legs stay in tip-top condition.

Keep the blood flowing.. Move your feet!

Keeping the blood flowing nicely is really important to leg health. If you spend most of your time sitting at your desk, try getting up and moving around as often as possible. If you’re not able to for some reason, doing some foot rotations under your desk or at least flexing and rotating your ankles will help. Dancing whilst the kettle boils will also help your mood and your circulation. Just keep moving!

Getting the balance right

Try not to stand up all day long if you can. (Getting the balance between the two is really important!) If possible walk whenever you can. If you have simple, light errands to run and you’re able to walk, do them on foot! I normally walk to the post box or if I need a loaf of bread from the bakers I walk down. It’s all about doing what works for you.

 The fresh air will help you feel better as well as keeping your legs healthy. Often when you get back you feel like all the cobwebs have been blown away. 

Moisturise Regularly

Make sure you keep your feet and legs moisturised using a good quality moisturiser. Often we remember to moisturise our faces or have some hand cream in our desks or bag. But our legs often get forgotten! Treat yourself to a nice body lotion and make it part of your daily self-care routine.

Make note of any problem areas

If you notice any broken skin, dry patches, redness or other signs of discolouration get it checked out if it doesn’t clear up quickly. 

If you feel any pain in your legs and/or feet during or after exercise please do get it checked out. 

Further Information 

Legs Matter have produced a Useful Leaflet about how to care for your legs

Here’s a useful leaflet produced by Legs Matter about looking after your legs Click Here

What do you do to keep your legs healthy?

  Please let me know in the comments

12 Ways to help calm anxiety

12 Ways to help calm anxiety

Ways to help calm anxiety

It is thought that around 6 million people in the UK are currently suffering from Anxiety and Depression, with 3 million living with anxiety. 

Some people have circumstantial anxiety, where a stressful trigger causes a feeling of anxiety. This kind of anxiety is usually fairly short-lived, going away again when the trigger or stress is removed. But for other people anxiety is part of their daily life, and makes doing normal, day to day tasks almost impossible.

So what can be done to help reduce anxiety? 

Here are some practical ways to help calm anxiety  

Distract yourself

Distract yourself either with an app, or with a task or by playing some cheerful or calming music. Set a timer for 15 minutes and go do something else. Useful apps for anxiety include

All of which can be found on the Apple App Store and/or on Play Store

Challenge your thinking

We often believe everything we tell ourselves or totally buy into the ‘facts’ we create about any given situation, so for a second ask yourself if this is just a thought or a fact. Remember thoughts and facts are two very different things and we can with practice change our thinking! 

Write down an ‘if this then that’ list

If you are worrying about a specific thing, try writing down a ‘if this then that’ list. Basically this is stating if *this* happens then I’ll do that…

It gives you back a sense of power and control over the situation. There may be a number of solutions to the problem in hand and if so, list them all. This gives you a range of options to consider, if whatever you’re worrying about actually happens! 

Breathe Deeply

If you find that you are breathing rapidly it can help to slow your breathing right down, breathing in for 4 and out for 7. 

Ground yourself

Here’s a useful grounding exercise. Look around the room and notice

  • 5 things you can see
  • 4 things you can touch
  • 3 things you can hear
  • 2 things you can smell 
  • 1 thing you can taste

Consider if whatever you’re worrying about really is important?

Most things we encounter aren’t really that important in the global scheme of things. Richard Carlson, Author of ‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff’ wrote ‘Ask yourself the question will this matter a year from now?’ Chances are it won’t and if that’s the case don’t worry about it! 

Be kind to yourself for the small steps you make

If you suffer from anxiety which often prevents you from doing day to day stuff, set yourself a small challenge each day and then profusely praise yourself for any progress you make.

If going out is uncomfortable but you get as far as the gate, then you’ve made progress. Even if you just make it as far as the door, that’s progress. But then build on that progress and tomorrow see if you can get as far as next door and then praise yourself for that too.

embarrassment

Consider how long the ‘pain’ will last

If you’re anxious about a driving test, exam, job interview etc, consider how long the ‘pain’ of the situation is going to last for. A driving test will probably last less than an hour but once you’ve passed, hopefully you’ll never need to do that again, and the gain from sitting the test will last a lifetime. A job interview also generally lasts for around an hour and again even if it’s very painful the ‘pain’ will go fairly quickly afterwards.

Get rid of unnecessary stress

I remember one day a while ago needing to be at a meeting in an unfamiliar part of a city nearby. For days panicked about getting there, finding the venue, finding the parking, allowing time to get lost, not knowing what I would do if there was no parking available etc etc. In the end I cancelled my appointment and the whooosh of relief was huge. It made all the difference not having to tackle it. It wasn’t life cruical, I wasn’t letting anyone down by not going, and to be able to gift myself the knowledge I just didn’t have to go, was all that was needed to bring my anxiety back down to normal levels.

image of sugar. Sugar can excerabate anxiety

Cut back on Sugary Foods and Caffeine 

Studies have shown that Sugary foods and Caffeine both affect people’s anxiety levels so try drinking water, herbal teas and drinks without caffeine and avoid having a sugar rush.

Have regular Treatments

Complementary Therapies that may help with anxiety include

These all calm and soothe and can help you to relax and feel less anxious. Some treatments can be available as home visits which would be good for those who have agrophobia.

 Useful Essential Oils to help with anxiety

Essential oils are great for helping reduce anxiety. The best ones for anxiety are 

Useful Resources

Anxietyuk.org.uk 

Mind.org.uk

 

Read Related Article 


Image of lady with anxiety

 

Read Related Article about the Symptoms of Anxiety

Over to you! 

What helps you with your anxiety? Please let me know in the comments box below

Symptoms of Anxiety

Symptoms of Anxiety

 What are the symptoms of anxiety?

 Around 3 million people in the UK alone are thought to suffer from anxiety and around 25% of these are being actively treated for anxiety.

Anxiety can be circumstantial (something actively triggering the anxiety, like an impending redundancy or having to make a speech to a large crowd of people, a job interview or a disciplinary hearing at work) or it can be a longer term condition or not feel manageable. 

Sometimes anxiety can be linked to thoughts or it can just be an independent feeling without any thoughts triggering it. It can also be linked to the Perimenopause. 

Symptoms of anxiety can include:

      • Feeling nervous, tense or restless
      • Feeling panicky
      • Butterflies in your tummy
      • Sensing impending doom
      • Breathing too quickly (hyperventilation)
      • Profuse Sweating
      • Insomnia (trouble sleeping)
      • Upset Stomach/ Irritable Bowel
      • Feeling the need to avoid certain situations/ people/ places
      • Tiredness/Fatigue
      • Trembling
      • Irritability
      • Increased heart rate
      • Inability to focus/ Poor Concentration

When to get help with your anxiety

If your anxiety has been going on for some time or you feel it is negatively affecting your daily life, don’t hesitate to get help. 

Your GP is generally a good port of call in the first instance. 

Alternatively Google “IAPT” and your area, you are able to refer yourself to get help from a team specially trained to deal with anxiety and mental health concerns.

Resources

North Yorkshire IAPT has their own website their website is www.northyorkshireiapt.co.uk

Like this?

Please check out my article about 12 Ways to help anxiety

Resources:

Mind https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/anxiety-and-panic-attacks/about-anxiety/

 

Over to you! 

What helps with your symptoms of anxiety? Have you tried Reflexology? Did it help? Please let me know in the comments below

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