Have you completely cut out refined sugar?

I can’t see me ever cutting out refined sugar completely, because I like my cake and sometimes some chocolate. But I need to reduce it, like I have done before.
With the difficulties I have had this year and especially how I felt these last few months, I have been eating a lot of the wrong thing. No surprise is it as I am sure you reading this now, will acknowledge how easy it can be to have something of the wrong thing that we find comforting.
Last month, at times I ate really high sugar content. This was surprising I managed that, without feeling sick, because when I changed the way I ate a few years ago for the better, meant my tastebuds changed and I could no longer tolerate sweet food. Yet, just last month I ate two bags of sugar-coated sweets, without grimacing. I did not eat these two bags in one go, but I did eat them the same day. Not like me at all. But thankfully, I have not gone out to buy another bag of those sweets and I have no intention.

Refined sugar we all know is not essential for our health. We also know it’s not good for our health:

  • Obesity
  • Cavities in teeth
  • Type 2 diabetes

These are just a few. But I have also been reading how it can affect out mental health. It apparently does not help us if we have depresdion and anxiety. Some things I have read for this, a lot of them I have experienced.

I admire those that can really cut out the refined sugar, because sugar appears in food you would not think of, like white bread for example. But there are other foods too, which I won’t list, because it is too many to list and if you want to read up on it further, you only have to Google it.

As I have said, I can’t see me cutting it out completely. But, I can reduce it.

Out of curiosity, have any of my readers cut out refined sugar completely from their diet?

If so, maybe you have suggestions, or tips for me and other readers, should we decide to cut it out.
But even if not cutting out, reducing is better than nothing.

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated.

Organiser and journal combined

My last journal was the one I shared in this post, back in June: My own vitality wheel and wellness journal.
I mentioned in a later post somewhere how I would use an ring bound organiser in future, so it could be flexible with me. I don’t do bullet journaling in a way I once did and so the idea of using an organiser, I could combine everything I wanted in there. That last bullet journal I shared in that above post link was a more simpler version that I liked. But now that has come to an end after it was all filled up, I then used my new ring bound organiser, combined journal. I have been using this a few months now.

Grey marble leather effect organiser

A peak inside.

I still do a year in pixels. I tried to transfer this years from my filled up journal to this ring binder, but failed, as I ripped the page completly trying to get it out. So I did not finish off this years.
For next year, I have found a free printable I like, that I have got ready, colour coding it for different moods – putting stickers on it and writing a quote. I have this in my wellness section.

My year in pixels ready for 2020

The wellness section also contains other small bits of info as reminders I could do for my self-care.
In this section I have included a section labelled experiences, where I have a list of things I would like to do that I have not done before.
I also have a colourful double-page section for plans for this year, which are mostly ticked off now and I have next years drawn up ready.
I have a double-page of some favourite quotes and I have also my personal achievements for the year listed in this section.

The divider cards that came with the organiser, I have used them all. One divider I changed to ‘wellness’ section. I can’t remember now what it was previously. But I did not need it.

The diary section had dividers for each month of the year. I did not use the blank diary sheets that came with it and instead printed my own monthly ones I like to use and that I get on better with.

I have a to do section. So I can list anything here for the day if required and I can tick it off.

And at the back, I have the notes section which just has lined paper. I write anything here, that doesn’t fit anywhere else. I have a few handy notes written here, should I need to refer and my Christmas plans that I am doing for me, I have this here too.

As you can see from the photos, I have personalised it to suit me. I like using this, as it’s very flexible for me. I can take things out, or add to suit, without ruining the whole thing.

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)

Chit-Chat early October

Soap hair bars

I have read posts in the past from other bloggers who have tried shampoo and conditioner bars, as an alternative to  bottles, to help reduce plastic.
A lot of these bloggers have tried these bars from Lush and they have given good reviews about them.
Like these bloggers, I have been a slow tryer of shampoo and conditioner bars.
Also, I associate Lush as expensive and so I have never been in Lush, or these similar type shops, until now.
Reading from other blog posts how long these bars have last them, compared to bottles, I expect my bars to last that long, or longer. (I am expecting longer.) So when I have used mine up, I will review in a separate post, next year.

An app to help me with my medication

I am only on asthma and hayfever medications. Both are important, but after this year with my asthma, I need to make sure I never forget to take my preventer inhaler.
When I started doing morning work, because of being up very early in a morning, it is best for me to take my preventer after my shift. This is so my doses are not close together; e.g. late in the evening and very early in a morning, when I can keep my usual late evening and mid morning doses instead.
The trouble was, I was sometimes forgetting my morning dose, after finishing work. I used a bright yellow sticky note as a reminder, sticking it on my coffee table, so that when I would sit in my usual place after work for a cuppa, I was hoping this would remind me. It didn’t work very well, because either I still forget, or I could not remember if I had took it, or not.
After speaking to a friend about this, he recommended ‘MyTherapy’ app. I have been using this app on my phone for over a month now and it has done the job. It is a good reminder if I forget, as I have my preventer inhaler listed in my app, with set times I want to be alerted.
I don’t have any doubts now whether I took it or not, because at the time of taking my medication, when it reminds me, I confirm that I have taken it.

MyTherapy app is free and it is available on the Apple app and Google play store. Click on the link below to find out more about it.

https://www.mytherapyapp.com/

It is very easy to use and I recommend it too, if you need reminding about your medication.

My mum

As I mentioned in Chit-chat extra September, my mum had been sectioned. I seen my mum’s consultant (doctor) where she currently is, so she could ask me some questions about my mum; what she was like when her mental health was good and bad, back from the early days, to present. So they get a better picture of my mum.

When I met up with my mum’s doctor, the chat was done in a private room off the ward, as I requested.
My mum’s doctor also told me at the start that this meeting was not to judge me, or expect me to be any part of her care, when the time comes one day she is discharged, or where my mum currently is.
I said to the doctor how a few people have judged me directly, or indirectly after I announced I was having a temporary break from my mum because I cannot cope anymore. The doctor said this was wrong of them and said it’s a lot to cope with in just a day, let alone do it as I have been doing. The doctor also said like other medical professionals have said that’s it’s time to look after me and when it’s time, carers in mum’s home, or assisted living has to be accepted by my mum, if she is to avoid a care home type setting.
The doctor mentioned how more care is required to ensure there is no repeat of how mum has gone, making sure she takes her meds in which ever form they may be (injection or tablets) and, that she takes care of herself, while I remain just being the daughter and not the carer.

Mum is not being discharged anytime soon. My mum’s mental health is worser than the time she had a breakdown when I was 11 and is having injections at the moment because of how bad her mental health is.
Mum has lost a little bit more weight since she was last there in the mental health unit.
As well as the usual negative voices I am aware of that she has, mum is also hearing voices telling her not to eat.
Her doctor believes at some point that mum stopped taking her medication again, hence her deteriation. So it is possible, as I discussed with the doctor and when I mentioned it here on my blog, that when my mum behaved the way she did towards me, that triggered my childhood, when I talked about how her behaviour was the same as when I was in my teens when she stopped taking her meds then, but I believed this time round that she was still taking them, that it was possible that mum did not.

The doctor said that my mum’s mental health is that bad, that she is not at the stage to listen to anyone and accept what is normal, or not. So it couldn’t be avoided, what has now happened.
For the type of mental health my mum has, when you get older it gets either more mellow, or worse. Unfortunately, it seems mum has got worse. But hopefully, once stable, they can get her back on some kind of a healthy level. 

The doctor also mentioned to me when we chatted, that they could do the contacting where required to help me, when it comes to informing the council, pension etc.. so that I don’t have to do it. All I need to do is give them necessary information of who they need to contact. I am to do this when ready and not to rush.
I have the necessary information on me after checking, but I shall still call at my mum’s place, as I want to check her home is ok and move her mail away from her door, so it looks lived in. I also need to dispose of food past it’s date in the fridge, like milk for example.

After this, I shall make sure rest of the day is mine.

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated.

A change of heart with my mum

As you know with I choose not to… and If you followed last night’s post… it was getting more of a tense time and I was considering cutting ties with my mum completely. But as I calm down further, I am having a slight change of heart. But there is still going to have to be some changes, on both sides.

I’m not going to be her carer. I’m going to be her daughter. I will help top up her phone when I do see her. But that’s it. Nothing else.

From now, until November time, I won’t personally see her, as I still feel I need time away to calm, heal and concentrate on me. But I will allow my mum to text on the first of each month only.

I think mum needs a taste of what it is like, without a daughter. Maybe mum will discover how much she had depended on me.

I hope that from the short temporary break of not seeing her, that mum learns something from this. I hope mum takes more care of herself.

As for me, taking this step back from not being a carer, to just a daughter, as much as I wanted to help, I will know by not doing the caring role, it will be better for me long term. Hopefully, better all round, between me and mum too.

Also, because of the step back I am doing, means more time for me, making sure I do what I want to do and time for me as part of my self-care.

You have to remember, I have been a carer to some degree, since my teens. I’m now 43. So I think I very much deserve time out and keeping distance for a few months. It has only been this year where I have felt I have had some kind of support when it came to my mum.
But as I was still the one who seen her more than anyone else, it has been me that has seen the changes and bore the brunt of it.

When the time comes to seeing my mum in November and our first day meeting up goes ok, the plan will be to only see my mum either once a week, or once every fortnight, from then on. I won’t do anything more than once a week.

I will keep you updated and once again, thank you for your support. Xx

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated.

Investing in my walking

As I have mentioned in a few of my blog posts and via other people’s blog’s, that when it comes to walking, I’ve never failed on this.
Yes, on some days when I’m very tired, getting the up and go in me to walk can be a little difficult at times, but some how, I still manage to get myself out there and walk.

I had the urge to run one time, which lasted some good months, as you know, but I’ve never got round to the running part, regardless of me buying the gear to run in. I don’t think it will happen now, but I will never say never, because you never know. But I know the walking will always happen.
The running gear has not been wasted though.
My trainers I have walked in plenty and due to foot pain I had at one point in my left foot, these trainers were essential around that time. I also had to ease off the walking a little, to give my foot a chance to settle. But I am now back to my usual walking.
My jogging bottoms I wear in, or out the house. To wear out as casuals feels strange though, as I have not worn jogging bottoms all day before to walk out in since my 20’s. Only time I wore jogging bottoms were when I went to Pilates class, but soon as I was back home, I’d change into something else.
The only bottoms I have worn in the home, were a pair to lounge in, for when I really wanted to relax in, which were a Christmas present from a friend. They are really soft and comfy.
My cap I have not worn yet, but when the sun’s out blazin hot, then it will come in handy to protect my head while out walking. But this will be strange, as I have not worn a cap for a while.
The one t-shirt I bought for running in, I wear as any of my other tops of mine. So again, not wasted.
My running belt will probably come in handy one day, so not getting rid just yet.
And not forgetting my Garmin Forerunner 30 watch. I still use it to track my walks. But I probably would not buy another tracker type watch, if anything went wrong with this one down the line and just use Google instead for whenever I am interested in distance walked.

So my investment in walking, is a pair of lace up walking boots, which I bought during the short time I was in a second cleaning job.

Ecco Lace up walking boots in black and grey
Ecco walking boots

These boots are from Ecco. (My second pair of Ecco shoes.)
These lace-up walking boots will give me stability for my ankles and ideal on most terrains, where I don’t need to worry about whether they get muddy, or scuffed, compared to my other boots.
These boots will also come in handy for future volunteer work with my local conservation group I joined, this year. They will also come in handy for when I am around that nature reserve on my own, as well as new walks I may take myself on, elsewhere.

These walking boots are light and comfy on first impressions while at first trialing them inside my home for over a week. But time will tell when I am out there.
I hope I find down the line, that I am happy with these, as I was with my first pair of shoes. My first time walking out in them, at Sherwood Forest, I forgot I had them on at one point, so all seems well with them.

Black Ecco boots
My Ecco boots for walking in town (My first pair.)

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)

My own vitality wheel and wellness journal.

Image of my Vitality Wheel

My vitality wheel in the photo above, hangs on my light pegs, above where I sit in the living room.
I started creating this vitality wheel after reading an article on what it was about, when researching the book I came across, “The self-care revolution,” by Suzy Reading. I blogged about this book here, in this post.
When I started reading the book, I referred and, changed my vitality wheel accordingly, as I learnt more and gave more thought to mine.

Below, is my journal I’m using as my wellness journal.

The words on the front of my journal say:

BE HAPPY BE
BRIGHT
BE YOU

I think these words are appropriate for what I am using this journal for.

dav

The pages inside this journal are in pastel pink and blue. Pages are lined to start with, then there are plain pages.

Each of the pages has one of the three following quotes at the bottom of each page:

  • You are something magical
  • Every cloud has a silver lining
  • Your sparkle hasn’t gone unnoticed

 

This journal I started creating, before knowing and reading the book, “The self-care revolution.”

The book suggested to create a journal, as well as the vitality wheel. But you were not forced to, if you felt it was too much writing a journal. I chose not to create a journal, but the book has influenced slightly my journal, as I take something from it, with what I was doing already.

This is two of my pages from my journal, in the photo below. This is the same layout I use for each day.

One of my two pages from my journal

As you can see it is a nice simple layout, but I do have space should I wish to track anything else.

So at the moment, as my layout shows, I track my:

  • Food
  • Activity
  • What I did for me
  • Mood

At the front of my journal, I have a yearly mood chart.
It’s the same layout I used before, but with a very slight change in list of moods to before, as I wanted to put some of the moods to their own list, rather than combined.

My yearly mood chart for 2019

And that’s my journal for now until full and then the plan will be to have a ring binder journal in future with this in, as well as my planner. That way, it will be all in place. So I will look at buying an A5 leather filofax, that will combine this and my personal planner together.

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)

Book review: The self-care revolution, by Suzy Reading.

Through doing different Google searches related to self-care, after realising slowly I have been slipping up at times and so open to fresh ideas, I came across this book, “The self-care revolution,” by Suzy Reading.
I did further searches on this book, then looked at the reviews for the book and liked what I seen.
I even seen an article about the “vitality wheel,” through researching this book. The article was an interview with Suzy Reading for this book and she explained how the “vitality wheel” works. I knew even more this book felt like it was going to be useful for me, along with making my own “vitality wheel,” with it being a visual thing. (I will share my “vitality wheel” and anything else I take from this book, in a later post.)
I bought this book from The Works, as it was a few pounds cheaper there.

Book cover of the self-care revolution by Suzy Reading

This book is designed to help and restore your day-to-day energy reserves. Remember me mentioning the “vitality wheel” before?
In this book you will learn about creating your own “vitality wheel.” It’s a complete body and mind self-care toolkit.
The “vitality wheel” consists of eight parts, which the book separates into these eight parts individually as a chapter.

  • Sleep, rest relaxation and breathing
  • Movement and nutrition
  • Coping skills
  • Physical environment
  • Social connection
  • Mood boosters
  • Goal-setting and accomplishment
  • Values and purpose

The book can be started anywhere you like, so just pick the section you feel you need to focus on first and go from there. But I think when you first pick up this book, to read it through the first time, then go back to where you feel after.

As well as creating your own “vitality wheel,” it also suggests creating a journal. But you don’t have to, as the author of this book wants you to pick out what is right for you.

Over time, you may need to update your “vitality wheel,” because our needs change. So this book will always become a referencing tool to refer back to and remind you.

I have felt this book has replaced past books I found handy, because I find this visually more appealing and easy to read. I have learnt a lot more new things, from this book too.

The author tells a bit about herself at the beginning and how she came about creating this book. It then goes into the introduction of self-care, followed by the “vitality wheel.” After that, each chapter is for each part of the “vitality wheel.”
After the chapters associated with each part of the wheel, it goes on about your self-care toolkit, reminding you how it’s not selfish to practice self-care. Then a reminder of what to do next, in the following chapter, giving examples of what you could have as your self-care toolkit.

There are mantras and affirmations you can try, as well as a few yoga poses for each part of the “vitality wheel.” Again, the author reminds you to choose what you feel is right for you.

This book is certainly something I recommend and it’s a book to refer back to as your needs change in the future.

If you liked this post, then look out for a further post on Saturday when I share my vitality wheel that I have created for myself. I will also be sharing my wellness journal in that post too.

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)

#WellnessWednesday – Some of my scents I find soothing and relaxing

dav

These are just some of my different scents in the photo above, that I find soothing, that helps me relax:

  • Yardley rose perfume
  • The Original Champneys Health Spa – Summer Dream Rewarding Body Lotion
  • Relaxing lavender and coconut oil hydrating spritz
  • Relaxing lavender temple balm

 

As well as the above, I also like my scented candles, or scented oil in my diffuser.

And I find the smell and taste of Earl Grey tea comforting too.

What scents do you like, that feel soothing and relaxing?

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)