There are a few of my favourite things…

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Welcome to the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge brought together by WEGO Health – a social network for all health activists.  Again, I am participating in the annual Writer’s Month Challenge in which I will be writing about my health activism and health condition based upon prompts given.

The prompt reads as given:

“These are a few of my favourite things”…It may not be brown paper packages wrapped up in string or warm woollen mittens, but what are some of the things you love?  What couldn’t you live without?

I have a lot of things in my life which I love – my friends, family and my pet dog Honey are at the top of that list but as I have written about them numerous times already, I have decided to concentrate on the things that I love which provide me with comfort on the bad days and helps me to stay positive.

So what is in my own personal ‘Comfort Box‘?

First of all is a pair of comfortable pyjamas.  I have a pair in which the bottoms are chequered and a simple pain black top.  It is great to have a comfortable pair of clothing to keep near the bed, as whenever I am stuck in bed due to my condition I still am able to change into something clean as an alternative to staying in the pair of pyjamas that you have had on all night!  It is also convenient for those days in which you have no energy to be able to pick out an outfit and are planning to stay at home anyway.  The pyjamas that I have kept for those many bad days, look more like lounge wear than conventional pyjamas so is less embarrassing if the postman knocks on the door to sign for a parcel!

Another favourite of mine to keep next to my bed is definitely my iPad.  When stuck in bed, it can be extremely monotonous and dull.  Therefore, I love my iPad as it keeps me entertained with a variety of different apps to use to suit my mood.  For instance, there is the Kindle app for when I fancy to lose myself in a book, or even Netflix when spoons are nonexistent that all I have the energy for is to watch a television programme or film that requires little thought involved to enjoy, or sometimes watching videos of cute and adorable dogs on YouTube to cheer myself up when stormy clouds appear, blocking all sunshine and positivity in my life.  I am even able to stream the many number of films and television programmes that I own from iTunes which can keep me entertained for hours.  Then there a number of games that I have downloaded to the tablet computer; a great distraction from pain and dizziness that seems to plague my life so much.  In my opinion, tablet computers are a must-have gadget for spoonies – it is easy and light to carry and can easily be used in bed, and the features that are available on tablets such as the iPad mean that you never have to be bored whilst stuck in bed again!

One thing I have learnt about living with a chronic illness is how important it is to have a relaxing place to recuperate.  These not only brighten my bedroom but also puts a smile on my face
One thing I have learnt about living with a chronic illness is how important it is to have a relaxing place to recuperate. These not only brighten my bedroom but also puts a smile on my face

Above my bed, I have just placed some butterfly LED lights, which is now another one of my favourite things.  As many of you know, I love butterflies and have many accessories and pieces of clothing which has butterflies all over them.  When I saw these in a local shop, I thought they would make a lovely addition to my butterfly themed sanctuary.  Not only do they brighten my room and provide light, for when I am awake with painsomnia (for explanation of term see my series of the ‘A to Z of Chronic Illness‘) but they just put a smile on my face when recuperating in my quiet, relaxing space at home.

Some of my favourite letters and cards :)
Some of my favourite letters and cards 🙂

I treasure all of the cards and mail that I have received from numerous friends.  Their beautiful words and lovely sentiments never fail to bring a smile to my face and cheer me up when feeling low.  These are perfect to read again and again, especially when suffering a relapse or flare in your condition.  Letters from friends, or relatives remind you that you are not alone and that there are people who care when it can often feel that you are alone.  One of my favourite letters is one I received from the extraordinary  young woman ,Jodi Ann Bickley, who after suffering from ill-health herself established ‘One Million Lovely Letters‘; a project in which she writes letters to those who need a lift, whether it be because of illness, a breakup or bereavement.  The letter is gorgeous; with beautiful meaningful words and complete with glitter and sparkle.  The letter means so much as it is a reminder that I am so much more than my condition, and how I am not alone in the fight against my condition.  It is a perfect antidote to a bad day due to my neurological condition.

Some goodies from 'The Itty Bitty Book Company'
Some goodies from ‘The Itty Bitty Book Company’

Another item that brings me comfort is the little items that I have bought from the wonderfully positive company ‘The Itty Bitty Book Company‘.  This small and ethical company promotes positivity through using inspirational and motivational quotes in little books, prints, cards and even badges.  The quotes are all ones which I love and find helpful during times of struggle; I often take them to hospital appointments to help give me strength and positivity.  The designs are also truly beautiful and the bright colours makes me instantly smile.

Positivity Board -full of hope and inspiration
Positivity Board –  full of hope and inspiration

Another favourite thing of mine, is actually something that I created and that is my positivity board.  It has everything that inspires me and keeps me positive despite chronic illness – letters from friends as well as cards that I have bought with inspirational and positive quotes on such as “Life isn’t about waiting for storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain” and “Everyone wants happiness, nobody wants pain, but if you want a rainbow you need a little rain”.  It is these quotes and the idea of the positivity board which really helps in keeping me inspired and positive despite all the trials and tribulations that comes with the symptoms associated with my neurological condition.  Recently, I have found some ceramic shapes that also has lovely and positive quotes on them and as I have not go much space in my bedroom to hang them, I have therefore decided to place them in my comfort box and get them out when I am having a rough day because of how I am feeling or stuck in bed due to the weakness in legs.  These items are a great reminder that no matter how life may be tough in the present, there are still many more good moments to come; they inspire and uplift me when life with chronic illness becomes too hard to bear.  They help me remain a positive person and that are why they are part of my favourite things and carefully placed in my comfort box.

Some inspirational quotes
Some inspirational quotes

Favourite Fridays! My 3 Favourite Quotes…

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Welcome to the eighth day of the National Health Blog Post Month Challenge hosted by WEGO Health.  Every day during the month of November I will be writing a new blog post related to health and living with a chronic illness based upon given prompts provided by WEGO Health.

Today’s prompt reads:

Favourite Fridays.  Make a list of 3 favourite quotes

I absolutely adore this prompt as I am a lover of positive quotations; they are uplifting and a lovely reminder of what good there is still in the world when illness seems to get in the way of enjoying life.  In fact, I am such a lover of such positive quotes that I have started my own positivity board in my bedroom which has some positive quotes, which I love.  So, what are my 3 favourite quotes?

My Top 3 favourite quotes:

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And here is my 'Positivity Board'
And here is my ‘Positivity Board’

 

 

What are your favourite quotes?  Fee free to comment below…

Keep Calm…and Stay Positive

As most of you know, that due to the unknown cause of my neurological condition is starting to get me down.  It is frustrating and disheartening when the doctors are unable to give you the answers that you so desperately crave.  It is simple – being undiagnosed is dejecting and can causes psychological symptoms such as depression.  All we crave is a diagnosis – a name for the cause of all that we go through on a daily basis.  A name that confirms that we are not crazy or that the symptoms are all in our head.

Due to the weakness in my legs as well as the severe dizziness and fatigue that I experience due to my undiagnosed condition, I am often unable to get out of my bed and so confined to my bed for days at a time.  Staring at the same four walls of my bedroom; a place where I spend a lot of my time anyway is not a positive experience.  It is often a painful reminder of my predicament; a predicament that I am an undiagnosed chronically ill patient.  Being confined to my bed, leads to feeling of loneliness and isolation – how many times when experiencing severe symptoms have thought you were the only person to be going through this experience?  Is that a yes I hear?  Me too.

However, Voltaire once stated “I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health”.  A truly inspirational quote, and one that is supported by research – there is a lot of evidence that suggests that being positive makes you feel less stressed; has a positive influence on your immune system and has a huge influence on your overall well-being.

But how can we still remain positive when living with a chronic illness, which has such a negative influence on all areas of our lives?

Well, for me I have started to assemble a ‘positivity board’.  A board with cards, postcards, or letters that are both positive and in turn makes me feel more positive and happy despite being bed-bound or dealing with unpleasant.

The board is no way finished but at the moment includes a couple of cards that I found in a local art gallery that includes positive quotes, for example “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take; but the number of moments that take our breath away” and my personal favourite “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass but learning to dance in the rain.”  Also, on my board is a gorgeous card that was sent to me by a dear friend which has some really lovely words both outside and inside the card which I shall treasure and which brightened my day when I received it – a time when I really needed it.

I also found a couple of butterfly clips which I found in a local shop which I bought just to brighten the board and because of my love of butterflies.

Try making a board for yourself and fill it with all the things that make you happy or makes you feel a little more positive despite whatever circumstances that you often find it hard to cope with, or one which has a negative impact on your life.

Stay Calm…and make a positivity board!

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If you come across any cards that has any positive quotes or perhaps with a lovely picture of a butterfly or sunflower or anything else positive, let me know in the comments section and help fill my positivity board!

 

Thanks everyone! xx

WEGO Health Advocating for Another Carnival: Quote, end Quote

Welcome to the sixth day of the WEGO Health Advocating for Another Carnival Blog! And thank you for all your support and kind messages thus far.  Today’s prompt reads as follows:

Let someone else’s wise words inspire you.  Find a quote that moves you in some way then free write about i.  Don’t stop writing for 15-20 minutes.  Now post! 

 

The quote I have chosen for this prompt is:

 

I found this quote whilst browsing on Pinterest on a day where I was feeling particularly bad, lying in bed, bored and feeling utterly miserable due to the severity of my symptoms – than I found this and it just spoke to me almost immediately.

Anyone reading this who is also battling a chronic illness everyday knows how it can often get you really down mentally, as well as suffering physically.  It can be so easily to just give up, and just stay in bed, rolling up in a ball and giving up on life.  But although this seems like the best option, it isn’t going to solve anything.  Even though it can be very tough sometimes, we have little choice but to battle on and live the best life that we possibly can and to find our own happiness.  After all, studies within the field of positive psychology have shown that those patients who are happy and are positive in their outlook report less severity of symptoms and are often more physically well than those who are negative in their outlook.

And the quote also fits in nicely with the idea of a ‘gratitude diary’ that was suggested by a social worker who runs a local group which I attend weekly.  The idea of a gratitude diary is to write between 3 and 5 things (or more if you wish) that you were grateful for and what makes you appreciate life – it could be anything from speaking to a friend on the phone, or going out for coffee with a friend to simply grateful for still being alive!  It really is up to you!  The idea of the gratitude diary is to strengthen emotional resilience and reduce stress, as well as teaching the mind to find the positives in a situation instead of dwelling on the negatives.

I have written a gratitude diary for a few weeks now, and it really does work!  And it makes me more happy picking the positives of my day, and those activities that I have enjoyed and instead of dwelling on how bad I have felt because of my symptoms.

As I often experience tremors in my hands, I was recommended a great website in which after you sign-up you receive an email every night at the same time asking what you were grateful for.  And then you simply reply to the email and all of your responses are then saved onto the website, and whenever you feel sad or ‘down in the dumps’ you can log-in and read all of your entries.  And best of all it’s completely free and all of the responses can only be viewed by the account holder.  To find out more go to:

www.happyrambles.com 

Hoped you all enjoyed the post – and feel free to reply with any comments…

HAWMC Day 2: Quotation Inspiration

Well the 2nd of April is here, and so is the second post in the WEGO’s Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge.  Today’s prompt is as follows:

Find a quote that inspires you (either positively or negatively) and free write about it for 15 minutes

So, thought this will be an easy challenge for me, as part of my daily journal that I keep I regularly write different quotes that I have found, positive ones that inspire me or lifts my mood, or perhaps something that ties in with a particular event that has happened that day.

However, it has been tough selecting just the one quote to use, but have decided on the following that I found recently on Pinterest that really inspired me, and it says the following:

This really spoke to me on a personal level as all my life, some people have made me ashamed of who I was  – at school I wasn’t like everybody else – I was very quiet, reserved,  and certainly was not part of the ‘popular’ gang.  I was more of a loner, a ghost, somebody  no one really noticed…

And there was my ‘issues’ with the dizziness – due to the condition, I had a problem with buildings which are open and have high ceilings, consequently, I used to panic quite a lot as I didn’t understand what was going on, and was unable to take part in sports as the hall in which our P.E. Lessons took place was very high.

This led to a lot of name calling, and left me ostracised from my peers, during a school trip to London where I became very unwell with the dizziness and led to a panic attacks, my ‘so called’ friends deserted me to go shopping, leaving me with a teacher whom I barely knew to look after me.  As in the quote, people throughout my life and have left me feeling ‘weird’.

However, years have passed and I can now understand that who I am is not my fault – I have a legitimate medical condition which explains partly the type of person I am.  And no-one has a right to make anyone feel ashamed of who they are – so what, if someone is a shy or quiet person, who would prefer to sit down with a book rather than going partying and getting drunk…

We are all different and unique – if everyone in this world was exactly the same, with the same interests and personality, then the world would be pretty boring, wouldn’t it?  Nobody should have to hide the person that they are, and we should all free proud of who we are and celebrate our differences and what makes us unique – after all they are the reason that they people in our lives love us…because we are us.

And as the quote says, if we hide our true selves, we never know the people who will love us for who exactly we are.

I do believe this, although there have been times in my life, even recently when it is hard to accept or belive what the quote is trying to say, maybe I will write the quote and put it up somewhere I can read it every day…