MINDFULNESS MONDAY – WHAT TO FOCUS ON TO HELP ALLEVIATE YOUR PAIN…

We are all starting to get a bit excited about the let up on our lockdown but it can also cause a lot of anxiety and then more pain.

Happiful Magazine has written a great article on Mindfulness.

Many of us know by now that mindfulness is a pretty wonderful thing. It can reduce stress and anxiety, and generally help us to maintain our mental wellness.

Mindfulness meditation is often hailed as the ultimate mindfulness practice. But the brilliant thing about mindfulness is that it can be tapped into in so many ways. One creative idea is to take regular crafting activities and give them a mindfulness spin by slowing down, and letting the activity absorb your attention.

Counsellor Bethyn Casey incorporates creative therapy into her work, and believes crafting can be ideal for those looking for a different approach to mindfulness.

Research from the British Journal of Occupational Therapy suggests doing crafting activities on a regular basis can improve mood and increase feelings of relaxation. And Bethyn notes that being creative in this way can ultimately help us access difficult emotions, too.

By crafting, we’re just letting images, shapes, colours, and our intuition, lead us in different directions. Somehow the fun of the objects themselves can mean we drift out of boxed thinking and discover that something within us can quietly rearrange things in the background.

Suddenly we’ve put our tools away, and whatever it was that was stuck and knotted and inaccessible inside has somehow formed itself into something tangible that can be touched and explored.”

This article and many others in Happiful have inspired me to get a bit more creative at this difficult time. I focused too hard on just doing one project ( my shed) when in actual fact I had written a list of a number of things I wanted to do during lockdown. Because I just focused on one thing this created me more pain. Had I done it in stages and changed to another project I am sure I would not have suffered as much. I am a big believer in mindfulness and I have a few books on the subject.

A good one to try is Mindfulness for Beginners is an ebook by Beatrice Annhata…

Do you feel like you are…

Losing control of your emotions?
Experiencing anxious thoughts?
Feeling unusually irritable?
Unable to concentrate?
Stressed out more than usual?

You are about to discover an easy, straightforward plan to help you ease stress and anxiety, helping you reclaim the joy in your life YOU deserve! In this powerful new e-book, you’ll discover –

32 simple mindfulness exercises that you can practice virtually anywhere at any time! Its effective strategies help to minimize stress and bring you to a state of instant relaxation. It has proven techniques to eliminate anxiety and quickly regain rational thinking. There are powerful quotes to keep you inspired and motivated!

Mindfulness is simply being fully present in the moment…And it’s one of the most powerful techniques available to decrease stress and anxiety.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 40 million adults in the US are affected by anxiety, and millions more are afflicted with depression-related disorders. Overall, they estimate 18% of all adults have some form of mental illness.

Make no mistake about it – stress is no longer just an epidemic, it’s a PANDEMIC within a PANDEMIC.

And it can adversely impact not only your mental and physical health, but your professional and personal relationships as well.

But here’s the good news…

Mindfulness for Beginners gives you all the necessary tools and techniques you need to decrease anxiety and experience renewed peace of mind.

Mindfulness can also…

* Increase brain functioning
* Lower blood pressure
* Enhance immune function
* Decrease heart rate
* Heighten awareness

The benefits of Mindfulness are far-reaching and can significantly increase your quality of life!

This ebook is loaded with 32 proven mindfulness exercises to select from, Mindfulness for Beginners provides a bounty of fun and fresh exercises for you to enjoy practically anywhere at any time!

COPING DURING THE COVID-19 LOCKDOWN AND TRYING TO DEAL WITH IT WHILE IN PAIN…

This week has been a week where I seem to have struggled with whatever I have done. We all have them and I’m hoping next week will be much better.

I feel guilty in that I think I have brought some of my pain on myself by doing more than I normally would do during the COVID-19 lockdown. But, I’m sure I’m not alone and a few of us have ‘had a go’ at something over the last eight weeks.

Mine was my little shed in the garden which I have sat and looked at for the last twelve months and decided a make over with lots of help from the other half could be manageable.

The end product is just what I wanted but being a bit of a perfectionist at heart has meant more work for me. The edges and finishing touches were done by me which ended up taking longer than painting the shed. It’s not that I was holding anything heavy but it’s the position you get into to achieve what you want. We adapted a stool for me for lower areas and a big cushion for anything lower down but it just took time.

I’ve rested up a few days but it seems to have really stirred up pins and needles and pain down my arm, in fact it’s affected my hand so badly that I’ve dropped a few things. Now I know I’ve not done any permanent harm but I have obviously provoked a reaction. Injuries happen, it’s a part of normal life.

Because I write my blog so regularly I somehow feel expectations are high and I feel almost guilty if I don’t write my regular post. There are moments in the lives of many people when they are not even sure what brought the pain into their life, only that it is agonizingly there.

Pharmi Web wrote that the University of East Anglia researchers are launching a new study to see how Covid-19 and lockdown are affecting people with bone, joint and muscle pain.

Their previous research has revealed the challenges and poor health outcomes caused by social isolation and loneliness for people with conditions like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lower back pain, osteoporosis and fibromyalgia. The study will be of great interest to us all.

The daily sun dose we are having is beautiful and I am sure the last eight weeks would have felt like eight months without it but I am definitely ready to see my family for real as soon as I can.

SEEING YOUR GP DURING COVID-19 & HELPING WITH RESEARCH…

Dr. Sarah Jarvis MBE, and Clinical Director at Patient recently wrote how we must NOT ignore any concerns about our own health or a loved ones health during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Whatever you are worried about, be it a lump, pain or an ongoing health condition, you should seek help through your GP. GP surgeries across the UK are open via phone or video calls so check your GP’s surgery to see how they are making appointments.

You can also arrange a remote GP & Pharmacy appointment through Patient Access in many locations. The Patient also has details on how to get the most out of your GP appointment.

Also on Patient is a link to contribute to COVD-19 research by telling the NHS about your current experience of COVID-19. There is also the app which I previously wrote about and I check in on it daily.

Download the C-19 COVID Symptom Tracker App and self report daily. Help slow the outbreak. Identify those at risk sooner. 

Take 1-minute to self-report daily, even if you are well to help the scientists identify high risk areas in the U.K. who is most at risk, better understanding symptoms linked to underlying health conditions. See how fast the virus is spreading in your area. 

By using this app you’re contributing to advance vital research on COVID-19. The app will be used to study the symptoms of the virus and track how it spreads. 

This research is led by Dr Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London and director of TwinsUK a scientific study of 15,000 identical and non-identical twins, which has been running for nearly three decades. 

The COVID Symptom Tracker was designed by doctors and scientists at King’s College London, Guys and St Thomas’ Hospitals working in partnership with ZOE Global Ltd – a HealthPost science company.

They say ‘We take data security very seriously and will handle your data with huge respect. Your data is protected by the European Union’s “General Data Protection Regulation” (GDPR). It will only be used for health research and will not be used for commercial purposes. You can read more about how your data will be used, your rights and the steps we take to ensure it’s protected in our privacy policy or in the FAQ‘ 

You can read more at King’s College LondonBBC NEWS, The Guardian, and The INDEPENDENT

Available from the App Store or Google Play.

INTERNATIONAL WORLD RED CRESCENT DAY 8th MAY, AND RED CROSS WEEK…

Please put your hands together to clap for the Red Cross on the 8th May. The 8th of May is the International World Red Crescent Day and Red Cross Week in the U.K. It’s an anniversary of the birth of Henry Dunant, who was born on 8th May 1828. He was the founder of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the recipient of the first Nobel Peace Prize. Over the COVID-19 lockdown, they have engaged in TeamGB and British Red Cross #Isolation Games with Tik Tok. On the 9th of April 128, Red Cross National Societies responded to COVID-19 across the world by providing pre-hospital care services, supplying protective equipment, and trained 27 of its branches in pre-hospital services. It’s not only the British Red Cross that’s helping out but also from as far as Bangladesh to the Netherlands and much more. They are a collective of volunteers helping out during this pandemic. They say “We have made the difficult but necessary decision to postpone all planned public collections activity this year. This comes after carefully considering the risks of Covid-19 (coronavirus) on the health, safety and wellbeing of our amazing volunteer collectors and generous donors. While we may not stand on the street, we invite you to set up a virtual collection, in the comfort of your own home! A virtual bucket shaker means that you can still collect donations, bring your community together and raise vital funds for people in crisis. It’s quick and easy, just click the ‘Become a Virtual Bucket Shaker’ button and register for your online fundraising page now! BECOME A VIRTUAL BUCKET SHAKER You can set up your fundraising page by clicking the button above and join the largest British Red Cross virtual street collection! Send the link to your friends and family via email, social media, or even text message! Ask for donations, no donation is too small to help vulnerable people. The main ‘Virtual Bucket Shaker appeal’ dates will be 4-10 May (when Red Cross Week was originally planned), however, you can start fundraising now and keep going as long as you like! Get creative and organise your own virtual fundraising event: a virtual quiz, yoga, bingo, the possibilities are endless! Register your interest in fundraising below or you can donate by phone, or online by contacting your local fundraiser at getfundraising@redcross.org.uk or 0300 456 1005. REGISTER YOUR INTEREST

BACK PAIN BLOG UK TOP THREE PODCASTS FOR MAY…

I have listened to lots more Podcasts since the lockdown so I decided it might be nice to leave a review of my top three favourite podcasts of the month.

1. The Back Pain Doctors Podcast on Player.fm is from Dr. Michael Johnson. His weekly conversations are with doctors from around the world sharing patient stories as they inform, educate, and offer hope to millions of people who have back pain. His Podcast 163 Herniated Disc is all you need to know about your herniated disc. You can download the Player.fm mobile app from the App Store or Google Play.

2. My favourite Fibromyalgia Podcast is on Iheart.com and Google Play is by Tami Stackelhouse who is a Fibromyalgia coach and brings together information from experts and advocates to help you take back control of your life. Her Podcast on COVID-19 & Fibromyalgia, Help Your Immune System Fight Off Illness is an absolute must listen to all Fibromyalgia sufferers with lots of key points on how to cope with the COVID-19 virus.

3. Age Space which is a companion to agespace.org is invaluable for older people and their families. Each episode gives expert advice on different topics including power of attorney, inheritance, and more. The NHS Continuing Healthcare Podcast explains how it is available to someone whose primary need is medical care, provides fully-funded health and social care and can be administered in their home, a care home or a hospice. Find out when and how to apply for it. Annabel and finance expert Jason Butler simplify a complicated issue.