HOW THE RIGHT SORT OF LIGHT IN YOUR HOME CAN EFFECT MENTAL HEALTH IN A POSITIVE WAY…

I’ve read many articles in the past on how light is important to health and can effect mental health in a positive way.

In an article in Forbes they said that ‘Bad lighting is associated with a range of ill-health effects, both physical and mental, such as eye strain, headaches, fatigue and also stress and anxiety in more high-pressured work environments. … A third (32%) said better lighting would make them happier at work.’

However, lighting can come in through lots of different ways but daylight is the key to the best lighting. Healthline wrote that ‘Decreased sun exposure has been associated with a drop in your serotonin levels, which can lead to major depression with seasonal pattern. The light-induced effects of serotonin are triggered by sunlight that goes in through the eye.’

So how can we get a good light into our homes now the days are getting shorter? There are special ‘Sad Lightswhich have been around to help people suffering from the condition Sad (Seasonal Affective Disorder). But direct light from outside is the perfect pick up.

The colour palette inside your home and the right discounted windows is what has made the biggest difference for me personally. As most of my readers know we moved three months ago from the East Midlands to West Sussex. We down sized big time and bought a small new build.

Our old home had the biggest windows at the back of the house and my husband was quite anxious about whether our new home would be much darker but it couldn’t be further from the truth if you have the right windows and colour scheme in your home.

The right discounted windows like our small ones work perfectly with white walls which I am sure help light reflect throughout. Every friend that has been to see us has commented on how light our house is even on a dark day.

My bedroom is my sanctuary and has two windows which I have had fitted with Venetian blinds mainly for privacy but I decided on white for most of the windows and it’s still lovely and light. We’ve bought curtains for our bedrooms but haven’t rushed to get some for downstairs and have now decided we won’t bother as we just love the light streaming in and it’s still cosy when it goes dark.

Artificial light can change your sleeping pattern from the natural rhythm of two four-hour phases broken by an hour of wakefulness to a single eight-hour phase each night and disrupts your circadian rhythm. That’s why it is important that you use as much natural light as possible. Opening up your windows and curtains and light darker areas of your home with lamps that emit natural light. My regular Sunday post Sleep Sunday, Let’s Talk About Sleep explains lots of ways to help you sleep which is so important to any chronic pain sufferer.

They say that bright colours are happy colours for your home and can boost communication so are especially welcome in the dining area and kitchen but you can get your happy colours in accessories instead of painting all your walls.

I decided I would give each room its own accent colour and it certainly works for me. My lounge has royal blue as it’s accessory colour which I introduced by adding cushions, plant pots and pictures that have some blue in them. My kitchen’s access colour is grey and green. Upstairs my guest bedroom’s accent colour is also green which is really popular this year and our bedrooms accent colour is grey and pink which is peaceful and cosy.

The brightness in my new home has certainly lifted me over the last three months. I hope you enjoy some of my images of our cosy new home. Do comment and tell me what your favourite colours for the inside of your home are.

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IT’S SLEEP SUNDAY – LETS TALK ABOUT SLEEP AND MEDITATION THERAPY…

Many people are turning to meditation as an effective way to relax and bring inner peace. It can also help with stress, improve your general health and help you to think clearly. It’s something you can do wherever you are, by focusing on something else around you instead of your thoughts, worries and obsessions.

You can meditate just by focusing on something; anything will do if you are out. But most people still meditate on breathing, a single repeated word, a flower or a mental image. Meditation is much more than just a way of relaxing, it also clears our minds and makes us more alert. If you meditate for a few minutes each day, the results can be deep and long-lasting.

There are many places you can learn to meditate; it could be a candle-lit room, with incense and dreamy music, lying on the floor after a yoga class or at an evening’s class at your local school or leisure centre. In your first meditation, people may feel sleepy as they let themselves relax and their adrenalin levels drop. They will go to classes after a hard day’s work, and need to rest.

Meditation is not about going to sleep. It’s about learning to relax and focus your mind. The benefits of meditation ripple through everything we do – being relaxed and aware is the mental equivalent of being fit and healthy. Some of the main reasons people meditate are for relaxation, health, inner peace and harmony, concentration to improve sporting and theatrical performance, inspiration and creativity, quality of life, self-understanding and therapy and spiritual awakening – the list goes on. ‘Mindfulness Meditation’ is a very simple way to meditate.

All you do is focus on your breathing, observe your thoughts and bring your attention into the present moment. Headspace explains ‘What is meditation for sleep’, you can try and listen to their way of meditating to go to sleep. Another great site is Sleep.Org who also explains how to meditate before you go to bed.

Meditation is thought to date back to the fifth and sixth century BC. Stories were written in ancient Hindu about it, and are featured in most religions. Ed Halliwell, author of ‘The Mindful Manifesto,’ says that ‘it can help you experience the moment and not be drawn into habitual emotional responses’. Halliwell goes on to say that ‘research on human brains during a meditation state has revealed a shift in activity from the right side of the pre-frontal cortex, which is linked with depression, over to the left, which is connected with emotional reassurance and happiness’. Research has actually shown meditation can ease depression, lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, boost immunity and healing, and lower blood pressure. Mindfulness meditation is now an NHS approved treatment.

MAKING LIFE EASIER WHEN YOU SUFFER FROM ARTHRITIS…

Last Saturday, the 12th October was the 22nd World Arthritis Day.

It is a day designed to raise global awareness about all facets of the disease.

Arthritis affects approximately 350 million people worldwide.

Among the long list of diseases considered to be in the arthritic family are ankylosing spondylitis, gout, lupus, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It is an inflammation of the joints and can affect one or multiple joints. The symptoms usually develop over time but the Arthritis Foundation say that early treatment is the best treatment. Finding things to make your life easier is important to any sufferer. It is not a condition just for the elderly, children as young as 3 can be diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

The theme for 2019 is Time2Work , which was part of the EULAR Campaign Don’t Delay, Connect Today to highlight the importance of early diagnosis and treatment for rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases.

On the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society site they said that Professor Dane Carol Black wrote these words in her report to Tony Blair’s government “Working for a healthier tomorrow” in 2008. ”Work is central to human existence and the motive force for all economics. For individuals, it provides structure and meaning and is good for people’s health and well being as well as their financial health and prosperity. Moreover, work benefits families and is socially inclusive.”

Almost a decade later, the report which the National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society published in collaboration with the University of Manchester at the end of 2017 entitled “Work Matters” is a very important survey of more than 1000 people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Despite a number of government initiatives, the survey suggests that many people with inflammatory arthritis are struggling to find the type of work that they want.

However, just being able to travel to work and get around the environment can be a real worry to some sufferers. Where do you begin in finding out about the different types of mobility aids and wheelchairs to help you get around? Well, one such company called Pro Rider Mobility is a great place to start. They have a vast choice of mobility scooters, wheelchairs and other mobility aids to choose from. A Pro Rider Mobility Motorised Wheelchair could turn your life around in an instant, allowing you to get from a to b easily.  

The National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society also have a great video on this year’s ‘Time2Work’ event which focuses on how and why employers should provide better support for people with rheumatoid arthritis and other long term conditions in the workplace as this benefits not only the employee but the employers as well.

Although I was always under the impression that most of my spinal pain was mechanical, disc related and failed back surgery an MRI I had a done eighteen months ago showed my spine also had some arthritis in it. I’ve still not had a discussion about this nor been given any different type of medication for it but after reading more on this disease I think it is something I will bring up in the future.

There are a number of sites you can find on the internet with all the information on the different types of arthritis but leading on from the recent Awareness Day and campaign some have more details about the Time2Work which I will list here for you.

The Arthritis Foundation

The National Rheumatoid Arthritic Society

The Global Rheumatoid Arthritis Network

Arthritis Care UK –