Thursday, 9 January 2014

New Year New Start

Good Day Everyone,

There’s something about the Christmas / New Year holiday season that makes me take a step back and reflect upon life – we’re getting deep here ;o). It’s a time of year where I like to take stock, reflect on how the year has been and think about what I want to get out of the coming year. As I’ve been pretty much cooped up at home these past few weeks riding out an arthritic flare, I’ve had plenty of time to reflect, ponder and plan.

I have few changes that I want to make in my day to day life, as well as getting back on track with a few things that I’ve let slip recently. So here are some of my goals for 2014;

1.       Eat / drink healthier: I know most people usually have are a New Year’s resolution around eating healthier / drinking more water but for me this is a really important one. What I eat has a big impact on Arthur and I also think it has a big effect on how quickly my arthritis progresses and spreads to new joints. Over the last six months my healthy eating has really slipped and so in 2014 I am going to be eating healthy and dramatically reducing (even trying to eliminate) foods that are not good for autoimmune disease sufferers like me. The kind of foods / drink that I’m talking about include dairy, eggs, grains (wheat / gluten / rice), fried food, meat, nightshade vegetables and obviously sugar and processed foods, as well as coffee - the latter is going to be a tough one! At the same time I’m going to make a concerted effort to eat more anti-inflammatory foods and drink turmeric / ginger teas and water.

2.       Exercise more: I want to get back into the habit of exercising daily to help improve my joint flexibility and mobility. In 2012 I started hula hooping and walking on the treadmill and both of these activities did wonders for my arthritic hips. In 2013 I focussed more on yoga based stretching but during the last six months things slipped and I want to get back on track. I also want to take advantage of living so close to the sea by more weekend walks by the beach.

3.       Relax before bed: Whilst we don’t have a television in our home, I’ve noticed that my hubby and I are not winding down before we go to sleep. We both tend to be on our laptops/ipads/iphones etc right before bed and then have trouble sleeping. Since the new year, we’ve been putting most of our technology gadgets down, lighting oil burning candles and listening to some calming music before bed and its working a treat already :o)

4.       Stress / worry less: I am one of life’s little worriers. I can’t help it! It’s in my genes – I get it from my mum as she’s the same whereas my dad doesn’t stress or worry about anything, like nothing at all, ever! I fret over things that haven’t even happened yet and if I’m totally honest I do my own head in. On a rational level I know there’s no need to worry so much, especially over things that haven’t happened, but on an emotional / psychological level I just can’t seem to help it. I end up giving myself quite severe anxiety at times and even headaches by worrying. My hubby can always tell when I’m stressing over something and will always do the so what question with me. I’m always what if this happens or what if that doesn’t happen and he’s always so what, so what if that happens, what’s the worst that could possibly happen. This year I’m going to be doing the so what voice in my head whenever my mind starts to worry and go all what iffy on me.

5.       Less makeup more care: In 2013 I bought more makeup than I did in the last decade of my life! Losing the steroid weight in 2012 and feeling healthier and happier with Arthur, I suddenly had a greater appreciation for the face and body that I’ve been blessed with. I no longer despaired about my flaws but celebrated and enjoyed the things that I did like about my appearance (knowing that one day I will most likely lose them as my arthritis progresses). This new found appreciation ignited a suppressed passion for makeup and so I indulged... a lot!So in 2014 I’ve put myself on a six month ban from purchasing anymore makeup as I use up what is already in my stash because makeup just lasts forever. Seriously I’ve probably only ever finished about half a dozen makeup items in my life (excluding mascara of course). In the meantime, I have neglected more general body care so this year I am going to invest more time in looking after my nails, hair and general skin.

6.       Keep in touch better: One of the hardest things about living overseas is not being able to see / catch up with friends as much as I used to. Not being able to see people in person means more effort is required to sustain friendships and these last couple of years have helped to filter out those friends that I know will be a part of my life for many years to come versus those friends that were either more like acquaintances or friends in the moment – you know where if you’re both in the same place at the same time then great but once you’re not you just seem to drift apart. And that’s ok. Not all friends are destined to be your friends for your whole life. This year I want to be better at keeping in touch with friends and I’m going to make a real effort to catch up with friends on a more regular basis.

7.       Lifting spirits: I'm not talking about the alcoholic kind! This year I’m on a mission to lift people’s spirits, be it strangers or people that I actually know. Life can be tough at times and most of the time we don’t know what battles people are fighting in their own lives, however, a random gesture or compliment can greatly lift a person’s spirit and put a smile on their face that lasts the whole day. So I’m going to be paying people a lot more compliments and doing little things that will hopefully make someone else's day a little better.

So there you have it. Some of my goals for 2014. What New Year’s resolutions or goals have you set yourself?

Love Sheen xxx

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