February thank you for being over and thank you for being a short month so it was over faster! At least that's how I feel this time around. And I know I'm not the only one who has been in a funk or so it seems at least.
So what to do when you are in a funk, lost your motivation and just want to move to a deserted island?! Heck what do you do when all of the above happens? After realizing I don't have enough money to buy a deserted island I put that on the back burner and did something crazy! Like really crazy! I asked for freaking help!!!!! Can you believe it?! And who did I ask for help? My family? My friends? No, I asked the universe! And before you think, man what's she been drinking now, keep reading. I got a not so subtle hint to get off Facebook. Take a break from any drama/negativity that sometimes seems to fill Facebook. Take a break from not always being there for everyone else. I needed to take care of ME! So I did! And it was so so good that I almost extended my "vacation" but I also missed my friends and my mum was like where have you been?? No posts for a whole weekend; she was starting to get concerned as Facebook is the way she can follow our lives abroad.
Below is my top 10 of different ways to get out of your funk but I wanted to elaborate on a few of them.
Staying hydrated is key to a range of health benefits such as fatigue, headaches, trouble concentrating but has also been linked to anxiety. So if you feel scattered or anxious, try opting up your fluid intake.
Smell/apply essential oils:
It's amazing how these bottles of essential oils can change your frame of mind. I'm not saying it's as simple as smelling some Lavender and the world suddenly becomes a better place. The oils don't do the work for us but will help us look within and foster the right environment for healing. My favourite book to help me is "Emotions & Essential Oils - A Modern Resource for Healing".
Essential oils can help uplift and/or ground you but also bring out the adventurous you, the fun you, the spontaneous you and we all need to find that person when stuck in a funk.
If you want to learn more about essential oils, head over to our Essential Oil page or contact me here.
Top 10 ways to get out of your funk:
1) Have a soak in the bath
2) Dance/listen to happy music
3) Smell/apply essential oils
4) Watch a funny movie
5) Write in your journal/gratitude journal
6) Go outside
7) Spend time with people who inspire and support you
8) Stay hydrated
9) Doodle or colour in your colouring book
10) Play games with friends
What's your favourite ways to get out of your funk? Share in the comments and give me some more ideas.
In my workbooks (if you didn't read the post about them, you can do that here) there's a page about ritual days. Every week you have things you'd like to do or needs to be done, so the point is to turn each week into ritul days. Some suggestions could be: Adventure Saturdays, Switch off Sundays, go-to-bed-early Wednesday, creative Tuesday etc. I came up with the following for my week:
Social Media Monday: prepare photos and text for the week's various social medias, edit any needed text in about sections, explore new accounts etc
Blog Post Tuesday: The title kind of gives it away :) Writing blog posts.
Webinar Wednesday: Catch up on webinars from the last week.
Study Thursday: most of the day will be spent studying for my course.
Reading Friday: Get some readnig done - anything from personal development to fun books.
Run/Date Saturday: Time with Mike which let's be honest, almost only happens if I go on a run with him ;)
Self-care Sunday: Time to take care of me; bath, face mask etc.
This obviously doesn't mean I can't do anything else on those days. It's a help to actually get stuff done whether business or pleasure and whether it's watching 1 or 2 webinars, write 1 or 3 blog posts, it's a way to get stuff done and not have 10 projects going at once and not finsihing any of them.
I'm loving my self-care Sunday as I often forget to take care of myself and we all know that we need to fill our own cup before being able to help others. So every Sunday I have a bath with Epsom salt and some yummy essential oils. I love the combo Frankincense and Deep Blue, especially after taking up running. It's a great combo to help with aches and pains. I then use doTERRA's Body Butter which has Wild Orange, Douglas Fir, Frankincense, Shea butter, Cocoa butter, Jojoba seed oil and Avocado oil in it. It's a thick moisturizer which absorbs quickly into the skin. It's especially great for elbows, hands and kness who may need a bit more moisturization. Both Wild Orange and Douglas Fir are purifying benefits to the skin and Frankincense is rejuvenating to the skin.
Sunday evening I also use a mud mask which it's just fabulous! It's a natural earth clay mask which provides purifying and detoxifying benefits helping reduce wrinkles, fine lines and appearances of pores. You only leave it on for max 10min (start with a couple of minutes your first time and work up to 5-10min). It leaves my skin so soft and clean and a friend told me it also works great for detoxing your armpits!
I have also started dry skin brushing. I have done it before but with moving etc, it got put on hold but with Self-Care Sunday, I thought perfect time to add it in again.
The skin is our largest organ and 1/3 of your body's toxins are excreted through the skin, and this is where dry brushing comes in as a great help to unclog the pores and help the toxins excrete and not get trapped in the skin.
All you need is a natural bristle brush preferable with a long handle, so you can reach all over your body. Start with your feet and work up towards your heart with small strokes or in a circular motion. Avoid sensitive areas including your face. It's recommended to do 1-2 times a day but I do just the one time. After brushing, jump in the shower and afterwards add your favourite body lotion/oil. You should do dry brushing either in the shower/bathtub or on tiles, so it's easy to clean up the falling skin.
Benefits of dry brushing:
So that's my Self-Care Sunday! How do you take time out for yourself and your body? I'd love to hear from you and get more ideas.
When Mike took up trail and ultra running, I wasn't quite sure what it all entailed. It was a complete new world to me but I saw how much joy it gave him, which made me happy. It also includes lots of scrapes, bruises and the occasional doctor/hospital visits, so obviously I sometimes worry when he goes out on the trails. But the positive out weigh the negatives, so I do what I can to stand at the ready with bandages, essential oils and my support to help him recover for the next race and training.
When he comes home form training runs in the mountains and shows me the beautiful surroundings, I can't help to think it would be great to be out there too. I know my limitations and that's okay. Our small hikes with our dog and occasionally our cat gives me lots of joy and I get to see the beauty surrounding us. But the last couple of days, I have been wondering something, which happened after Mike told me about another of his trail buddies.
Mike Farrington is an ultra runner from Illinois whom I have never met but he has become a big inspiration to me over the last couple of days. He has MS and ran the Squamish 50, 50 miler last month! That's f****** amazing!
MS is classified as an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system and has a lot of similar symptoms as CFS/ME. So I'm beyond impressed and Mike F. (just so you don't confuse the two Mike's) got me thinking about my abilities. With CFS/ME exercise can lead to relapses so it's very important to be mindful of your limitations and work within your limits. But with that said, it's not impossible to go out there and do something! I know I won't be running a trail race any time soon but I sure can do something! So let the training commence; slow but steady; for a 5km race next year. One without time cut offs as I might have to walk some of it! I have been looking at a few and will decide soonish which one it will be.
So thank you Mike Farrington!
Check out an interview Run Like A Girl did with Mike here to learn more about him.
Who inspires you and why? Please let us know as we love to hear from our readers.
I can say crazy because Mike calls himself crazy right?! Plus I think it does require some craziness to run 50km, 50miles and even longer plus adding in the mountains for a more challenging run.
I often get asked if I run too and it's a no! It's not that I didn't wish I could. Friends and family who knew me when I was living in Denmark know I used to play soccer every day of the week. I even played for two clubs because one just wasn't enough for me plus coaching girls as well as trained with selected players from around the province. Yes I loved and still love soccer.
However these days due to my illness I can't run much without getting ill and end up in bed recovering for 2 weeks afterwards. Sadly though, as I wish I could go out and enjoy the beautiful surroundings Mike sees on his trails. Being there just isn't the same as seeing it on FaceTime :)
So how is it living with a crazy runner?! Well, it's interesting, fun and sometimes worrying. It's a good thing I had some practice. See, my brother used to be a professional triathlete so I'm used to having sports gear all around the house, someone eating loads of food, training and racing a lot as well as waiting impatiently at the finish line/at home hoping he will come back in one piece.
As with triathlon, trail running is also an endurance sport and it takes a certain character to be able to do it. I'm just going out on a limb here; it also takes a certain character to live with someone who is into these kinds of sport - I'm sure my lovely sister in-law will nod at this, having traveled around and living with my brother :)
Trail running is not a sport where you can watch the whole race from start to finish. Most times you can maybe get 2-3 sights - start line if you get up very early, at one of the aid stations and of course the finish line. So what do I do while he races?! Well at his 50 miler, I decided to volunteer my time. Volunteering is always fun and I got to hang out with some great people while serving burgers and hotdogs to other volunteers and runners. It gave me a great insight into how tight the trail running family really is and it was great to be a part of this and I can see why Mike loves it so much.
A few tips I have learned since Mike started trail running:
I can't believe this is the first blog post about Mr. Felix! He's the centre of the family if you ask him but don't tell the cat that! However the last week has been all about Felix as he went in for surgery last Thursday. He had a broken tooth and needed an extraction and while under anesthetic, he had a dental clean too. One extraction, however, turned into 3, so we had a poorly dude afterwards. Loaded with pain medications I got ready for a couple of days of looking after him day and night.
We got home around 6pm and no surprise Felix was tired. I got his dinner ready with his pain medications as prescribed by the vet. He wasn't allowed any exercise so afterwards I got one of our pet travel cages out, put his blanket inside with a blanket on top and because he was pacing around prior to this, I put a diffuser on with two blends of essential oils called Balance (the Grounding Blend) and Serenity (the Calming Blend).
Felix's favourite essential oil is Balance - now I hear you ask, how do I know? Before using essential oils on Felix, I ask his permission or in some cases which oil he prefers. Leave the cap on the bottle and let your dog sniff the bottle. If he/she turns their head straight away, it's a no. If however they keep sniffing, you got your yes. Felix will not leave the Balance bottle alone which is why I say it's his favourite.
Balance is a blend of Spruce, Ho Wood, Frankincense, Blue Tansy, Blue Chamomile and fractionated coconut oil. The blend helps promote grounding feelings as well as helping you feel relaxed.
I added Serenity to the diffuser as well as it's another great blend for relaxation and has a calming aroma which would help Felix settle down and it worked great. I had the diffuser running an hour before bedtime too and he was more calm and settled down for the night quickly. He woke up twice during the night and I put the diffuser on for another hour and I found him quickly settling and falling back asleep again.
We continued this for the next couple of nights and it was a peace of mind that he got the rest he needed and felt relaxed, so he could recover without issues and without stressing about.
Not all essential oils can be used on dogs, so it's important to do some research before you start with your own dog. A dog's brain is only 1/10 the size of a human but the part which controls smells is 40 times larger than in humans. A dog's sense of smell is about 1,000 - 10,000,000 (depending on the breed) times more sensitive than a human's. A human has about 5 million scent receptors and a dog has anywhere between 125 million to 300 million!
So when using essential oils which are so potent, it's important not to overwhelm your dog. Never leave your dog alone in a room with a diffuser - you want them to be able to leave the area if they get overwhelmed by the aromas. Only use a couple of drops in the diffuser and if you are using the oils topical, it's very important to dilute the oils with an edible carrier oil.
Not all essential oils can be used on dogs and if your dog is prone to seizures, the list is longer. Some oils to avoid are: Wintergreen, Thyme, Clove, Oregano and Deep Blue. But there are so many you can use and it's great to have tools for minor things where a vet isn't needed but your dog isn't feeling at its best. Tummy problems, joint pain, repellent spray, support the immune system and help them be relaxed and settled like the ones I mentioned in this post; essential oils are great tools for your dog too. A great resource is My dog oiler where you can find recipes, info about dilution and usage. And of course you can ask us. We'd love to help out and share what we have used with Felix and if you want more info on essential oils in general, contact us for more info here.
Disclaimer: The info in this post are for educational purposes and provided only as information. The information and products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any diseases and the use of essential oils are not to be replaced with medical/veterinarian care. Readers are advised to discus essential oil use with their medical advisor/vet.
August 28th 2013 was the day I was told I needed to reconsider the directions of where my life was going. I'm not sure I really had any directions except work to get the bills paid and survive while doing it. I didn't have much of a social life as I spent my non-working hours sleeping. This was the second visit with the specialist I had started seeing while living in England. I was on sick leave from work and I had already made a bit of an improvement and he bluntly told me that if I was to go back to my job, I would most likely revert back to where I was before I came to see him. Besides the usual homework, he had given me some serious food for thought. I was on another week's sick leave so I had some time to think it through and decide.
We went to visit Mike's parents that weekend to get away a bit which was a much needed break. I was always a little scared to go out while on sick leave in case I would run into any of my managers or colleagues. Because why could I go out but not be at work?! And honestly I didn't have the energy to explain in case I did run into any of them. By the time we got back we had decided the best solution for me was to quit my job, so I built up my courage and called my manager. I got a 4 weeks sick note from my doctor so I didn't have to go back to work at all. And I tell you the elephant which had been sitting on my back for so long had gone!! I felt so much lighter and I suddenly slept a little bit better at night.
With any big loss in your life whether it's death, serious illness, break up etc you go through different stages: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. It isn't an easy route and often goes back and forth. Even today over 3 years later, I still have days where I am in the anger and depression stage. Those days I fill with good books, my favourite TV-shows, cuddles with Felix and happy music but also allow myself to feel sad as long as I don't stay there too long.
However for the most parts I try to stay positive and be grateful for what I have and what I have learnt. I remember Tony, my specialist in England, said that I should take this as a blessing; a time to decide where I wanted to go with my life. At the point I honestly had no clue. I was lucky if I could stay awake for 2 hours at the time. But I made sure to take care of myself, get plenty of rest, hang out with great friends. I also did a lot of research on not just my illness but also on symptoms, food, pacing, being a spoonie (check out the Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino) and lots more. It soon become clear to me that not only was living with an invisible illness tough work but so many were going through similar things as me. I joined a Facebook support group and I'm so grateful for having found people who just get it! I can sit and explain for hours how I feel to other people but it's really hard for most to really, like really, understand it unless you are living with it or have gone through it.
"You never know how strong you are until strong is the only choice you have" - Bob Marley. One thing I never wanted to do was give up! I had days (still have) where I was ready to throw in the towel but it quickly turned around. I kept and keep fighting! Day after day after day! I know a lot have it worse off than me but not a lot truly knows how hard it's been and is and how strong I have had to be to get through this. One is because I don't share everything - some days it's just easier to put on a smile than try and explain what's going on. It also feels like a broken record having to give the same answer day in and day out. But I'm very grateful for my friends and family who stood by me during a difficult time; who sent me info to read; suggestions to try out and generally just lend me their ears and was there for me in one way or the other. It's meant the world to me!
This illness also gave me a deep interest in self-care and healthcare. I had to learn to say NO and listen to my body. It's okay to miss out on things and it's okay to cancel plans or say no. Just no! It's okay to be late! That's a tough one for a Dane and a perfectionist. My naturopath was the one to say this and funnily enough I was late for my next appointment with him! I tried hard not to feel bad about it! It took some practise and now I don't beat myself up if I'm late. I'm never late on purpose because I don't want to waste other people's time but I don't beat myself up about it in case I do run late.
When you have so many different symptoms and an illness which even some doctors don't know of or don't believe exist, you get a bit of extra work on your hands. It's a jungle out there with information but I learned a lot on the way about the nervous system, gut health, fight or flight response, thyroid health, oral health and the list goes on. I have become a big fan of gut health as mentioned in an earlier blog post and it's a subject I will go into details later on. We need to take our health in our own hands and not just trust the doctors want what's best for us. It's so important to educate ourselves and let our voice be heard and make decisions which are good for our bodies.
To not be able to work has taken a big piece out of me as I have always earned my own money and it's a part of my independence being able to take care of myself/contribute to the finances. It brings a lot of guilt with it and it's a struggle on many days. I gave it a go again last year but sadly had to admit defeat and come to terms with having a regular 9-5 job just isn't possible. I need more flexibility and a job where I can work around my bad days. Fortunately doTERRA allows me to do so and I'm so grateful for the people I have met through it. I keep learning and growing from some amazing people around the world; I get to do something I love by helping and listening to others; finding solutions for their problems whether it's health or financial issues and creating communities around the world. Oh and did I mention the products are amazing! It's a win-win! In September I'm heading to Salt Lake City for a week of learning and socializing! I'm so excited! How can I not be grateful for this experience and opportunity!
What are you grateful for today? I challenge you to write down 1-5 things a day/week which you are grateful for - focus more on people and not things. You will pay more attention to whom/what you have in your life and be grateful and happy for them/it. Studies have shown it to have some great benefits such as better sleep and more happiness. Why not give it a chance?