The seeds I'm planting this month are a variety of different plants. All of them, I hope will work together to help my health and my general well-being. When it comes to caring for a body, any body -- healthy or chronically ill -- I feel that we do best when we vary our attempts to care for ourselves. The human body is a constantly changing thing, and so consistently needs change and variation. With Fibromyalgia and CFIDS, I find sometimes that what works for me one month, simply doesn't work for me the next. And so I find myself constantly reevaluating, reassessing what my body and my mind need.
Alright, alright. This month's Seeds:
- I started learning Sanskrit. I found this lovely website devoted to teaching the language online for free. I'm interested in learning more about yoga, and poetry and Sanskrit combines both interests in one. Plus, learning languages is good for that brain thang. I enjoy learning languages, so it's a good way to combat some of the fibro fog, without spending hours bitching at the NY Times Friday crossword.
|This is your brain on Sanskrit|
- I'm knitting a sock. I really love knitting socks. I just do. I mean, really, what is a better meditation than sitting there, counting stitches, counting rows? Sometimes, when I don't have anything to knit, I visualize knitting and that calms me down. True story. Also, while the research is a little spotty, and I'd like to see some studies where they monitor the brain of a knitter (or other crafter) while knitting (crafting), there is both this study and this study coming out saying that knitting really can calm depression, and help cognitive abilities.
|Strike two against fibro fog. Plus, warm feet next winter.|
- Inspired by Michelle at The Fat Nutritionist, I'm trying to chill out. Particularly around food. Food is a touchy topic for me, and this woman makes me feel like it's okay for food to be a touchy topic. In her blog post about Perfectionist Cooking Paralysis, she describes me perfectly: I will eat slop that other people serve up, or at ahem Skyline, but I won't let myself cook anything that doesn't sound or seem gourmet. It takes me hours (really) every day to prepare food, and gosh, you know what? I don't have that energy. So I've been inspired by her system of levels, to try and tone my cooking down a notch. This doesn't mean I won't be getting good food, but also that I won't be making myself sicker by working too hard on a meal that I then can't enjoy because I've worn myself out. Whoops.
|It's cultural. And across the street. And gross. And delicious. And cheap. Skyline is all things. **|
- I'm going to try to walk more, now that the outside air doesn't paralyze me on contact. I'm not overly fond of walking in my neighborhood, as there are way too many hills. Oh well. I read this entry on how to establish a walking program for fibromyalgia, and decided I should give it a shot. Plus, all the various research out there on how cardiovascular exercise can improve cognitive function, mood, or the research that shows that walking can improve the body's anti-inflammatory response. You can read a less technical summary of studies here. It kinda seems silly not to try it. Until I look at the hills.
|"Beautiful rolling hills of Cincinnati" OR "Sure. Go for a walk. MWAHAHAHAHA."|
- I'm hoping that a visit to a chiropractor once a week will help my body function better. I haven't found a lot of studies that are well-controlled on chiropracty and fibromyalgia. But I have seen a chiropractor before for multiple back and hip issues, and have had mostly positive results. I'd like to see if regular visits help keep my shoulder muscles from clenching and turning into a vipers nest. If not, then I'll move on to try something else!
- I've switched my daily sketches in ink from focusing on inner things to focusing on outer things. In other words, I'm actually trying to sketch things and not worry so much about how awful they look. And then sketching them again and again until I get a better feel for it. Similar to knitting, drawing is shown to be particularly helpful with cognitive function. Often, though, it just makes me cranky because the things that come out of my pen should be more like the things in my mind. Whoops. There's that perfectionism again.
|Yes, I have a scanner. No, I did not use it.|
What seeds are you planting? Are you lucky enough to actually plant real seeds in a real garden?
**This is a shame-free zone. Please do not shame me or others for food, exercise and treatment choices. I'm happy to hear your experience with any of these things, and always happy to hear what works for people. I'm happy to hear cautions that are worded respectfully and without aim to hurt.