Health and Happiness

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Originally posted 6 April 2018

Hello there lovelies

I started writing this post a couple of weeks ago and as I was typing, the sky outside my sitting room window was an uninspiring grey, we had had a flurry of pretty but unwelcome snow and there was a cold wind blowing the delicate early Spring blooms to and fro in the garden.

And today as I continue to write, the picture outside my window still has a touch of Winter to it. There is a distinct chill in the air, the snow has turned to persistent rain and our Winter coats, scarves and hats have not yet been gleefully relegated to the wardrobe. If Sleeping Beauty awakened from her deep slumber now she would be forgiven for thinking that the seasons were shifting from Autumn to Winter.

But of course upon closer inspection, there are signs of Spring everywhere. Defiant in the face of the fading Winter, daffodils are brightening grassy banks wherever I look, blossom buds are bursting open to reveal their ruffled papery beauty and there is light and warmth on the horizon both literally and metaphorically. These wondrous signs of Spring after such a dark, cold and wet season bring hope indeed.

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I have found this Winter especially hard health wise. I have chronic asthma and during the colder, wetter months I experience flare ups but this Winter I felt that there was something else going on too. Initially, I thought that what I was feeling was just my body trying to adjust to the colder, shorter days and I welcomed the natural desire to hibernate, staying cosy at home with my family. But after a while, I realised that it was more than that. I had an underlying feeling of malaise, with real dips in energy, overall weakness, achy joints and bones and low grade headaches. I was experiencing some or all of these symptoms most days and feeling unwell was starting to get me down but I just kept going and I just carried on thinking, “If I rest, I’ll feel better in a few days”. I joked that had I been alive during the Victorian era and from a wealthy family, I would have been sent to the Italian riviera or a sunny Greek island to convalesce. I may have watched too many period dramas!

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It turned out that my desire to be transported to sunnier climes was quite telling. After seeing my doctor in mid January and consequently being sent for blood tests, the results of which were lost in the post for over a month, I was diagnosed with significantly low levels of vitamin D. It felt really good to get an answer that helped to explain some of my physical symptoms.

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I choose to look at my health in a holistic way, which means I consider both emotional and physical factors together because they are most often intertwined. Mental health can affect and produce physical illness and vice versa. I do not see my physical symptoms as being in a completely separate realm to the increased anxiety that I have been experiencing. Feeling constantly ‘under the weather’, lethargic and fuzzy despite my desire to progress with my business and turn all of my creative ideas into a reality; despite my desire to be on top of my kids’ social diaries and education and to keep our family home operating smoothly, has been making me increasingly anxious and sensitive.

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I have been and am currently feeling completely overwhelmed by everything…and I mean every little thing! But I have continued to do so much. In fact my expectations of what I can achieve on a personal and work level have remained the same, if not increased regardless of my physical health, which means I am pushing myself beyond my current limits and this in turn is leading to more anxiety and exhaustion.

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My heart is telling me to take more care of myself, to remember that good health and happiness are intricately interdependent and to lower the expectations I place on my ability to achieve anything and everything. In order to do that I need to listen more intently and take each day as it comes as much as possible.

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To treat the ‘whole picture’ I am taking natural remedies, nutritional supplements and increasing my vitamin D intake in my everyday diet. I am going to continue blogging fortnightly and moving forwards with my creative endeavours, but I am going to be toning down the intensity and desperation with which I have been working and looking for ways to help me gain more clarity and balance. I am going to fill as much of my time as possible knitting, crocheting and embroidering because I find these pastimes the most therapeutic of all. And when that sunshine gets her hat on (do you know the song?) and graces us with her much needed warmth, light and vitamin D, I am going to jolly well expose my arms, legs and face (20 mins per day the doc says!) to her and soak up her rays like the gentle sun worshipper that I am!

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As I come to the end of my post and as a little reward for working through this, for coming to the conclusion that self love, care, kindness and balance are the answers, the sun has in fact got her hat on just for me albeit briefly, and the birds are singing in applause in the garden!

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Thanks for reading lovelies. Have a fab weekend! Look after, take care and be kind to your beautiful selves won’t you? See you back here soon.

All my love,

Lucy

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