If you never thought of cleaning as exercise, I’m about to blow your mind. So we all know that movement is important. And when you have a chronic illness, even getting some light exercise in daily can be extremely beneficial to your health and overall wellbeing. Cleaning is a great way to do that. Sweeping, mopping, scrubbing, taking out the garbage…you’re literally moving your whole body while you do these chores. This is one of the places where changing our outlook on something can really help us! If you’re feeling a bit hopeless about where to start or about whether you can do some cleaning for exercise, check out this podcast episode on creative hopelessness.
Hopefully you can get your body moving this week and keep making the most of it!
Plus who is this blogger and why should you care what I have to say?
I think that I sometimes give off the impression that I’m 100% fine 100% of the time, which as anyone with a chronic illness or dealing with chronic pain knows, is simply not true. What is true, is that I’ve learned several strategies over the past 5 years to improve my well-being, even on my days of struggle. Let’s take this morning (Saturday) as a write this. I had some pain in my hips (both of them). I live alone and needed groceries and don’t have a car, so I walked to the grocery store. My arms killed on the way home because I accidentally bought more than I could carry. Then the apartment building door whacked my right hip (the less sore of the two) which obviously caused more pain. And then I became angry. Like swearing, yelling, grumbling, angry. I got text messages and was annoyed at the people texting me even though they weren’t saying anything bad. Then I noticed what was happening. Was this anger helpful? No, if anything it was making my pain worse. So I took a moment, watched my breath flow in and out of my body, and calmed down mentally… and then it helped my body to calm down physically.
So… who am I? I’m Kelsey. I’m a person with lived experience. I have diagnoses of undifferentiated connective tissue disease, fibromyalgia, and glaucoma. I’m also someone who meditates daily (over 100 days in a row – my longest streak). I’m someone who has bad days, and good days. I make it my priority to have way more good days than bad ones. I’m a person who went to psychotherapy among other treatments (physio, chiropractor, naturopath, massage, etc.) and found it helpful for my anxiety and ultimately my pain. And then I became someone who went back to school to get my Masters in Counselling psychology, which I have now completed, despite the fact that I was working full time and in pain. I am someone who is committed to helping others who are struggling. And I am someone who wants to share what I’ve learned – and what I’m still learning – with all of you. I am me.
Why should you listen to what I have to say? Well, there is no particular reason and it’s completely up to you! What I can say, is that I try to bring my personal, lived experience, with research (yes I actually do a ton of reading of scholarly journal articles for my posts) and clinical experience so provide you all with different ways to improve your well-being. Take me this morning for example. Would it have been helpful to stay angry all day? Likely I would’ve had to spend it in bed and probably wouldn’t have written this post. I’ve found this to be helpful for me, so it just might be helpful for you. Along with this blog, I have other resources too. Like my podcast and YouTube channel, which you should definitely check out if you haven’t yet.
Okay, so I thought we’d end on a fun note. Two truths and a lie. I’d love to hear in the comments which one you think is a lie. 1. I have spent the evening hanging out with a celebrity. 2. I recently got a new puppy. 3. Pineapple is my favourite fruit.
My podcast topic this week was utilizing your authentic self, and next week is about evidence based treatments for chronic pain. My YouTube channel has a new video for building self-awareness (which is how I knew to calm myself this morning!). Until next week, keep making the most of it!
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This week we’re exploring golf as an option to incorporate some movement as chronic pain/illness warriors. Like all of the exercise options we explore, this won’t be for everyone, however I found that there were some nice advantages because it’s a non-intensive way to incorporate movement. And movement, as we know, is so important for chronic pain. Please consult with your healthcare team before starting any new exercise. It also ties in nicely to this week’s podcast episode on self-care, which you can check out here.
Let me know if you hit some balls, and keep making the most of it!