Technologically and linguistically adventurous EFL teacher, trainer, writer and manager

Staying healthy

I’ve written at length (when don’t I?!) about the fact that I have ulcerative colitis, and how it affects my life.

Having a stress-induced illness means that it’s particularly important that I find ways to manage how stressed I feel to avoid a flare-up of my colitis. September and the beginning of October are by far the busiest times of our school year, and can be very stressful for me at times. For the last two years, I was quite bad for most of this six-week period. Since Christmas last year, I’ve been on immuno-suppresants, which have stopped me from having any flare-ups (yay!) and seem to be keeping me mostly healthy right now (double yay!) I can still feel some of the symptoms though, and I need to look after myself to avoid the other pitfalls of a weak immune system, like catching every cold that passes through the school (!)

Here are some of the things I’ve been trying to do:

  • Making sure I stick to my morning routine as much as possible, doing physio exercises and spending 20 minutes or so doing cross stitch, both relaxing activities in and of themselves. I listen to podcasts at the same time to give me something to think about other than work.
  • Keeping active by aiming for 10,000 steps a day, which equates to about 100 minutes of exercise a day. When you’re sitting a desk doing timetables and setting up electronic registers all day, that’s not always easy!
  • Eating healthy food. I bought a slow cooker a couple of weeks ago, which has helped me to cook in bulk and not have to worry about exactly when the food will be ready. So far I’ve made soup and lasagne, and am happy to get any other suggestions (though I can’t eat anything spicy because of the colitis, so no curries!)
Soup in my new slow cooker

It might not look very appealing, but it tasted delicious!

  • Switching off the computer and blue screens by 9:30, before going to bed at 11pm. Having always been lucky to sleep fairly well, I didn’t think this would make much difference, but I feel much more refreshed by my sleep if I haven’t been using screens late at night.
  • Noticing when I’m stressed, particularly if I’m moving faster than I need to be, taking a deep breath, and consciously slowing down. For example, I realised I was rushing when I was washing my hands this afternoon because my brain was very active and I felt like I needed to get things done. I realised that taking an extra 30 seconds would calm me down a bit and make my work more effective in the end.
  • Blogging 🙂

I’m also really looking forward to my first flamenco class of this year – our lessons restart tomorrow night.

What do you do to stay healthy and to de-stress?

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Comments on: "Staying healthy" (2)

  1. Hey Sandy. I’m really glad that you are taking care of yourself and it sounds like you’re hitting the classic things you ought to. Eating well, silence, being social, exercising and so on.
    Personally, I had a bout of depression recently which really caught me off guard. There were a lot of factors including poor health, eating badly, and surprisingly, lack of work. If I don’t have enough work and projects to focus on then I start to get restless and eventually depressed. Thankfully that’s changes now and I’m in a wonderful spell of regular work, creating fun stuff and having a chance to read as well. I e also retaken up calligraphy as a way to zone out. It’s one of those tasks which requires immense concentration from me and so my mind goes blank, like a meditation.
    I also do those 7 minute workouts every couple of days to stay active and I’m planning to get back into running after about five years off (my knees were hurting me too much but it seems like I can rectify this).

    So that’s where I’m at health wise at the moment. There are lots of ways I’m probably not taking care of myself and I’m possibly over inflating what I do to make it sound better.

    Like

  2. So pleased to hear you’re looking after yourself and cooking good food. I love slow cookers – can I recommend a book: ‘Slow Cooked’ by Miss South, which includes low FODMAP recipes (if that’s useful for you). She also has a blog http://www.miss-south.com/category/recipes/slowcooker/

    Like

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