Tuesday, December 07, 2010
I'm sure most of us have seen the "Home Alone" movies, and laughed along with them. Many of us have probably spent a Christmas or two alone but for our partners and not thought anything of it. Today when we were making a joke with an acquaintance that my husband and I would be having Christmas alone, again, as our son always goes to his parents in law( "...just the three of us. You, me and the turkey...."), I realized just what I was saying.
Since the kids grew up and left home, we have not had much interest in Christmas. Our daughter died in 1995, and we have no idea where the grandchildren are now. My son spends Christmas away as his wife s family are all up in the north of the country. We are used to a quiet time at home, but we are lucky. We have each other, even if other family is very thin on the ground.
That joke made me think of all those poor , isolated individuals who have no family, no friends, no one who cares about them. Unfortunately, there are more of them than one would think. They spend EVERY day alone, not just Christmas. And not just them,but those who are surrounded by others, in nursing or retirement homes ,yet are every bit alone as the solitary folk.
Spare a thought for them all over the holiday season, and do what you can to help them feel less isolated. I'm not asking that you should ask strangers off the street to Christmas lunch, or anything of that sort. Perhaps you could call someone you know is alone, just to see how they are. Say hi to your neighbours, talk to people on the train, in the stores. Keep an eye on the elderly . Make this a time of year when everyone knows that they can reach out to someone and not be ignored. Thank you Jane
Thursday, July 29, 2010
I was looking through the motivation secrets yesterday, and it seems that most of us are worried about hitting plateaux. I must admit that I used to find them frustrating but now I look at them a different way. In fact they even seem to fit in with the Sparkpeople way to health and fitness and of course weight loss.
Firstly, its a small victory in itself. To get stuck on a plateau, means your weight has been the same for a while. So the chances are you lost some weight first. Thats great! You also have'nt put any back on, so thats great too. You have won your first battle in the fight !
Secondly, its a sign that the small changes you began with have worked, but its now time to review what new changes you can make to you lifestyle and habits.You'll recognise this advice of small stages if you have read The Spark. Look at your day, and see if you can make any positive changes .
Thirdly, its a sign that your body has adjusted to those initial changes you made. By now your body will know what it can do easily on the calories you give it. Your stomach will have probably shrunk a little so you dont feel so hungry. Its telling you that everything is nice and comfortable, and so now you have to up the challenge a step.
This is how I look at plateaux now. Not a worry, but a step taken, and a battle won on the road to ultimate victory. Most victories have been achieved by subtle changes in tactics, and thats what you need when you hit that plateau. It may be cutting down on the 'Naughty but Nice' (I'm ashamed to say thats my next step). It could be your own tried and tested way to boost your efforts, or it could be as simple as changing your meals about, or adjusting times etc. There is no wrong way, because we are all individuals and what works for one may not work for another. I'm not saying the ideas I read are of no use. I am just saying that if we think of the situation as a help rather than a problem, we are part way to succeeding on the next stage of our journey to our goals
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Alternative therapies have been enjoying a vogue in recent years, but most of them are by no means new. Aromatherapy is no exception. It is my favourite of the alternatives on offer, and I believe it to be one of the safest. Nothing is taken by mouth, so that the risk of overdoses is avoided.
What is Aromatherapy? Basically it is the use of 'essential' oils extracted from plants, flowers and resins, usually by distillation, to alleviate symptoms and speed the healing of various illnesses and conditions. In latter years this has increasingly involved massage of affected areas, which indeed is a useful and effective therapy in its own right. There are various ways to use the oils but massage is definitely a favourite with many. Other means include hot and cold compresses, addition to a bath, lotions, ointments, inhalations, in a vapouriser or a diffuser. The choice of method varies with preference and the nature of the complaint- from athletes foot to bronchitis, insect bites to varicose veins, and acne to zits.
To really appreciate Aromatherapy, it helps to know a little about its past. The use of aromatic plants and oils has been known all over the world for thousands of years , in incense, cosmetics, and for medicinal and culinary purposes.The ancient Egyptians were reknowned for their hebal preparations, ointments and perfumes. Hippocrates, 'the father of medicine' is known to have prescribed aromatic remedies. The Bible has many references to 'precious ointments and gums' , anointing oils, and rare herbs and spices. Much of this knowledge came to the Western world during the Crusades, and of course trade with the east. In around 900 AD , there was a great step forward in the distillation process which made extraction much easier and efficient, and therefore the volatile
essential oils were more readily available. 'Volatile' means they evaporate easily, so this is why inhalation is a suitable method of application.
"Aromatherapy" was a term coined by Rene-Maurice Gattefosse in 1928. He was a French chemist, working in this family perfumery business. He discovered by accident that lavender oil was able to heal a severe burn on his hand and help prevent scarring. It had already been discovered that essential oils are all antiseptic in varying degrees. Maguerite Maury, a Beauty therapist and Dr Jean Valnet both used Aromatherapy successfully in the '60s in their various fields, when it was popular. It has been less in demand during intervening years , but is now experiencing a revival.
It is not just the smell that is theraputic in the oils. They each have a unique combination of constituents which interacts with the body's chemistry in numerous ways. Once they have entered the body, through the skin(bath , application, compress etc) or lungs (inhalation), they are absorbed into the bloodstream and are transported throughout the body. It is important to remember that everyone's body is also unique so the results of use can vary from person to person, and for this reason, certain factors , such as allergies or medical conditions , and of course pregnancy, have to be taken into consideration when selecting the most suitable oils for an individual.
If you would like to try Aromatherapy for yourself, I would recommend that first you read a book or two from the library. My 'Guru' is Julia Lawless , and I always look at her books first, but there are many books out there worth reading. I would also suggest you check locally for stores to supply the carrier oils, essential oils and other items you may require. The internet probably offers many alternatives if there are none locally. A Word of Warning:- Many of the oils can be expensive,but the amount used each time is very small as the oils are so concentrated. I would not buy large numbers or amounts of oil especially at first. There are so many available, but so few you use regularly. I intend to write more blogs , including the oils I would suggest, so this may help with your choice.
If you dont wish to slash out yourself, then there are many reputable practitioners who can help you. They may even be attached to your Doctor's Surgery.
By the way, you dont have to be ill to enjoy the benefits of Aromatherapy! The oils make wonderful 'fresheners' for Pot -pourri.
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Sometimes, I wonder what is happening to our society. When I was a child, I would walk to and from school, or go by bus, when I went to high school. I went on my own or with friends. I would say 'good morning' to people as I passed, even if I didn't know them. In most cases I would get a reply, or people would talk to me first.
When you went into a store, the staff would be polite, saying' hello' and' please' and 'thankyou'. If you needed help you could ask anyone, or if you had an accident, however small, there was always someone to help. People offered seats on buses and trains, or helped with luggage, or made polite gestures, such as raising a hat or opening a door. In short, we were all living in a world of other human beings, to whom we spoke, or were pleasant to in other ways. We enjoyed company, and having others as part of our daily lives.
Now adays, I can walk from one end of town to the other without speaking to a soul, or them speaking to me. Assistants just say how much money they want from you, and only pack your bag because they are told to by the boss. We ferry our children to and from school by car, causing pollution and traffic congestion, because we dont dare let them go alone. Passengers on trains and buses sit so that no one can get past them or sit in the seat beside them. People push past you in the supermarkets and streets. they stand talking to friends in front of doorways, or in the middle of the path, and there are seldom any signs that they have even noticed your presence.
I find it frightening, because if we have drifted this far apart from other human beings, other than those in our immediate family or CLOSED circle of friends, in this short time, then how long will it be before we are completely isolated from each other? Its almost as though we fear each other, or at the very least hold others in contempt.
The population of the world is increasing by the day. How uncomfortable life would be if we lived in fear of others, yet needing to live together in crowded towns and cities. Man is a social animal by nature, living naturally in communities. However, our society as a whole has changed, making the natural increasingly unpleasant and more and more difficult.
It opens up other questions too. When we were on better terms with others, there was much less stress. Although the pace of life was slower and less stressful that way, it was less stressful because we knew that there was always 'Someone' out there who could and would help , if only with advice. We were all more polite and caring. " Good manners cost nothing" is as true now, in this age of supreme financial importance, as it was then.
I have started to try to' turn the tide'. For some time now I have been making an effort to say 'hello' to three people whom I do not know , every day that I can. Its not always possible but I try. I also try to be more helpful. Both these can be difficult as Im no longer able to work and I cant get about as I used to. If everyone else did the same thing, I like to think that before long, we would have a much happier, friendlier and hopefully better world .
Get An Email Alert Each Time DOTTYDRUID Posts