Welcome back to Austen Promises and the Writer’s Journal!
Disclaimer: I have packed almost everything into this post. LOL So … there are links here that will lead to Amazon and, though they do not cost you anything if you click on them, they may result in me receiving a small payment if you do. Also, I mention my faith in this post, so if you find that offensive, you might want to scroll on by and read something else. 🙂
With the weather turning colder, triggering unhappy feelings, I have begun planning for winter. I knew I had discussed this in a couple previous posts, so I went back to see how long it had been, and was surprised to discover that the last time I wrote about taking care of myself was in January! So, here I am now, with another update.
I’m happy to report that I have walked—either walking my dogs or push-mowing the grass—almost every day since May first. I went ninety straight days of it, then got lax starting in August. I should start a new count now that the weather is often iffy. I have used the treadmill this week when I could not take the dogs for a walk due to rain and thunderstorms.
Actually, I have had to make a mental shift as far as walking the dogs goes. When we began doing it, we walked whenever … no set time. Then, the weather got hot, and we were forced to walk first thing in the morning, before the sun was even up. Well, now it’s cool again (ok, cold by my definition, but whatever) and I had to literally tell myself to wait to walk until after I showered and dressed. Because, seriously, who wants to wander the streets in pajamas in January? Not I!
Anyway, my leg muscles have gained in strength, and I have increased my stamina. This was great in July, when my sister and I went to Kentucky Speedway. I did not feel worn out at all, and even made the climb from my seat to the concourse after the race without too much trouble. However, I have realized recently that I am stiff and achy all over, and that my shoulders are once again showing signs of impingement syndrome. I need to do some stretches to increase my flexibility and reduce pain, and I need to adjust my eating habits if I ever hope to lose weight.
At the race, it was horribly hot and humid, and I was miserable. When I get overheated, I don’t want to eat, even when my stomach is screaming in hunger, so I end up filling it with things like diet pop and milkshakes. They taste great and make me feel full, but are not nutritious at all. The same thing happened at home when it was hot and nasty.
To solve the problem of achiness and stiffness, I have purchased a stretching video. Lots of people suggested yoga to me, but my investigations into it make it clear that yoga is inextricably part of the Hindu religion. The poses are all positions of worship to Hindu gods, and I cannot and will not do that. Even if you replace chanting and stuff with scripture and hymns, it’s still yoga. However, I need the stretching, so I did some research and found Praise Moves. Praise Moves is a stretching program that does not use yoga positions. There was a second program I could have gotten, but I can’t recall what it was now. I just liked Praise Moves better. So, I will be doing 20 minutes or more of stretching every day, beginning this week.
For the dietary changes, I’m going to work on replacing pasta and bread with vegetables as much as I can. Of course, the only veggies I like, other than broccoli, are all starchy, but I’m assured that starchy veggies are more nutritious than bread and pasta. Here’s hoping. 😉
The biggest thing on my winter self-care checklist is the seasonal depression. I have checked my supply of Vitamin D. I have enough for seven months, because I purchased some back in August when I realized that I was not getting out in the sun often enough. I should be good until the end of April with that, and by then, the sun will be coming out again. I will be restocking the little pads for my diffuser, and making sure I have enough essential oils to get me through the winter. I think I need some peppermint, because I used it all in a failed attempt to deter mice over the summer. I plan to continue walking the dogs as often as I can, though once it gets really cold, I’ll have to limit that and use the treadmill. But walking and stretching both will be a big help. Finally, I am stocking up on Bible study topics and resources, because God time is still going to be the best medicine.
Are you taking care of yourself? What are your best tips for doing so in the winter?
Come back next Wednesday for another peek into my journal! <3