I’m about ten days out from knee surgery and healing is not proceeding as hoped. Just about everything is harder than it should be: walking, sleeping, straightening my leg, bending my leg, showering, getting dressed, respecting my limitations, simply feeling comfortable.
The night after surgery, I took myself through a yoga nidra practice. While lying in that hospital bed, the intention I am at ease came through strong and clear. That mantra has reverberated loudly over the last week and a half.
Continue reading “I wish you ease”
Today is my dad’s birthday. A birthday he likely wouldn’t be celebrating without the generosity of blood donors.
Last spring, my dad had a health incident which required extraordinary life-saving measures, including multiple blood transfusions. He received exceptional medical care, but probably wouldn’t have survived without replacing at least some of the blood that he lost.
Continue reading “Happy birthday, dad!”
A few days ago I trepidatiously did my first downward-facing dog in over a month. The last day I did downward-facing dog or any sustained forward-folding posture, I had an extreme nose bleed. The forward-folding may have contributed to a scab from the septoplasty surgery I had three weeks prior coming off, which triggered major bleeding.
On July 29, I had blood streaming from my nose and mouth for hours – more blood than I thought possible. Thankfully, Dr Nabi (the otolaryngologist who performed my septoplasty) met me at the hospital and we were able to stop the bleeding before I required a transfusion.
Continue reading “Nosing forward”
This time last week my nose was bleeding profusely, the result of septoplasty surgery some hours before. The surgery went exceptionally well; the surgeon was delighted, I had no adverse reaction to the general anaesthetic, and a recovery room nurse even called me “bright as a berry.” Everything from waking up at 5:30am that morning and not eating to pre-op prep through to walking out of the hospital was almost effortless – much easier than I thought it would be.
The recovery, however, was not as smooth as I had anticipated.
Continue reading “The nose knows”
February 27 was Pink Shirt Day and there were a lot of people wearing pink in Vancouver. The day is meant to draw awareness to bullying and empower people to stand up against it.
While I’m not convinced that encouraging dress code conformity (and perhaps alienating those who aren’t wearing pink) is the way to make a positive impact, I do think that looking at the causes of bullying and how to stop it is a good thing.
Continue reading “The bully inside”
Around this time last year I wrote about mental health and how the previous February had been a low point. This February, my mental health continues on an up-swing. I’ve been off of anti-depressants for about eight months, I’m feeling more secure in my own skin, and I’ve found all kinds of joy (including vacations with friends and shave ice!).
I still struggle with feelings of inadequacy and periods where negative self-talk makes me feel worthless. I still wish that there was some kind of guarantee that I won’t ever be clinically depressed again. I still get anxious and sad and worried. I still sometimes feel directionless and unsure of how to be happy.
I am getting more comfortable approaching recovering from depression as a non-linear process without an end point. The quest for mental wellness is an ongoing part of my life, as I think it is for most people.
Talking about mental health overall and making it okay to prioritize mental wellness is an important step in managing mental illness. Today is Bell Let’s Talk Day, which aims to reduce the stigma around mental illness (like depression) and supports mental health initiatives in Canada. For every tweet using #BellLetsTalk and every Facebook share of the Bell Let’s Talk image, Bell will donate 5¢ to mental health related programs through the Bell Mental Health Initiative.
I think the most profound impact Let’s Talk can have is not in terms of money, but encouraging people not to be ashamed or afraid of mental health issues. Mental wellness is a complex concept with a lot of contributing factors and creating comfortable space to talk about the quest to be mentally healthy is a big deal.
A blissful few days of being almost entirely unplugged, along with time spent playing in the snow and the holiday routine of food, friends, and family has left me feeling rejuvenated and relaxed. While the tryptophan from turkey might have something to do with the relaxation, being outdoors also contributes to my feelings of well-being.
The Biophilia Hypothesis posits “that there is an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems.” Basically that connecting with the biological world around us feeds some deep-seated psychological need and improves our mental state.
I first heard the term “biophilia” on The Peak’s Suzuki Report segments and the idea immediately made sense. It’s rare that I don’t feel better, calmer, and invigorated after a wander through the woods or a walk along the water. And the magic of a winter wonderland like nearby Seymour Mountain brings me an additional sense of awe and gratitude!
Happy winter and happy holidays! Hope there’s some more snow-filled-nature-time in the near future 🙂