You know how Christmas cakes start coming out in stores sometime around July? And how, after months of sitting in the back of your pantry, it’s still perfectly safe to eat? That’s because your average Christmas cake is stuffed with enough sugar and booze to keep it preserved until the end of times. Which makes…
Colleen’s new blog – A Mindful Journey has inspired me to have another go.
The next cause of high BP to tackle was exercise. Not an easy one for me – too many easy excuses for avoiding formal exercise session at gyms and sports halls.
I started by trying to increase the amount of walking I do. Quite easy in the summer but not in the winter.
In January I began Tai Chi classes. They are deceptively gentle and I’m really enjoying them but still have a long, long way to go with it.
A fortnight ago I got a new bike. Since then I’ve been out riding as often as I can, only for half an hour at a time so far, but I have plans…
The next step in my campaign to reduce my BP was to turned my attention to was stress. A difficult area as so much of it is beyond my control.
I am a teacher and to quote Sir Cary Cooper, Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health at the University of Manchester’s Business School – “Of all the occupations I’ve studied, and that’s about 80, teachers are in the top three most stressed occupations. The hours are long and antisocial, the workload is heavy and there is change for change’s sake from various governments.”
I started by changing little things that I can control, like limiting how much work I do at home and using the time to take up drawing again. This in turn led me to Zentangle, “relaxing, and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structured patterns. It increases focus and creativity, provides artistic satisfaction along with an increased sense of personal well-being”.
I was doing quite well with this until recently when my aged father took a turn for the worse and is no longer able to look after himself. I am in the process of getting Power of Attorney – a long and protracted process here – whilst trying to get him the best care possible. Stress levels soared ! Now that the initial urgency of the situation has passed I am starting to Zentangle again.
After a few years of being on the high side, about a year ago my blood pressure went sky high! It was enough to shock me into action and, if I’m really honest, it was not before time.
A little research revealed the main causes of high BP are:
- too much salt
- not eat enough fruit and vegetables
- not being active enough
- being overweight
- drinking alcohol
Although nothing can be done about the first two, I began to work my way through the rest of the list.
The first thing I did was to give up drinking alcohol – on 23rd June it will be a year.
Yeah!! One down five to go!