Archives for April 2014

Bucket List Day!

Do you have a Bucket List?  I have not formally written one, but I have always had a few ideas floating around my head.  Last week, my family traveled to Amelia Island, Florida for Spring Break. (More details on the island to come in another post.)  Amelia Island is one of the few places in the United States where you can horseback ride on the beach.  This particular activity has always been one of my top Bucket List items and I am happy to say I have checked it off my list.  Next to my wedding day and the birth/adoption of my girls, this was one of the happiest days of my life.  I could not stop smiling!

It was a spectacular, sunny, cloudless day with temperatures in the 70’s.  We chose Debbie with Ride The Beaches of Amelia Island and I highly recommend her.  She was friendly and has an obvious love of horses.  The proceeds from the cost of the ride are donated to a horse rescue.

Oldest and Little One enjoyed the ride and even the Mister seemed to have a great time.  Here is a picture collage of our experience:

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So if you love horses and are looking for a once in a lifetime experience, I would highly recommend this!  This whole experience inspired me to sit and write down my Bucket List.  Taking the leap and doing something on my list gave me great joy and a re-newed energy and outlook on my life.  So I started my list and here are my top three:

1.Ride a horse on the beach. (check)

2.Visit Hawaii with my Mom and family.

3. Be a contestant on a game show. (I know this is a weird one, but I love game shows!)

I would love to hear from you in the comments section.  What are your top three Bucket List items?  Maybe I’ll get some good ideas from your list!

~Blessings,

Jen

10 Ways to Build Your Self Esteem

self esteem

1. Be nice to yourself; this means taking care of all basic needs every day and never using negativity or name calling to yourself.

2. Use positive affirmations every day. Things such as, “I am worthwhile, I matter, I love myself, I am important. I encourage you to do these in from of a mirror 2 or 3 times a day.

3. Accept compliments by simply saying, “thank you.”

4. Find somewhere to volunteer. I guarantee it will make you feel better.

5. Find a cheerleader; someone who will support you and help you realize that you matter. Someone who will continually encourage you.

6. Do something nice for yourself every day. A hot bath, a good book, a walk, it can be anything of your choosing that is just for youl

7. Explore new things. Make a list of everything you’ve ever wanted to do. Separate the list into two columns. One is things I could do right now, the other is things I hope eventually to do. It could be joining a club, organization, etc., taking a class, finding a new hobby, even if you find you don’t like what you’ve tried, that’s okay. Remember this is the exploring stage.

8. Always remember that you always pick yourself up. Even if you feel like you failed, if you are still working on it, that means you got back up as many times as you failed.

9. Surround yourself with positive people. You become who you spend the most time with. Make sure it is good things.

10. Every night write down 5 things you were grateful for that day. It can be big or small. Even something as simple as the sun was out.

This is a start. I hope that you will try working on some of these things. Too many people don’t believe they are worthy or equal to others. I am here to tell you that is a big lie. You do matter, you are important and you deserve the best.

Take care,

Julie

Acceptance

AcceptanceAcceptance………seems like such a simple word doesn’t it. I guess when you think about acceptance it can mean a few different things. The acceptance I want to talk about today is perfectly illustrated in this cartoon. Sometimes we just have to accept things as they are. I have been going to physical therapy for my back for the last 3 weeks. I love therapy. I love having someone train me and help me get stronger. In my heart, I am an athlete. Yes, in my heart I am an athlete….in reality, I have fibromyalgia which causes debilitating aches and pains. This means that while my heart may be willing, my body is not always able to do what I want. This brings me to acceptance. I have to accept that I can’t do everything that may come natural to some people. My therapist will tell you I work hard when I’m there. I do everything he says and do it perfectly. What he doesn’t know is that I suffer for that later. Why would I do that you may ask? Well, I guess it is because I don’t want to “accept” that things are the way they are. I have had many an addict react in anger that they suffer from this terrible disease and wonder why they can’t be like “normal people.” And I tell them, because you can’t, and you aren’t…you must accept that this is your reality. So……….. I guess it is time to practice what I preach!!! Yeah, sometimes I need to look in the mirror and give myself a little therapy!! Acceptance – it can cover a lot of things….addiction, illness, a disability, and death. Life will become easier I believe when we just accept that it is what it is. I think that will bring a more peaceful state of mind….what do you think? Anything you are struggling with trying to accept?

Have a great weekend!

Julie

P.S. Today I told my physical therapist that I just can’t keep up the pace he has set for me. He was very understanding and made adjustments!! So…there is hope for me yet!!

A Tip To Ease Low Back Pain

I incurred a back injury last year and had to go through many weeks of physical therapy to try to correct the problem. While going through therapy, I realized it was the combination of many small tips they gave me that yielded the best results throughout my recovery.

One tip that was so simple and easy, but has made such a difference in my pain relief was to use something for low back support when I was sitting in my office chair at work and home.  If you research on-line you will see many expensive options for special chairs and cushions for lower back support. My physical therapist suggested an inexpensive, small exercise ball for support.  You can find them at any sporting good or discount store.  I am a fan of on-line shopping and I found mine here .  This is what is looks like:

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To use for low back support you partially inflate the ball and then place between your lower back and the chair.  It helps you maintain good posture when sitting and it makes your back feel supported.  It immediately relieved the pain I had when sitting in a chair.  Here is what it looks like partially inflated:

IMG_0151I know it looks kind of weird, but it really worked for me!  I hope you do not deal with lower back pain, but if you do, this a very inexpensive piece of equipment to try.  How about you?  Does anyone have any tips for low back pain relief they would like to share?  We would love to hear from you!

~Blessings,

Jen