by Angi Ingalls
PCOS in ConnecTion
I’m sure by now you have made your New Year’s Resolution. I wonder what may be on that list? “Get out of debt?” or “Get organized?”, surely “Lose weight” or “Exercise more” is on there somewhere.
Let’s face it, we all make resolutions and try our best to keep them. Ah, but how long have those resolutions lasted in the past? A month? Weeks? Days?
What if I told you that you have the power to make those resolutions last until the next year? No scoffing allowed. Really! You do!
I believe that the most important part of our living is to experience all of our senses and the world around us. Our lives should not become just about getting through the day and making money. We should be experiencing as much as we can to have a fulfilling and rich life. Our environment directly impacts our health and our desires in many different ways. If we live in stress or constant lows our desire to keep our resolutions fade and we open ourselves up for an unhealthy lifestyle.
When we keep our brain active in the world around us, our self esteem will rise, our mental health will be better, our soul will become more at peace, our desire to do more exploring is heightened and our sense of self is deeper. All of these improvements increase our desire to live well and we become stronger to deal with future issues in a positive manner.
Let’s think about each of our senses. What can we do that will help us open up to the world we live in while putting our senses to good use? What is available in your community for you to explore and experience?
Many people have found great strength in journaling. I know it sounds time consuming but it doesn’t have to be. You can make it fun and part of your daily routine. All you need are pens of different colors, your journal and maybe some magazines and glue. Choose a color of pen to suit your emotions every day. If you feel depressed; use blue to write your thoughts down. Who knows, maybe by the end you will be writing in pink. Clip and paste pictures from magazines to help express yourself… could be a food you desire, a picture of a dress you want to fit into, maybe a dog to show your need to cuddle. Drawing and doodling are great ways to express yourself without words. Find time during breaks, while eating a meal or just watching TV to fill that book. It’s also a great way to relieve stress and remind yourself what you may need to discuss with your doctor. I also suggest adding what you eat in the journal as well as marking the emotion you are feeling when you do eat. It’s a great way to see if you are eating because of emotion or because of hunger and how much of your daily diet includes unhealthy foods. You will learn what changes you need to make in your eating habits and help encourage you to stick to a healthier lifestyle. Be inventive and think outside the box on what your journal could be. Most importantly, make it yours.
One of the best ways you can help get your life under control is reaching out to others – not only to your medical community but with your friends or others around you. When you get together with friends and family, you have an opportunity to express your feelings to someone who can give you feedback. How about joining a support or event group in your area? If you love to dance, join a belly or ballroom dancing class – and you don’t need to go with someone to participate. Get your friends together for a spa day. Treat yourself to a soothing massage or a pedicure while spending time with your closest friends. Or, how about a hiking group? There are many courses provided in your community college or night school for you to explore. If all else fails, start a group for something you enjoy.
I personally love the smell of fresh cut grass, roses, and lilacs. One of my favorite places to go is a large public garden – like the Botanical Gardens. I love to visit Body Works in the mall to smell the different lotions and perfumes. I also love to smell coffee, although I don’t drink it. You can always find me around our Keurig machine at home whenever my boyfriend makes some coffee. I am usually the one to finish making it just to smell the aroma a little longer. What are your favorite scents? What can you do to explore your sense of smell? Look in your community paper to see what events are coming to your area to help you explore your sense of smell.
One of the best images I have retained in my head was of a sky with two rainbows, one above the other following the same path. I must have been about 16 years old when this happened. Above the first rainbow was a blue sky, between the two the sky was pitch black and below the bottom rainbow was grey-blue. I may not have had a camera but the shot still remains in my thoughts. Since then, I have taken up photography to help me savor many images that my brain may not be able to retain. It has been a great way to see things I might have normally taken for granted. Other ways to cue into your sight is visiting new places – museums, parks, aquariums, farms, the beach, stores, to name a few. Find something to do every weekend, something new, and see what happens to your psyche in the process.
How often have you heard something on the radio and your mood has changed? Or a song reminded you of an event in your past? Music has been my number one source of relaxation and euphoria. Music is not the only thing that can bring emotions out, words of poetry can also do the same. Think about visiting a concert, a poetry meeting, theatre, the ocean or a waterfall, or maybe even join your local Audubon Society and go on an outing. Find what connects your ears to your soul.
Now this one can certainly get us into trouble. The first thing that comes to my mind is chocolate … chocoooolaaaaate … ooh so yummy melty dark chocolate. :snap: Right, ok, back on track. So as I was saying, this one can be tricky. The key to this whole assignment is to find new things, not something we are familiar – and make sure it is healthy or if a treat, make it a small portion. My suggestion is to check out ‘ Eating in the Raw’ by Carol Alt. There are new foods and recipes I am sure you can experience. Maybe look into your local Whine Fest or go fruit picking. Find some event that can give you a good experience and adventure into your taste buds.
I hope this assignment gets you inspired to try it. The whole point is to explore into the unfamiliar and help lift your mind and soul. When you bring positive feelings to the world around you, you help improve your health. Your life should be about living, adventuring, and being happy.
Do you have some ideas you would like to share?
Angi Ingalls; PCOS in ConnecTion
Guest PCOS writer
Educator for over 18 years
Diagnosed in 1985 at 12, living with PCOS since 1981