Take The Ice Bucket Challenge!? – No Thanks

You cant fail to notice the world’s gone nuts over the ice bucket challenge. People are pouring ice cold water over themselves in a bid to raise awareness for charitable causes such as ALS and Macmillan to name but two. The effect however is becoming somewhat diluted the longer the craze goes on. It seems to me that people are forgetting or neglecting the real reason the challenge came about – to raise awareness and funds for these good causes. That aside there is also the issue over whether people should be wasting water when there are still countries with chronic clean water shortages.

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Whatever your view, I for one won’t be picking up the gauntlet. Why? Well because extreme temperatures pose a lymphoedema risk. Cancer Research UK state…

Avoid extremes of temperature, both hot and cold, including saunas, steam rooms and very hot baths or showers

I wouldn’t recommend trying this by any means, but this ice bucket challenge did make me giggle…

And for those who really want to do something worthwhile…

Glastonbury Chalice Well

chalice-wellThe Chalice Well is a natural spring found within the walls of the World Peace Garden, a beautiful, calming oasis at the foot of Glastonbury Tor, which has been in use for over two thousand years.

Christian mythology suggests that Chalice Well marks the site where Joseph of Arimathea placed the chalice that had caught the drops of Christ’s blood at the Crucifixion, linking the Well to the wealth of speculation surrounding the existence of the Holy Grail.

The red of the water is said by some Christians to represent the rusty iron nails used at the Crucifixion. It is said that beneath its waters Joseph of Aramithea hid the Chalice of the Last Supper and immediately the waters flowed red.

Legend has it that the water has healing properties, this may be however because it contains iron oxide, which gives it a red tinge.

Last week I was in the area so I went to take a look. It really was the perfect spot to take in the afternoon sun on what was a beautiful spring day, and an ideal opportunity to sample the healing water for myself. You can drink the water for free (there is however a small charge to enter the garden).

(Source: Wikipedia)

A Bit of R & R

tree-hug1Since the start of the year I’ve become increasingly anxious about my first annual check up, which is now less than 2 weeks away.

3 weeks ago I could feel the pressure mounting and with the stress of working 12 days back to back and longer hours in general without a break, I had to get away and fast. Luckily I had a strong feeling this was going to be the case at the start of the year so had booked 2 weeks off work before Easter in order to take some time out and a break away from the norm.

If you’ve ever been on a post cancer workshop you will know that they strongly recommend planning in to your daily routine things such as exercise, being with friends, doing things for you, having some quiet time and being out in nature. This was exactly how I planned my time off, with something fun and/or relaxing to do pretty much every day. Long walks in the country, climbing trees, hugging trees, having fun with friends and trying new things. With no internet connection and not checking my phone every 10 minutes, it was certainly in that respect, just what the doctor ordered.

All I hope now is that I can continue to feel calmer in the run up to the hospital appointment over the next 2 weeks.

Shopping For The Future

The concept of a vision board isn’t new to me but for some reason I had never actually made one. Why? I have no idea, as they are super easy, fun and very therapeutic, and, will make a huge difference to my future happiness, if you believe they work.

Not knowing where to start, or perhaps not wanting to start and getting it wrong, I got together with some friends at the weekend and we talked about what we want in our lives and what we would do if we had no restrictions or limitations. This made the process of starting the board so much easier because I felt I already had a clear “vision” of what it should be.

Magazines, scissors, board and a glue stick where all I needed to get going. Flipping through the pages I cut out pictures and words that summed up the future I wanted for myself, it was like bagging up my shopping to take home and enjoy. Anything could be mine and it was right there for the taking.

Freedom, health, happiness, finances, it’s all on my board and much, much more. Here’s a section of it so you can see what I mean…

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The swing seat, running more, making a difference, enjoying the countryside and the beach, good health and general well being, and that’s just one part of it. The great thing is, the board can grow and change. There are no limitations!

Talking it through with friends and making it together made my vision board even more special.

The suggestion is that we look at our vision boards for a few minutes every day and picture ourselves already enjoying the things that we see. Nothing is considered out of reach or “too much”. If you like you can take a picture on your phone so you can have your vision board with you when you are out and about, or add it as a screen saver to your pc while you work or browse the internet for more things to add to it. You can have separate boards for work, home, family, finances or put them all on to one (this is what I’ve done). I’ve also imagined that I’m enjoying the benefits within a particular time frame (that’s my project manager side coming out). It really is about whatever works for you. Let your imagination run wild!

I Feel the Need the Need to Knead

From time to time my arm can still feel a bit stiff and achy. Having moved on from the physiotherapy soft play ball I was using after surgery and then the play-dough, it occurred to me that perhaps kneading bread would be a great workout for my arm.

When I was little I used to make bread with my Gran and remembered that kneading the bread would really make my arms ache – the sign of a good workout. So, as I’m on a bit of a health drive I thought I would try to get in the habit of making my own bread. Now-a-days you can buy packets of prepared bread mix to which you only need to add some water, so if complicated recipes are not your thing or if you simply don’t have the time to do it all from scratch, why not grab a bag of pre-mix and give it a go.

Alternatively, as I found out this week for the first time, decorating a cake in fondant icing will also do the trick. You could even go all out and put the electric mixer away and beat the cake mixture by hand!

Whatever works for you one thing’s for sure, cooking and baking my own food not only gives me control over what I eat but it’s a healthier and better for me and my arm.