Tag Archives: yoga

What I Keep in My Self-Care toolkit

Hey bb’s!

2311886-woman-doing-yoga-in-nature-lotus-figure-on-wooden-bridge-dot-photocase-stock-photo-large.jpeg

I hope that you are enjoying the sun if it is sunny where you are. It is crazy sunny and hot over here in Canada, but it is so nice to see the sun.

My last post was about 4 Reasons Why Self Care is Hard. Even though it’s hard, I still do it. I am pretty sure I would be a disaster area if I never practiced it. Maybe my toolkit will help you with creating your own self care toolkit, if you haven’t already done so.

1. Meditate
Meditating is essential to my self care toolkit. as I have Psychogenic Non epileptic seizures, doing 5 minutes of meditation before bed helps to relax me and cool down my anxiety before sleep. If you’re anxious, I find that anxiety often pops up the most before sleep because the TV is off, you’re in bed, and you can  only hear the beat of your heart. (OK, that was a bit cheesy). I use an App called Insight Timer, and there are a tonne of different meditations, for different lengths. It also notifies you when you have reached milestones with your meditation, so that helps with staying motivated.

2. Apply a Facemask
My Fiancee and I often do facemasks on Fridays, to celebrate the end of the work week and also to wind down from current stressors. If you follow me on Instagram at joeyjo422, you will see that I love a good facemask.

3. Practice Yoga
This feels like a typical North American/Millenial/hipster thing to say, but I find that simply practicing the poses puts me in a better state of mind.  I hate the North Americanization of Yoga, but that’s for another post, maybe? Since moving away from my key yoga studio, I find I practice Yoga online mostly. If you want someone to check out try: The best yoga chanell!!   I know this lady in real life and she is fantastic.

4. Grab Coffee with friends
I always enjoy grabbing coffee with a friend, as I am able to catch up with them and am staying connected to my social circle. I also enjoy spending time by myself and read a good book while sipping on some java. (omg I sound so old school today! What’s going on??!)

5. Listen to Music
I feel like this one would be in most people’s self care kits. I always love waking up to Amy Winehouse, and then maybe listen to some Halsey in the afternoon. It totally depends on the vibe of the day! I also really appreciate live concerts, but those can add up in terms of cost.

6. Watch Stand up Comedy on Netflix
I got into Stand up comedy when I was super depressed about 3 years ago, with dire hopes to maybe get a laugh out of my monotone self. It was a good effort, and in that time I discovered Iliza Schlesinger. She is super hilarious and I highly suggest her newest Netflix special “Confirmed Kills”, if stand up comedy is your kinda thing.

7. Spend time with my fiancee
I love spending time with my fiancee, and doing fun things like going to the farmer’s market or even grocery shopping. She is super special and makes me really happy. I would have to say that a key part of having people in your self care toolkit is to make sure they make you happy and you don’t have a toxic relationship with them.

I think I could go on and on with regards to what’s in my toolkit, but those are the basic ones that I rely on. I also realize that self care means something different to everyone. When I was on Instagram, I saw that my friend had gone camping, and one of the hashtags she used was #selfcare. I find that super cool!  If I was able to run I would totally have running in my toolkit, but that’s off the table, just for now. What’s in your toolkit? Do we have the same ones?!

Lots of love,

Sita Gaia xox

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Sita Gaia VS. Exercise

Hey bb’s,

18268368_10154392609790776_7290771774937748565_nWoohoo it is almost summer! Finally done with the hybernating!
I have been feeling a bit down today but I had some errands around the house to do so I did them because I knew that would help. I have gone on and off being a couch potato as TV is one of the major things that calm my stress and anxiety. I remember coming home from high school in Grade 12 and Oprah was on and i felt my stress melt away as I stretched out on the couch.
In university I went to the gym 5 days a week and did Zumba on Monday nights and sometimes even Sunday mornings! I was a bit of a gym rat, and going to the gym relaxed my stress from school and relationship issues. At 21, it became difficult to go to the gym due to my uncontrolled seizures and decided that yoga would ultimately be my workout. I love yoga, but I missed that satisfaction of a sweaty workout.

Today I was looking at the photos that I put up, and one of them was of just me that my friend took in my other friend’s Jeep See above.. We were all headed to the beach and I looked so happy. “What happened to that Sita Gaia?!” I asked out loud. I quickly decided to actually use my fitness clothes that were sitting there, and I popped on my headphones and snapback. Let me tell you: running after a long time was hard and I am sure I was huffing and puffing but that’s okay! I came home and since it was SO hot out, I pointed the oscillating fan in front of me as I did more full body exercises. I feel more like myself now and my low mood has been replaced with serotonin. It’s fucking fantastic! Sure, I won’t be able to do this everyday, but this is literally a step in the right direction!!

Love,
Sita & Jojo

Yoga, Some Chocolate, and a Downpour

Hey friends,

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This neatly ties up what my evening was like. It was a beautiful evening to start: I did two different yoga classes, and one was brand new to me. I realize now that I wasn’t being harsh or judging myself for not understanding how to get into some of the poses. I just went with the flow, as one would say. At the end of the class my foot might have been sore, my hips open, but there was a gratitude that my body was telling me. If I had the energy, I would have stayed for Zumba after, but I needed to get home.
I had that hankering for chocolate, and even though one of the members of the studio dropped off a huge bowl of chocolate to celebrate International Women’s day (March 8), I wanted some goodies for myself.
Off I trekked to the Pharmacy, and preyed for a few short seconds that my card wouldn’t be declined.  I then sauntered home in the pouring rain. (Chocolate in hand!)
It was very soothing, albeit wet to walk home in the rain. I often feel more at one with myself in the rain.

Love you all xox

Loving Life Through the Practice of Yoga

yoga poseHey everyone. Hope you are having a beautiful week. I have recently been thinking about my yoga practice, and what it does for me. For a very long time I was not drawn towards yoga, because I didn’t think I was flexible enough. I have learned so much though. I have learned though that Yoga is not so much about being bendy and able to to all of the poses perfectly. It is more about meeting where your body is at. Our bodies are able to do different things on different days. I would love to do some of the poses that I work on, but due to my overly flexible feet, it is difficult. I’m okay with that.

girl reading book.jpgLast week I was feeling grumpy because I had just seen my psychologist. I usually have grumpy days when I see him. Not because he is a bad psychologist, but he brings to the surface the stress and upset I feel in my life. My mum always takes me to my appointments, and she suggested that I go to a coffee shop after my appointment and just relax, and to spend some time with my thoughts or a book. (Mums are so wise!)

So I ordered a latte and sat down with my book. I observed the older gentlemen sitting in front of me. They were like a camaraderie of old men who must enjoy each other’s time together. I looked through my book, which was filled with photography, and dreamed of living in France or Montreal, which is where the photos were taken. I was able to decompress from my Psych session. Somehow I felt like I was coming back to myself and I felt more centred. I feel as though the meditation part of yoga (savasana) has really allowed myself to become centred and come back to who I really am in times of distress. I have learned how to apply these practices to everyday life, which is so useful!

The energy and self acceptance that I feel from meditation is wonderful. I feel happier about my seizure control these days, and perhaps yoga has played a role?

So, I suggest that if you feel that you need to come back to yourself, or feel recentred, try meditation and or yoga. It has done wonders for me, maybe it will for you too!

Love you lots xox

Looking Back on 2015: A Reflection

Hey friends! Happy New Years! I can’t believe it is a brand spanking new year already! 2015 was so crazy I can barely remember what happened. (I blame the amount of seizures for the poor memory).

My Epileptologist said that my seizures have decreased from 50 a month to 30 a month which is a big triumph. I still seize a lot though and am constantly tired which is a bit of a drag. My depression has gone away thanks to some medication which I am very thankful for. I wish that I did not have to take so much medication, but if it semi-controls my seizures then I will go with it. I also battled very severe depression which landed me in the hospital for a night which was the most terrifying night of my life. Thankfully I finally agreed to take anti-depressants and my depression has gone away.

Despite the depression, 2015 was a lot better for me because I feel more involved in my parent’s city, and I have been making many new friends. Making new friends was a struggle for me, mostly because I can’t work and am not in school.

It is wonderful though because I have made some new connections through my boyfriend and a childhood friend has reached out to me after 10 years of not seeing each other. That really meant a lot!

In addition to making new friends, I went on quite a few trips. My aunt lives in Kelowna, which is in the Okanagon. I took the Greyhound up to see her both times. The trip to Kelowna is about 6 hours, but I had a great time on the bus. When we made a stop here and there I would run over to the Tim Horton`s for a tea. Kelowna was wonderful too- haha. My Aunt is super active so we went hiking, bird watching, and did a couple of yoga classes. My Aunt has way more energy than I do, so on my second trip in September I needed to be hospitalized due to uncontrolled seizures. I wasn’t listening to the little voice in my head that said “I can’t do this! I am too tired!” That was a foolish mistake on my part, but every mistake leads to a teachable moment.
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IMAG0360 (1).jpgPersonally, I feel that I have learned to be more spontaneous and I am not as afraid of judgment from others. I am trying new things, such as yoga which is a big step for me. I was always turned off of it because I didn’t like the idea of an instructor touching my hips to adjust my stance. No, no and no. I feel like this has been a big year of growth for me.

Finally, I was accepted into TedxStanleyPark! It was truly a dream come true.

Love you lots!

Lessons From The Mat: What I’ve Learned from My Yoga Practice

Hey friends!! Hope you’re doing well.

tree-pose-yogaSo, just to mix things up, I thought I would talk about my current yoga practice. I’ve had a hard time doing yoga and sticking with it. I have done it on and off for several years, but there was something about it that just didn’t jive with me. I would feel judged by teachers and that my body wasn’t doing “what it was supposed to.”

Recently though, a yoga/pilates/dance studio opened up close to where I live. I love the environment of going to a workout class, because it almost feels like a little family. Most importantly though, I felt that the yoga instructor was super supportive, and non judgmental of my abilities to do the poses. If I happened to tumble out of a pose she would say “Hey, that’s contemporary dance!”

shoulder standI have always brought so much judgment towards myself when it came to yoga, because I felt I had to do all the poses perfectly. (That’s the good old perfectionism kicking in). At the beginning of each class though, we set an intention for what we want for ourselves during the class. Throughout my new found love for yoga, I set the intention of “Not being judgmental towards myself and I don’t need to be perfect.”

It is amazing how setting these intentions for my practice as well as the meditation (savasana) have helped my mental health, as well as my seizures. Since doing yoga, my seizure have been relatively under control, and I feel like the happier, springier person that I normally am. Additionally, setting the intention of “not setting any judgment towards myself” has really helped my every day thoughts and day-to-day life.

I am so happy that I was able to find a yoga instructor that worked well with me. It would be so sad to miss out on what everyone seems to be practicing these days.

Have you tried yoga?? I really recommend you do if you are able!

Lots of love xox

Excuse me? I Didn’t Order a Hot Cup of Anxiety!

543840_322742181164613_665835302_nSO recently I have realized something important about my blog. This blog is not just about Living with Epilepsy, but it is also about living with mental health issues. I say that because mental health issues is so deeply correlated with Epilepsy, and I believe that individuals with epilepsy are more likely to have mental health issues if their seizures are not well controlled! (Can I say holla?!) I stand firmly in the opinion that it should be okay to talk about mental health, so here I am going to continue to do it, in hopes of helping others, as well as taking some of the pressure off of my chest.

I have been feeling very anxious lately. I had a bad accident about a week ago which brought back memories of previous accidents, and not to mention a very sore head. That story is for another time though. When I say I am feeling anxious, I am not saying it in a passive way as in “oh yeah I got some anxiety going on”. You know how people sometimes use these phrases casually? Well, I am not. I was meeting my friend yesterday and while on public transit I suddenly started to have chest pains and it felt hard to breathe. I didn’t understand why. I was just going to meet a friend. A FRIEND! This wasn’t a job interview or a blind date. I was meeting someone who I had a great friendship with and who cares about me. I tried using some of the techniques that I have been taught to help fight feelings of anxiety, such as describing what my left shoe looks like, as well as deep breathing. That helped a bit, but I was caught off guard with how suddenly anxiety just overtook me.

Anxiety has taught me that it can be absolutely debilitating to leave the house. I am terrified of falling and hitting my head (or teeth) if I am out going for a walk. I even tried a yoga class, and I ended up having a seizure right before Savasana (meditation). Like, really?! Savasna is the only reason I was there! Each day takes a tremendous amount of courage for me to go out and do things, such as see friends, or simply go for a walk in my area. I mean yeah, I am working on seeing friends and going for walks but it is easy to become a shut in. Being the person that I am, I judge myself for being like this, and I ask myself why can’t I just “get over it?” My seizures are so scary, especially because I get little to zero warning before I have a seizure and boom. Another accident. I also do not have the same seizure time and time again, so I never know what to expect. I know I have talked about mental health on here before, but it is very relevant to my life right now. I am a firm believer in seeking help, so I’m in the process of that right now, which should help.

So that’s where I’ve been at lately. I’m trying to come up with ideas to help with the anxiety…so hopefully there’s progress there.  Do you have any ideas for me??

Love you lots! xox