Instagram- Accounts of Joy

Glossy green leaved plant in bottom left corner with recatngler pale terrocata background. Top right picture is a green succulent. Writing in black @natashalipman, @lifeofpippa, @yoga_mybed_and_m.e , @daniellevanier. Accounts of joy

Just a short post this time featuring some of my favourite Instagram accounts. When navigating social media with a chronic illness it can be hard to find accounts to follow. So many are (understandably) focused on their illnesses and all the difficulties that reality has for them. However, these often make for very negative reading. I can’t read accounts like this as it is bad for my own mental health to only see the harshness of life when you’re chronically ill. Particularly when you’re living it already. This is not a criticism of those accounts, as many find them helpful to write and read. It is more of a lesson learned for me. I need to be careful of the content I consume.

This weeks accounts of joy are all run by people with chronic illnesses/disabilities. They have all helped me in my own journey of acceptance and motivation for my current and future life. To see these women continue to strive for what they want has inspired me. Inspired me to start this blog, my Etsy shop and to plan for the future life that I want. It may well take me longer and via a different path then I would ever have dreamed of, but I am starting it now.

If you follow me on Instagram you can see in more detail why I’ve chosen these fantastic accounts.

All these brilliant women have wonderful blogs, well worth a follow.

Natasha can be found here

Danielle can be found here

Pippa can be found here

Donna can be found here

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CEA Card- UK Cinema Association

Black cinema reel tape with letters C E A in black on white backgrounds. Other cinema reel tape shows images of cinema tickets, popcorn and sweets.

Even though our local cinema (Vue) has become much cheaper in recent years, going to the cinema can be a very expensive outing. Add on top of this the need to have a carer or companion to help us get to the cinema/our seats and out again (amongst other needs) and the price can be inaccessible. Enter the CEA card.

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Mindfulness Monday- Breathing

White text in mustard yellow box 'mindfulness monday. Today's mindfulness task is box breathing. Breathe in for four counts. Hold the breathe for four counts. Breathe our for four counts. Hold the breathe for four counts and repeat.' 
Background image is yellow blossom on a tree.

Today is the first in our new series of Mindfulness Monday. Each week I will be showcasing a different mindfulness technique and explaining how this has been helpful to me and how it may well benefit you.

Mindfulness is such a large area that is being continually developed that I believe there is something for everyone, whether you are chronically ill or not.

It may seem strange to be thinking about learning how to breathe as it’s something we do all the time.

So why do need mindful breathing?

Mindful breathing is about utilising our breath to allow our bodies and minds to relax. When we take the time to slow down our breath we allow ourselves the opportunity to take some control over our sympathetic nervous system (responsible for ‘fight or flight’) and allow us to calm ourselves.

Like so many things that are branded as the ‘next big thing’ breathing techniques have been taught for centuries. One classic example is in the Hindu practice of Yoga where breathing deeply and correctly is just as important as the physical movements you make.

I will go in to more detail on exactly how breathing calms our sympathetic systems in future posts.

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Alexa Skills on the Amazon Echo that I Love

Dark green leaves with pink blossoms. Amazon Echo Alexa Skill I love (written in white)

Last Christmas I gave Alexa my heart…

No this isn’t about the absolute classic of a tune by Wham but about my ongoing love affair with the wonderful and ever so slighting irksome artificial intelligence known as Alexa (the voice ‘assistant’ of Amazon Echo).

We were gifted an Amazon Echo Dot for Christmas and it’s safe to say that it’s been a complete and utter game changer and something I’d recommend for anyone and in particular for those of us with chronic illnesses/disabilites.

There are literally thousands of different ‘skills’ (that’s what the games/music etc. are called) that you can access and I’m finding new ones daily. Some of them are very strange like the Meow which just meows at you!
I use it for just about everything you can think of and am continually learning new and exciting skills to use.

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