Not for Nothing

PokieOh hi, hello! How are you?

For the most part you could say my weekend of rest worked out. It wasn’t a 100% success, though, because life has a tendency to get in the way. For example, Saturday afternoon my cell phone decided to stop sending messages. It would say the message was sent, but then two seconds later I would receive a text from my provider noting that it wasn’t sent and that I needed to pay my bill. In my cold medicine delirium, I almost paid it except I was pretty sure I already had. Checked with my bank and it turns out I had. So I lost an hour to the technical support gods, but I did get my phone fixed and all from the comfort of my bed so I’m still considering it restful.

Methinks that right there is the big lesson. Resting is not the same thing as sitting around doing nothing as I thought. Other things I did included a few dishes, and really slow, meditative yoga. Nothing complicated, just sun salutations and tree poses for balance. I pulled all my attention toward doing every slowly with a full inhale and exhale between every move. I gave my myself massages and even wrapped up my knee which has bothering me lately.

The movie line-up Saturday was Amelie, Kung Fu Hustle, Death Proof and Iron Man, all movies that are silly and make me feel stronger one way or another by the end.

Unfortunately I got my Honeybee sick, too. He had Sunday off, so we planned a whole day of rest together. After Saturday I was a rest guru and since I was beginning to feel a little better, I had to opportunity to take care of my love a bit. We stayed in our jammies, slurped smoothies and watched Star Wars and Harry Potter.

There were several moments where an idea would spring to mind. Or something I’d been meaning to do resurfaced in my mind. Where I’d usually scramble to record it, I let them pass. Being young and lucky I haven’t had a great deal of personal health problems, but that doesn’t mean taking the time to rest isn’t important. Allowing oneself the time to heal is easily overlooked but it’s of the utmost importance. It’s not for nothing. That was my mantra this weekend.

That said, my alarm somehow turned itself down low so I couldn’t hear it. I over-rested! Waking up in a panic on Monday morning is never fun, but I was able to hit the ground running thanks to all the rest I got. Not at 100% yet, but I’m working on it. You know who is back at 100%, though? Princess Pokie. Two doses of medicine and she’s practically a kitten again.

 

How was your weekend? Did you get lots done? Tell me all about it.

xo,

Sunshine

Advertisements

Routine Maintenance: Part 2

Alright, continuing where I left off with Part 1, let’s get to the nitty and the gritty. I’ve taken note of my habits of late and asked the Internet, the capital I—Internet—some serious questions. Here’s what I got:

[Hair] 

I shampoo and condition my hair once, maybe twice, a week and I use a relaxer once every four to six weeks as instructed. Relaxers are a bit harsh and I’m on the lookout for an alternative, but, um, I’m not keen on the idea of the nappy alternative. Yet. I use a blow dryer and a flat iron to beat each strand into compliance, but I protect with argon oil and a keratin spray.

I asked the internet and it suggests some new ideas: Weekly Co-washing which is basically just washing one’s hair with conditioner instead of shampoo. Will my head feel super dirty? Turns out no. And I completely avoided that dry feeling after the shampoo but before the conditioning. Nice! Experimenting with dry shampoos and then co-washing might work, too. Monthly Deep Conditioning, I actually got one as a free gift from Sally the other day. Huh. How about that? The Internet was careful to warn against getting any deep conditioners on my scalp, though. Apparently this can clog the pores and cause hair loss. Noted.

Brianna Brumfield

I’m getting pretty bored with short hair these days, so I’ll be going back to braids. Remember this? Good times! This’ll take three days to finish cut my morning routine in half and keep my hair safe from breakages while it grows unfettered for up to six weeks at a time. Maybe I’ll find an alternative to relaxers in the meanwhile. Who knows?

[Skin]

Once upon a time, when I was a curious little Sunshine, I snuck into Mama’s vanity and had the most royal bout of dress up. I snuck into to her makeup bag, too. I found what I thought was pink lotion and spread it all over my body, rubbed it in. Only took about five minutes before I was screaming for help. That’s pretty much when my sensitive skin got started. The same day I learned that Nair can give you third degree burns. Also noted. Right now I have the Pure & Good lotion because I love the bottle. I just got the lotion but they’ve only got the set online now. Anyhow, it’s a pretty good hand lotion, but there’s probably a more moisture-rich alternative out there. And I’ll just put it that pretty glass bottle. To find something better I asked around. My crafting and bonfire buddy, Bethany, had many varieties and was kind enough to let me test which was the most rich for the least rub. Turns out, Gold Bond wins. I’m on the lookout for a bottle of my own.

For my face I use Clinique’s Pore Refining solution for my T zone if there’s no break-outs, for the rest of my face I use Olay’s BB tinted moisturizer, it’s got a sunscreen built right in. Nice! For makeup, I use Bare Minerals. It’s light and doesn’t make my face feel heavy or clogged up.

Internet says to drink plenty of water. Check. Although I could do better. My roommate and buddy, Cain, just gave Honeybee and me a bottle of Langenburg’s oxygenated water each. Can’t wait to taste it! I’m one of those people who can taste the differences between different bottled waters, but I’m not too fancy schmancy to enjoy a good tap every now and again. Just depends on what I’m doing. The point is, drinking more. I have my gorgeous glass bottle at home, but I need something similar to leave at work for my afternoon trips to the gym. Sweaty water fountains just won’t do mid-workout.

Sunshine Bottle

Mmph. Makes me thirsty every time I look at it.

The idea for this post came not only from just generally wanting to be healthful, but because I’d heard something about ingredients in deodorant. I don’t even remember where I heard it, perhaps as a blurb-style lead-in to a “more at eleven” news show or some such folly. I was knee deep in my studies and couldn’t commit to doing random, ungraded research, but I promised myself I’d look into it this summer. This post came from a trying to maintain that accountability with myself despite the fact that the topic was unpleasant. I Googled dangerous chemicals in deodorant and found this post from Natural News. Out of the five chemicals listed, my favorite brand, Secret Soothing Cucumber invisible solid had numero uno, aluminum. This is the last thing I want to hear because, honestly, I love this stuff. If for some reason I can’t apply it every day, well it just keeps on going! But you know what I love more that smelling good? My breasts. And aluminum is beginning to be attributed to breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.

Guess we’ll be hunting for something more natural in the future. Any tips? I’ve tried a few “all natural” alternatives in the past and found the results inadequate. What kind do you use?

[Nails]  

My mom has perfect nails. All the time. Practically without trying. Mine are either so malleable that they crack and peel away or tough and strong and mostly good looking. One or the other, no in-betweens. This is, like, directly affected by my vitamin intake. I really gotta get on that. Daily. Took one today! But weekly manicures, as much as I love them, don’t usually happen. My hands are always covered in paint or stain and while I could just wear gloves to avoid it, I rather like seeing my handiwork. Get it? Handy! Hah! Honeybee has mentioned that he loves when my nails are done, so why not please the man and feel good about myself more often? No brainer, I’d say! The prescription: weekly manis and biweekly pedis.

[Cardiovascular]

I like to run, but I’m not very good at it. Don’t judge me, I’M TOPHEAVY! It’s taken quite a bit of practice to get where I am, but lately I’ve taken to running on the treadmills in the gym at work instead of these superb butt-tightening hills Seattle boasts. The plan is to hit the actual pavement while this marvelous weather persists and then get back to the gym in fall when it’s too cold and rainy to be outdoors. My current workout schedule is any time I feel like it, when I’m not cramping. Going forward I’d like to run at least twice a week [except, of course, when I’m crampy, that’s just not going to happen]. This will work well with the schedule changes I’m anticipating for fall semester. I’ll go from working five five-hour shifts per week to three seven-hour shifts [Monday, Wednesday and Friday]. I’ll most likely use the gym Mondays and Wednesdays since my Fridays are generally for unwinding and meeting friends. If I’m a good girl I’ll get a weekend workout in at home, too. Then Tuesdays and Thursdays I’ll have school!

[Muscular]

When I’m at the gym I’ve got all sorts of machines, but in the past I’ve had a hard time translating that to at-home workouts. I did some research and came up with a basic routine [thanks, Jillian Michaels!] that can be done anywhere with very little equipment [just dumbbells!] and can be repeated for a more intense workout. My trouble areas are arms, belly and thighs. The belly being the most troubling of them all. This is where most of my attention will be in the coming weeks.

[Digestive]

I’ve always loved my veggies! You know, you’ve seen my Menu! The way Mama Sunshine tells it, I would eat each pea one at a time, but I never left any! Matt loves fresh veggies, too, and since he works in produce, we usually get some gems. The thing is, I feel like there are some holes in the proportions of things. For example, we love carrots and broccoli but not so much on the spinach. Dark, leafy greens are rich with vitamins, so to supplement and fill in the gaps, we need to take our vitamins. I say we but the Matt part of we already does this no problem. Sigh. Swallowing a bunch of individual ginormous pills isn’t at all appetizing, so I found a one-a-day multivitamin that might just do the trick. Now the hard part, remembering to take it.

[Breast/Gynecological]

Well this is a no brainer, but is still worth mentioning. It’s been way longer than it should. Though I do self check for lumps and the like. The trouble with not having insurance, though, is not being able to catch things early which is often the difference between life and death these days. Stupid cancer. Both Matt’s and my family history have the dreaded C word in them, so going forward this will be much more important. I keep hearing about great free/subsidized clinics in Seattle but the Google machine only brought up Yelp, and bad ratings at that. What to do? What to do? If you have a clue, please share in the comments below. I love my vagina, liver, spleen, all the parts! Something must be done!

[Mental]

Other than having a sweet, sweet husband to vent to, the number one thing I do for my mental health is what’s right here, out for everyone to see, WRITING! Writing gets all the bad feelings out and the good ones, too. I am finally able to organize thoughts and make dreams reality. Even though I have a smart phone I carry a planner to manually write notes, ideas, appointments, everything in. I could download an app or two for that purpose, but I’m much less likely to lose/have stolen a leather notebook. Plus, it’s the tactile sensation that makes it most calming. Typing works, too, though. Sometimes when I’m really down, I just open up a blank document and type away. No editing, no punctuation, sometimes even no spaces. Just release. Try it! But other things keep me from needing to brain purge too often, such as singing with Super Plaid and painting. Basically all things creative can be meditative. Doing dishes is also calming…but only when I don’t have to do them. Geez I’m weird.

[Political]

Now, there’s something you don’t see on a typical health chart. Politics is for the birds, they say. And for the most part I think they’re—whoever they are—right. I hate talking about it with other people because conversations can so quickly devolve to bullshit, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important. I’ve cherished the right to vote ever since learning about slaves not being allowed the privilege. Not doing so out of laziness would disgrace all those who’ve worked to make this country free. This past semester my most challenging class was Sociology. The readings weren’t too hard and I love writing essays, that’s not what made it hard. The challenge came from the subject itself. The many, many injustices that are happening currently by organizations that claim to be bipartisan or “nonpartizan” yet determine so many things regarding the lives of less fortunate. The difference between “us” and “them” is millions of dollars and organization. Sometimes I feel like there’s very little hope for a working class, college loan accruing, 99%er like myself. Sometimes we barely make it to the end of the month, but the path toward improvement begins with step one, getting involved, doing the research and voting.

Of course as I type this my mayoral ballot stares blankly back at me. I’ll get to it, I will. And you should, too.

[Dental]

Unlike the medical side of things I actually have a great solution for dental health. I’ve been to the dental hygiene clinic and my school, Shoreline Community College many a time. I’ve gotten cleanings and even had custom whitening trays made for my coffee dipped teeth. All the ladies there are sweet and informative. They charge only $10 [for students] and you get the benefit of learning right alongside the student, then a certified dentist comes to check their work. It takes a while, but the savings is worth it to me. Once a year, at least. I just went before the wedding so I’m at least on point with that one!

Phew! That’s quite a few things. I could use a nap after all that. What’re your tips for routine maintenance? Do you just do what you feel or do you have a schedule/reminder system? Do you feel as healthy as you could be? Taking care of oneself is a friggin full time job, but you get paid for your efforts with a longer, happier life so getting it all together is imperative. My next task is plug in all my suggestions/timeframes into my planner and then all I’ll have to do is follow my own instructions.

Let you know how it works out!

Yours in health,

Sunshine