ADHD · advice · covid19 · fitness

On The Complications Of Resting

TL/DR: Resting when you are sick is a good thing but it is very complicated when many of your roles are responsive rather clearly defined. It would be helpful if people acknowledged how complicated it can be instead of just telling a sick person to rest.

Truth be told, I had a pretty good run of luck but, alas, all good things must end and last week, despite my various precautions, I came down with Covid.

A woman in a mask is lying on her side in bed
Here I am in my full Covid glamour. This was before anyone else in my house was sick so I was self-isolating and masking even though I was alone in my room. My oldest son was at his grandparents so I sent him this ‘proof-of-life’ photo because he was worried about me. Image description: a selfie of me lying on my side in bed wearing an N95 mask. My face is puffy and I look ill. I’m wearing a grey fleece hoodie. On the nights as behind me you can see my lamp, medications, and my new tea cup that my friend Paula made. It has Cold911 tea in but you can’t tell that from the photo.

(And, subsequently, despite our in-house precautions, so did my whole family. Thankfully, none of us took any scary turns for the worse and we are all improving slowly but it was overwhelming and difficult and worrisome.)

So, I guess that means that my resistance to (and reluctance about) going out last Monday was probably part and parcel of having a virus attacking my system, not just a case of garden-variety I-don’t-wanna.

Now, I know that the key to recovery from any illness is rest and that that goes quadruple for Covid. The internet is full of advice about just how much and how long you should rest during and immediately after a bout with the virus.

But, frankly, it feels a bit like when I was a new mother and I was told to ‘sleep when the baby sleeps.’

Just like back then, the advice is good and so are the intentions, but…

HOW THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO PULL THAT OFF?

Who is coming to step into my (metaphorical) shoes?

I‘m pretty good at the physical aspect of resting. I can take to my bed like a Victorian lady, surrounded by tea, snacks, books, and tissues.

However, even in the midst of all kinds of practical and moral support, it is damn hard to step back from the mental work of the things I do day-to-day. So my bedside accoutrements also include my phone and a notebook and some lists so I can deal with the things that are too complicated to hand off to someone else.

I am definitely not trying to claim that I am indispensable or any other nonsense like that but I am *used* to the things I have to do on a regular basis. I have practice. I am well-trained for my roles.

I’d need to be able to download the entire contextual net of my thoughts to be able to hand this off easily.

Now, to be clear, my paid work as a writer/coach/storyteller can largely be rescheduled. However, my family and volunteer roles, those can’t be handled the same way.

And a lot of that work can’t wait. I can’t, for example, put off groceries until I feel better. Normally, I would just go once a week or so and pick up the usual stuff and while I cook most of the time, any of us are capable of cooking.

But, I can’t just drop that task. We have to eat, even if we’re sick.

And since our existing system hinges on how my brain works, I have to be involved in the process of reassigning those tasks. Even if I am not going to be the one going to the grocery store, even if I am not going to be the one generating the list, I’m going to be consulted on the details. And since the default system (me going to the supermarket) won’t be happening, we need to figure out who is going to go and when they can go, and so on. Instead of an automatic system, it has become a series of plans and decisions.

That’s just one small part the various details I generally handle for my family.

For my volunteer work, often a lot of things can wait, but my work last week was related to upcoming public events that cannot be rescheduled. Yes, I have a team but I’ve been the person putting all the pieces together to make the big picture and it’s a bit late in the process to plop someone else into that role.

And I know some people reading are probably thinking things like: “Well, if you delegated the work in the first place…If you didn’t gatekeep…If you didn’t try doing everything yourself…If you trusted other people to do their work…If you insisted that other people take responsibility for things at home…”

I get why you might think all of those things. It’s a natural response to wonder if I have had a hand in creating this problem.

However, this isn’t about me trying to be a martyr and it’s definitely not about me gatekeeping or not holding other people responsible to do their part. It’s way more complex than that.

It’s about the roles I have ended up taking on in my life – by choice, by default, by societal expectation. It’s about a series of things going slightly awry and things coming to a time crunch. And it’s about someone with ADHD just doing the best she can most of the time and then not necessarily being able to ‘show her work’ so someone can take things to the next step.

Because of my ADHD, I struggle with creating systems. I have trouble seeing the bits and pieces of a project. I appreciate when I can delegate things but I’m not always conscious of the steps involved in my work until I am in the middle of them so it’s a bit hard to help someone else know what to do.

In fact, I often say that it is only when I am working on step one of a project that step two will float up out of the fog and reveal itself. It’s like one of those adventure movies or video games where the heroine has to be brave enough to step toward the chasm in order for the first part of the floating platform to appear.

So, as a result, way too much of any project I am involved in is in my head. I am working on documenting more of my routine activities but since that is exactly the kind of work my brain hates the most and since I don’t have someone willing to follow me around and take notes, it will take a while to make that happen.

So, while I am not a Type A person and I am not obsessed with work, when I am resting I have extra trouble giving away the tasks I usually take on.

Don’t get me wrong, I would happily hand them off. I don’t even need them to be done ‘my’ way. I’m just not sure what tasks I usually do nor am I necessarily sure what needs to be done next.

And even when I do know what to do next, I find that the coordinating tasks that usually fall to me take a lot of work to pass along to someone else. In fact, it is less stressful to do the thing than it is to to figure out how to share the information that I am waiting on a call from person A and if they say yes then tasks 1, 2, 3 need to happen but if they say now, then task 1 can happen but we need to call person B for task 2, and skip task 3, and do 3B instead.

(Meanwhile, if I do continue with a few tasks, I give the impression that I’m not all that sick or that it is business as usual, and then more work comes my way but that’s a whole other thing.)

Even if I were to try to explain that collection of tasks and what-ifs to someone who has offered to help, it’s likely that they would get completely overwhelmed because it is too much all at once. And since they couldn’t possibly pick up a month’s worth of details in a single conversation, I would end up with umpteen texts and emails to confirm bits and pieces of information.

So, instead of having one set of tasks to do in bits and pieces as I felt able, planning for the kind of complete complete rest that we’re advised to do would actually involve multiple levels of new tasks.

I would essentially be choosing between 1) doing the tasks as they showed up for me or 2) a) struggling to identify the tasks I unconsciously do for a given project b) connecting them to their relevant information in my head and typing that out somewhere c) putting both of that in some sort of timeline d) figuring out who the best person is to take the next steps e) hoping it isn’t too much to ask f) responding to the person’s (completely justified) questions at random intervals.

Which sounds more like rest to you?

A light haired dog standing in a kitchen looking directly at the camera.
Speaking of being helpful, here’s a photo of Khalee who is closely supervising me as I eat a banana. She has indicated that if I need to rest, she can finish this task for me. Image description: Khalee, my light haired dog, stands next to our kitchen bench staring intently at the camera.

In the end, I’ve been doing a hybrid sort of thing.

I typed out as many things as I could think of that needed to be done and added any context that occurred to me.

I farmed out any urgent things to people who had capacity to handle them (and, to be clear, I had lots of offers of help and support and I took people up on them as often as was feasible.)

I did (and continue to do) any things that I could manage, whenever I felt up to doing them.

And, annoyingly, I’ve dealt with some of the same sort of pushback I had when I was a new mom who couldn’t rest when the baby rested because it was my only chance to get something to eat, to put in a load of laundry, or to pick up the things that were cluttering the room and making me feel overwhelmed.

I’m not ignoring good advice.

I’m not pretending that the world can’t get along without me.

I’m not refusing to let other people help.

I’m trying to recover from an illness while I balance my needs against my responsibilities.

And while I could, in the long run, develop systems to make the delegate process easier, for right now, I am doing the best I can with the resources I have and getting grief for that just makes things harder.

So, can I ask you a favour?

If you are advising someone to rest, could you be respectful about it?

Maybe say things like ‘Are you getting enough rest?’ or ‘Is there anything I can take on that would help you to rest?’ instead of ‘The world can get by without you for a few days.’ or ‘You’ll never get better if you don’t rest.’

It’s all well and good to tell people to rest so they can recover but the process way more complicated than them just switching off their lives and heading to bed.

Let’s not pretend otherwise.

PS – I am deeply grateful for all the help and all the offers of help we have received this week. My friends and family have made things a lot easier and I have been well taken care of.

ADHD · dogs · fitness · motivation · walking

Resistance, ADHD Time-Math and that time that Khalee and I were both so good despite everything else

Picture it:

Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador, November 21, 2022.

The weather is chilly (1 degree Celsius, 33.8 degrees Fahrenheit), there’s a wind warning in effect (80kmh with gusts to 95, 49.71mph with gusts to 59mph)

A GIF of people, animals, and plants being blown around by a grey rain cloud.
There’s no rain here at the moment but otherwise this feels about right. Image description: a cartoon drawing of people and animals being blown around in the wind. Text on the image reads “It’s just a little rain and wind. We’re fine.”

My house is noisy from the wind but it’s warm and cozy.

I’m a bit off track because several of my usual Monday things got changed and because I spent a good part of the day in waiting mode.

Why waiting mode? Tomorrow is my youngest son’s birthday and his present was due to arrive sometime today. Our address is often mixed up with a similar address nearby so I was on alert in case it was delivered to the wrong place.

Waiting mode is one of those situations where a neurotypical person (at least one who wasn’t anxious) would probably be able to put thoughts of the possible mix-up aside and carry on with their plans for the day. And if I had a strict schedule today, my neurodivergent brain *might* be able to do the same.

Alas, my schedule today was flexible. So between that flexibility, the loss of my usual Monday anchors, waiting mode, and the windy weather, I spent my day puttering from task to task.

And then, once the package arrived (yay!), I wanted to settle into my work.

That’s when this process started:

A woman looks intently forward as a variety of mathematical formulae flash over her image.
This could be a depiction of my brain during the following though sequence – if all of those formulae were related to the timing of going for a walk. Image description:GIF of a woman looking slightly to one side of the camera. She looks intent and focused while a series of mathematical formulae appear in white in front of her. The formulae calculations for area and volume of various geometric shapes.

Khalee would need to go for a walk later so my brain was telling me that I probably wouldn’t want to dive too deeply into whatever I was doing right now.

So, maybe we should walk now. After all, the weather isn’t going to improve until tomorrow – and at least it is still light out.

But if I walk now, I might not be able to switch into work mode when I return.

So maybe I should skip the walk, right? After all, the wind warning clearly states that outdoor objects should be tied down. It could be *dangerous* out there, couldn’t it? Stuff could be flying around.

Hell, Khalee and I could blow away, couldn’t we?

Yeah, it’s often like this inside my head – it’s not all that fun.

But then, luckily, I saw a post on Instagram from someone local who was out for a walk, wearing their mask because it was the only way to keep warm – and probably the only way to catch their breath.

That’s when I remembered that I have fleece lined pants to wear over my jeans. And I have a warm coat and my hatphones. And a scarf my sister made. And I could wear my favourite mask.

So, I bundled up, got Khalee into her harness (today was apparently NOT a day for a dog to wear a sweater – I have to give the pup some autonomy, don’t I?) and headed out.

And, like most things – it was far worse to think about than it was to do.

It was stupid windy out. It was quite cold.

An outdoor selfie bundled up in winter clothes with a mask over the lower part of my face.
It is hard being things glamorous all the time but I have gotten used to it – ha ha! Image description: a selfie of me wearing my green winter jacket, a black hat, my glasses (which are a little steamed up) and a black and white half facemask that has a depiction of a martial artist on the white side. I am also wearing a blue scarf that my sister made for me. My eyes are almost completely shut, the wind is blowing my hood backwards, and my hair is sticking out on one side and blowing in the wind as well.

But it was manageable. And it wasn’t totally awful.

And Khalee and I were both so very good for dragging ourselves outside even though 50% of us were not keen on it.

I mean Khalee is automatically good, obviously, what with being a dog and all, but she bravely forged ahead into the wind until I called out to her so I could take a photo.

A light haired dog stands on a path looking back towards the camera.
Image description: Khalee, a light-haired dog on a neon yellow leash and a blue harness, looks back toward the camera as she stands on the edge of an asphalt path next to some grass. Her right ear is blown backwards, her eyes are slightly squinted, and her fur is ruffled from the wind.

So yeah, she’s super-good but I’m pretty damn good too – overcoming so much resistance even though it would have been much easier (and quite understandable) if I had decided to stay home.

(And, I’m sorry to report, that I did indeed feel better after being outside and zipping through my walk. It was worth getting out for Khalee’s sake but, damn it, it was apparently also worth it for my own sake, too.)

Anyway, long story short (too late!), Khalee and I both get gold stars for our windy walk.

Image description - two hastily-drawn gold stars, one each for me and my dog​
Image description – two hastily-drawn gold stars, one each for me and my dog

How about you?

How have you triumphed over resistance lately?

Was it worth it?

Would you like a gold star? Khalee and I will share!

PS: Happy Birthday to my youngest son, J, who is my baby but is not, apparently, actually a baby at all any more. In fact, he’s a newly-minted adult.

advice · self care

Some Fabulous Little Reminders from Dr. Julie

I just started reading psychologist Dr. Julie Smith‘s book Why Has Nobody Told me this before? Everyday Tools for Life’s Ups and Downs and I’m really enjoying it. I’m not finished yet, so I can’t do a full review but I do really like her style. The book is full of low-key but helpful reminders that we can build our capacity to deal with most of our everyday challenges and that we can develop the tools to work with our emotions instead of trying to fight them.

Just FYI: She is very clear about the fact that while there are lots of cases in which people need long-term therapy there are also many people who just need access to tools and guidance to help them manage their own mental health and that she is addressing the latter group.

Anyway, as I was telling people about this book recently I was surprised to discover that many people have never heard of Dr. Julie. If you’re one of those people, here are a few of her YouTube shorts that are a pretty good introduction to her kind and encouraging approach. You can find more on her channel.

Enjoy!

(I’ll post a review once I’m finished the book!)

A video from Dr. Julie Smith entitled ‘This is really important.’ In the still image, Dr. Julie is seated at a wooden table and there is a pyramid of playing cards stacked in front of her.
A video from Dr. Julie Smith entitled ‘This 60 Mindset Trick Will Change Your Life’ and in the still image she is sitting a table with a coffee cup and book in front of her and there are shelves behind her.
A video from Dr. Julie Smith entitled ‘Stop Waiting To Feel Confident! Watch This. In the still she is sitting at a table and there are white shelves behind her.
fitness · self care

World Kindness Day 2022

Welcome to World Kindness Day 2022!

As you probably know from my previous posts, especially these ones about World Kindness Day 2021 (about kindness to others) and World Kindness Day 2020 (about self-kindness), I am a kindness cheerleader.

I just want people to be kinder to themselves and each other. I want society as a whole to be kinder to its individual members. I want governments to be kinder to their citizens. I just want more kindness in the world.

Like Brooke Jones, VP for the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation says in her blog post, I want us all to Make Kindness The Norm.

(For some reason, I can’t insert a caption under the image below. The image is from the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation and here is the image description: A red heart and text reading ‘Believe there is good in the world’ with a weathered wooden background. most of the text is black but some of the letters are white so an alternate message of ‘Be the Good’ can also be read. At the bottom of the image is text reading ‘Random Acts of Kindness Foundation’ )

A red heart and text reading 'Believe there is good in the world' with a weathered wooden background. most of the text is black but some of the letters are white so an alternate message of 'Be the Good' can also be read. At the bottom of the image is text reading 'Random Acts of Kindness Foundation'

I know I am not alone in my cheerleading mission and in my belief that kindness matters but I also know that there are a lot of terrible things going on in the world. It’s hard to maintain hope and it’s hard to feel that your small, day-to-day kindnesses matter.

That’s why I was so happy to find this video by John Green a few weeks ago because he does a terrific job of summing up a lot of things that I haven’t been able to express succinctly. He’s not talking about kindness directly, he’s arguing for meaning and against nihilism, but his conclusions apply to kindness, too. I especially like his point about how the big picture may be a challenging one but that we don’t live in the big picture, we live in the day-to-day. And in the day-to-day, all of those little connections (or, one could say, kindnesses 😉 ) matter.

I can add a caption here so I will – This is a video from the Vlog Brothers YouTube channel. It’s entitled ‘Against Nihilism’ and the still image features John Green, a white middle aged man with a beard and glasses sitting in his home office. He is facing the camera and he has an intense expression on his face which reflects his passion for the subject.

So, even if there are a lot of terrible things going on in the world, it’s still worth it to be kind, to seek kindness, and to encourage kindness. It okay to do it because it helps you feel good, because it helps the people you are kind to feel good, or because it just seems like the right thing to do.

(Hmm, I can’t add a caption to the photo below either but it is another photo from the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation. This image shows a small child with brown skin and curly hair sitting in a white chair. They’re wearing enormous glasses and smiling big enough that their eyes have closed to make room for their grin. They’re wearing yellow pants, suspenders and a blue shirt that reads ‘I’ve got nothing but love for you.’ The text to their left reads ‘The world is full of kind people…If you can’t find one, be one.)

And since being kind, as the video below suggests, is supposed to help reduce stress and bring you ease, there’s no reason not to keep trying it.

Again, I can add a caption to this video even though I couldn’t add one to the images. Anyway, this is an animated YouTube video from the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation entitled ‘The Science of Kindness’ and the still image shows a person with light brown skin with their long hair up in a bun on top of their head. They are wearing white pants and a grey long sleeved shirt and their hands are behind their back. They have a speech balloon with a heart in it above their head.

I’ve got lots of links in my previous World Kindness Day posts about how to be kind to yourself and others so I’ll just include two more links here:

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation has a downloadable calendar for teachers or for anyone who wants to add more kindness to their days on a regular basis.

And since I don’t know how much time or energy you have today, I’m just going to link to my results from a YouTube search for Kindness Meditation so, if you are inclined to meditate, you can have an easy way to find one to try today.

And, my friends, as always, be kind to yourself about the whole thing – life, the universe, and everything – if you aren’t up to putting kindness out into the world today then turn that kindness inward and give yourself a break. You are doing the best you can with the resources you have. 💚

fitness · habits · motivation

Go Team! Bonus Gold Stars

Hey Team!

My birthday is on Thursday and I thought it would be fun to celebrate here on the blog today by offering some bonus gold stars.

Celebrating effort rather than results is always my MO but I’ve decided that, from now on, I’m going to lean into that idea even harder.

Especially where my own efforts are concerned. After all, just like most people, I’m really good at seeing how hard others are working but I’m not quite as observant when it comes to myself.

So, I going to consciously, deliberately, choose to notice even my smallest amount of work whether in fitness, well-being, or any of my projects.

That’s my gift to *me* for my birthday – I’m going to notice my efforts and I’m going to do what I can to ‘smooth the path’ for those efforts to be most effective. (More on that later.)

Now, as much as I would like to invite you all to a party where we could share a giant cake, the logistics on that are just impossible so, I’m going to invite you to do these two things instead.

1) Please consider joining me in noticing your own effort. This could range from making a mental note to a full toddler-parent-style reaction “Look at you doing squats! Aren’t you terrific? I’m so proud of you!”

2) Please comment below and tell me what you are claiming a bonus star (or stars) for today. This could range from ‘I remembered to look away from my computer and blink a few times so my eyes didn’t go wonky’ to ‘I stretched my neck while I was on the phone’ to ‘I meditated’ to ‘I wrote in my journal’ to ‘I biked to work.’ Or, to go in a different direction ‘I chose to rest because I’m not feeling well.’ Or ‘I walked instead of running because that’s what my body needs today.’

It’s all good work, Team, and your efforts deserve to be celebrated.

Here are 5 different stars for you to enjoy. Step right up and claim them!

And, as always, please be kind to yourself today and always.

I wish you ease.

And cake. I also wish you cake (or an equivalent delightful treat of your choice.)

A photo of a gold star shaped ornament made of wire
Image description: a photo of a 3D geometric gold star shaped ornament made from metal wire. The ornament is on a wooden surface and the sun is shining, casting a shadow on the black background behind the star. Photo credit: J Drodge
A cartoon style drawing of a yellow star with rounded points
Image description: a cartoonish drawing of mine – a yellow star with rounded ‘points’, the outer edges of the star have an orange accent. The background of the image is a series of thing black lines and the drawing itself is resting on lined paper.
Image description: a photo of a glitter covered gold star or​nament against a white background
Image description: a photo of a glitter covered gold star ornament against a white background
A drawing of a gold star with a happy face.
I love when my stars turn out looking like they have their arms in the air – I always have to add a face when that happens and make the gold star look exuberant . Image description: a photo of a drawing of a happy looking gold star with a background of green dots and with a green frame around the edge of the small piece of paper. The paper itself is resting on a dark green surface.
A statuette of a gold starfish with various embellishments
My most garish, tacky, and fun gold star. Image description: a statuette of a gold starfish embellished with metallic decorations and a fake white gem in the its centre. The base of the statuette is covered with fake shells and coral painted in various metallic shades.
ADHD · aging · birthday · fitness · motivation · planning

A low-key start for Christine’s birthday month

This post is a group of loosely connected thoughts in a blogpost-shaped trench coat but let’s just roll with it.

As I write this, I’m sitting in a lawn chair on my front lawn awaiting trick or treaters – Khalee is too much of a chaos agent for me to easily answer the door over and over so I take the treats outside and drink tea while waiting for the kids.

I’m so spooky and mysterious. Also I think my pumpkin lights are shy – none of them would face the camera. Image description: a nighttime selfie of me in front of the tree in my front yard. I’m wearing my jacket and a plaid shirt with a necklace of tiny glowing skulls. My hair is pulled back in a bandana, I have my glasses on, and I’m smirking. There is a string of pumpkin lights behind me, each pumpkin on the string is about the size of a tennis ball.

Tomorrow, or today by the time you read this, is November 1, just a little over a week away from my 50th birthday.

A few months ago, I thought I would have a good fitness routine by now. I thought I had a solid, low key plan. 

Turns out, I was still trying to do too much at once and I have basically been kind of ambling along trying to figure out my how and when, exercising more some times and less other times.

At the beginning of October, I thought I would have a straightforward month with two challenges to work on, but I was plagued with migraines and frustration and never really found my groove.

One tiny part of my brain is telling me ‘You should be more disappointed in yourself, don’t you think?’

But another part is reminding me that the word should is at least 90% evil and that, at almost 50 years old, I don’t have to put up with people being mean to me – especially if that person is me.

So, instead, I’m thinking that I must not have found the easy thing. I must have had too many steps or too many decisions, I must not have smoothed the path, I must not have included enough fun. Oh well! Too late to worry about those past plans now.

I’m not trying to revamp them, though, I’m just focused on what’s ahead of me.

I’m looking forward to my birthday month with the goal(s) of finding more ease, seeking more fun, and looking for ways to move more often on any given day.

There’s no overarching plan, there’s no big idea, there’s just me experimenting with trusting myself in the moment. Let’s just hope my brain will cooperate.

It took me a couple of Halloweens of trying different things before I figured out that I could circumvent the stress of the dog-related chaos by taking the treats out to the kids but I was making little changes in my approach the whole time.

I’m hoping the same is true for this whole figuring-out-routines thing, that I *am* making adjustments and learning as I go, even if it’s hard to see while I’m still in the middle of it.

PS – In case you have a tendency to worry: I am completely ok, by the way. I’m mostly just interested in how and why I feel so at ease with not having done what I had set out to do. And why I don’t feel the need to poke into what went “wrong.” I like the fact that instead of my brain leaning into the meanness, I veered off into the ‘try this’ of taking things moment by moment. I’m observational and reflective, perhaps a little melancholy, but I’m not sad, not upset, and there’s nothing wrong.

fitness · fun · holiday fitness

Why not have more fun? Try a Halloween workout!

With Halloween just 7 days away, I thought it would be fun to post a few themed workouts in case you wanted to get in the ‘spirit’ of things. (ooooooh, so scary!)

A dog wearing a pumpkin hat
Khalee’s idea of a themed workout is to wear her pumpkin hat for approximately 90 seconds of her walk. Image description: Khalee, a light haired dog, is wearing a pumpkin hat and looking toward the camera with a doggie ‘smile.’ She is standing on the dark laminate flooring in my kitchen.

I haven’t watched or completed all of these, I just picked the ones that seemed fun and weren’t obviously problematic. Please take good care of yourself if you choose to do these – don’t do anything that doesn’t work for your body and turn the video right off if they seem to be buying into any diet-culture crap.

A Halloween Dance Party HIIT workout from Emkfit. I really like how she is goofing around here. Video still shows the title of the video in green and white text and there are two images of the host in dark green leggings and a sports bra exercising while making funny faces.
A 25 minute Halloween Dance Workout from Kyra Pro – the theme is pretty much just in the music but that’s still pretty cool. The still image shows the name of the video in ‘Halloween-style’ lettering and includes a photo of the host, in black workout clothes, with their hands in the air, shaped like monster claws.
A Halloween Walking Workout from Brand Fitness, I love how casual and friendly she is and she really seems like she is having a great time. . Still image shows the words ‘ 2500 Steps Halloween Walk’ in ‘Halloween-style’ text with cartoonish bats and spiderwebs in the background. The host is featured on the right hand side, wearing a witch costume with striped tights.
A 20 Minutes Halloween HIIT Workout from GrowingAnnanas – she does this whole workout in facepaint – I don’t know how it didn’t melt right off! Still images shows the video name in block letters with some white background and some red background. The red background has an added ‘blood drip’ in the bottom corner. The host is in black workout gear with face paint that looks like old fashioned mime or clown make-up – triangles pointed up from their eyebrows and down below their eyes, a black dot on their nose, and their lips are outlined in black.
A Halloween Zumba workout from Zumba Sulu. Another video done in full face make-up plus a costume and he has some spooky props in the background – very fun! Still image shows text reading ‘Halloween Special Dance Workout’ and shows the instructor in skull makeup and Halloween clothing making a ‘scary hands’ gesture toward the camera.
Yoga for ZOMBIES! by Yoga with Adriene. This one may not be as much of a Halloween theme as the previous videos but it’s close enough. And even Zombies need to be limber, right? Still image shows the video title in block letters, the word zombies is in red. Host is wearing a black shirt and red leggings and there is a background image of a black and white graveyard with leafless trees surrounded by mist.
A seated Halloween dance workout from Chair Yoga with Barbara. This video is pretty low-key but the host seems very friendly and the movements are straightforward. Still image shows the video title in Halloween-style text with a clip art ghost and spiderweb next to the text. The host is shown on the left side, wearing black shorts and an orange shirt with a Jack-o-Lantern face in black on the front.

I was only going to share 7 workouts but then I found this short chair yoga workout to ‘Monster Mash’ that is just so charming that I have add it to my list. I can’t figure out why it won’t embed like the others did but it is worth the click over to YouTube to view it.

I hope you found some fun workouts in this collection.

Do you have any other Halloween workout links you could share?

advice · fitness · illness · rest · self care

A short post about not very much

I’m writing this on Monday night.

I’ve spent the day feeling under the weather (and appropriately it has been very VERY rainy) and trying to sort my to do list into:

– things that I feel up to doing today

-things that must be done today (by me or by someone else)

-things that can most definitely wait

-other stuff

Resting, very low-key yoga, and an online meeting made the cut…a lot of other things did not.

I can’t, however, tell you how I decided which was which. (It’s not a secret, I just have no idea!)

How do you decide how much rest you need when you don’t feel well?

How do you decide what stays on your to do list and what you can let slide?

PS – Here’s a useful reminder I drew a few years ago. You don’t even need to feel sick to take it to heart.

A photo of a small square card on a patio railing. The card has been painted yellow and has dark blue lines extending outward from the centre to create the impression of a top-down view of a flower. ​Blue text on the drawing reads “you don’t have to be and do all of the things. Choose the ones that feel right, the ones you know are yours. (That’s enough)”
Image description: a small square card on a patio railing. The card has been painted yellow and has dark blue lines extending outward from the centre to create the impression of a top-down view of a flower. Blue text on the drawing reads “you don’t have to be and do all of the things. Choose the ones that feel right, the ones you know are yours. (That’s enough)”

fitness · habits · meditation · nature · October

Christine’s Meditative Afternoon

The Thanksgiving holiday gave me the opportunity to have a nice, slow start to my week on Monday.

I took Khalee for a walk and, even though it was windy, I took time to tune into my surroundings, noticing how the leaves have changed (or fallen), how the river noises are quieter, and how everything smells a little different right now.

A light haired dog on a green leash. Shadows from the dog and her owner are being cast on nearby grass.
It was kind of windy today but Khalee and I still enjoyed our walk. Image description: a photo of a light-haired medium-sized dog on a green leash is facing away from the camera while standing on a gravel path next to some grass. My shadow and Khalee’s are visible on the grass. Because it is late afternoon in autumn, the sun is low so our shadows are VERY long and we look disproportionately tall.

When I came home, I took down the load of clothes I had hung earlier. (It was a fine day on clothes, as the saying goes.) This task can be pretty mundane (or even boring) but today it was routine in a good way – repetitive actions with positive results.

A line of laundry in the late afternoon autumn sunlight
The repeated actions of hanging (and taking down) laundry) are meditative in their own way. Image description: a line of laundry hanging in my yard on a late autumn afternoon. The sun is shining through leaves so there are patches of sun and shadow The clothesline stretches from my patio to my shed so aside from the laundry, the photo shows some potted plants, a lawn chair with a red pillow, my patio rail, and some trees and my red-painted shed in the background.

As I turned with my basket of clean clothes, I noticed how inviting my swing looked and I remembered how much I enjoyed meditating while sitting there cross-legged the other day.

An outdoor shot of a hammock and a large round swing hanging from trees in the corner of a backyard. The grass in front of the trees is covered in brown leaves.
Two of my favourite parts of my backyard. Image description: a photo of one corner of my yard where my brown and orange hammock hangs from two trees and a round swing with green trim hangs from one of the branches. My wooden fence is one background and my (still green!) grass is littered with crunchy brown leaves.

So I decided to meditate there again today.

An outdoor shot of a woman (from the shoulders up) in her backyard.
No, I’m not actually meditating here, obviously. I was trying to use the back camera on my phone and took umpteen photos, each more bizarre looking than the last, and I fluked into this one. I decided to roll with it. Image description: an outdoor photo of me in my backyard. I am sitting on a round swing but it’s not visible in the photo. I am wearing a blue fleece jacket, my light brown hair is pulled back from my face in a cloth band, and my eyes are closed. I am smirking and I’m wearing one headphone. Grass, trees, my fence, (and part of my orange and brown hammock) are visible in the background.

And that brings me to 51 days of meditation in a row.

When I opened the Insight Timer app today, it offered this very appropriate quote for how I felt at the end of my meditative afternoon:


Mental health is not a destination,
but a process. It’s about how you
drive, not where you’re going.

– NOAM SHPANCER, PHD

I liked how, today, I have ‘driven’ myself calm instead of driving myself around the proverbial bend.

Wishing you all ease for the week ahead. Please try not to cram 5 days of work into a 4 day week. 💚⭐️

ADHD · challenge · fitness · habits · martial arts · motivation

October Challenges – in a good way

I wanted to add a little extra to my daily routine in October so I’ve taken up two challenges for the month – the Action for Happiness Optimism challenge and the Darebee Daily Kicks challenge.

I like following short term challenges because 1) they set out a plan in advance so my brain doesn’t get stuck buffering about decisions 2) they aren’t making me commit to something in a future that is too far ahead for my ADHD brain to grasp.

A calendar of optimism tips for October
This is just a jpeg of the calendar, you can print or download one at the Action for Happiness site. Image description: a multi-coloured October calendar full of daily optimism tips, decorated with small cartoon images of people walking, drawing and holding event tickets.

These specific challenges should be straightforward additions to my day because any day’s actions are big enough to matter to me but small enough to fit into nooks and crannies in my still-developing schedule.

And it helps that I am naturally inclined to optimism (this may be a good feature of my ADHD – I’m usually convinced that things are about to get better) and that kicks are not only good exercise but practicing them will have added benefits for Taekwon-do.

A screen capture of the calendar for the first week of the challenge.
Print your own Daily Kicks challenge calendar/tracker and use the timer at the Darebee site. Image description: a screen capture of the header and first few days of the Darebee Daily Kicks challenge sheet which has the words Daily Kicks in large letters on the top right, multiple drawings of people kicking on the right and 5 days of kicks in listed in individual boxes at the bottom.

Will I get to both of these every day? I’m planning on it and I hope those plans work out.

But even my optimistic self knows that sometimes things go awry so I have a backup plan as well:

If I miss a day, I can do two the next day…if that feels doable. If doing two items feels like too much, or if I have missed several days, I’ll skip to the item for the current day.

The key here is to follow the practices for as many days as possible this month – aiming for more days on than off.

The only thing I *don’t* want is to follow the challenge for a few days, miss a couple, and then scrap the whole thing because I didn’t do it perfectly.

As long as the end of October still finds me working away at these, in any form or fashion, I’ll be successful.

Any movement in a positive direction counts. 🙂