Getting Through Hard Times

I don’t know anyone who isn’t struggling at the moment through this crazy global crisis. The only people that seem to be doing well are the supermarkets, but even then they are extremely stressed and overworked trying to restock shelves quickly and being subjected to daily abuse from disgusting people who think that they are the only ones that are having a hard time. This is a WORLDWIDE crisis! We are all doing it tough!

I feel like my husband and myself have it bad as we both work with people, touching them all day, how can I social distance in a massage?!! So do I stop working (as some massage therapists have) to minimise the risk? Or do I continue, with a much reduced diary, and try to do my best to protect my patients and myself, knowing that I cannot guarantee that there is no risk? It’s a tough call, I like everyone have big bills to pay and not much put away for a “rainy day”. But then I watch the news and see how the whole world is impacted and think, maybe we will be ok. Some people are losing their jobs completely, like airport workers and airline staff. We both have options to go online, I have other skills to utilise from previous careers in art and graphic design, and although things will be tough for probably the rest of the year, I know this will not last forever and we will get through it. And maybe it will help people to be a bit more compassionate, forgiving, generous and loving, and appreciate what we have and what we are able to do in life. We are all guilty of taking things for granted.

I am not the best person for finding positives in life and often think negatively of what might happen. Luckily for me, my husband is the complete opposite and anyone that knows him, knows he is insanely happy and positive all the time! Sometimes this drives me mad, but at the moment he is keeping me from going insane and over-thinking every possible worst case scenario!! But, I am trying to look on this as a learning experience and to slow down and look after my mental health. From a health professionals point of view, now is a better time than ever to look after yourself, so here are some of my tips!

• Try to stick to your normal routines, even if you have been forced to work from home. Get up at the same time you normally would, shower, get dressed, eat a good breakfast and start your “work” day. 

• Get out for a lunch-time walk and some fresh air. Vitamin D and exercise are good for your mental and physical health, and getting out of the house will stop you from feeling like you are in prison!

• If your gym has shut (or if it hasn’t, it probably will any day), do home workouts. You really don’t need any equipment to do your cardio or strength work! Exercise builds immunity and releases happy hormones!

• Reduce screen time. I am guilty of checking updates constantly but it’s depressing, and I can’t change what is happening and is going to happen. It’s good to keep informed but not every second of the day!

• Eat good nutritious food and try to cook your own. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be hard. When you are at home, it’s tempting to eat rubbish because everything is available to you, but you’ll feel better if you eat something you know is good for you!

• Do something you enjoy every day. As you probably have more time, try something you have always wanted to or put more time into your hobbies. Being creative is very therapeutic and might take your mind off all the bad news!

• If you have a pet, enjoy the extra time together! Most animals love company and will be so happy you are home! Animals are used in therapy for a reason, they make everyone feel better and life a bit more manageable, and they know when you are sad and need a pick me up!

We all have to adapt at the moment and do the best with what we have. Try to find the positives, like that extra time you have every day when you would have been travelling to or from work! Stay healthy and safe and if you need any help from an exercise point of view, please reach out. I will most likely be commencing video sessions and classes if it comes to the point that we are not allowed to leave the house, so there is no getting away from your PT! 🙂

What is Canicross?

A few weeks ago Facebook recommended an event it thought I might be interested in, due to my constant liking of dog related pages! It was for the Sled Dog Expo run by Sled Dog Racing Queensland. Whenever I run with our dogs and watch Ruby in particular, I always comment on what a good sled dog she would be! Aside from the fact that she does not have the same endurance level as me, she loves to run and as soon as you give her the “Let’s go” command, she is away! Holly loves to run too and I reckon she could easily run 10-15k with me, and not even look tired!

So I started to look into the Sled Dog Racing and realised that it doesn’t just take place in snowy environments and isn’t just with a sled! It originated in Europe but seems to be getting more and more popular over here which is great for us and our dogs!

Canicross is the sport of cross-country running with your dog, using special equipment to make it safer and more comfortable for you and your dog. The dog wears a harness that allows free motion of the limbs and doesn’t restrict their breathing. The runner wears a waist belt which looks a bit like a climbing harness as it also goes around the legs to help lift you up and forward from the hips and take the strain off your back when the dog pulls. Between the runner and the dog is a bungee line to help soften the jolts from abrupt stopping and changes of direction over tricky terrain. I was amazed to find out that there are races around the Brisbane area for Canicross and can’t wait to get our equipment and give it a go! We love to run in the trails and so do the dogs but it’s hard holding a lead and you feel like you can’t run properly. Hopefully with all the correct equipment, we will all enjoy it a bit more!

And if running or sledding isn’t your thing, you can also do it with a mountain bike, a scooter or skiis, anything that allows your dog to pull you along!

To find out more, visit the Sled Dog Racing Queensland website or come to the Gold Coast Sled Dog Expo on March 7th or the Brisbane Sled Dog Expo on March 28th. I will also be there doing free dog massage, as I am sure these athletic dogs will be happy to have some help with their recovery!

Picture credit: Kirby Reaves, Reflections of Rogue Photography

Why We Love to Run

I’ve recently had to take a whole year off running due to a foot injury that would not heal. It’s not the first time I have had to take time off (and probably not the last!), but it is definitely the longest period of no running. I hate not running, but I throw myself into weight training and that keeps my sanity! But it got me thinking, why do we love to run so much? I know I’m not alone here!

For me, I run to clear my head. It’s good thinking and alone time, where I forget anything that may be bothering me. Coupled with the rush of happy hormones, you inevitably feel better after a run, than before!

But why do we push ourselves beyond our capabilities, and keep pushing even when we know we shouldn’t (like through an injury)?

Running definitely has addictive qualities. All other exercise I do makes me feel good, but not the same “good” as when I have been for a run. Is it that nothing gets my heart rate up as high as running does? Or maybe it’s being out in nature and getting some vitamin D that makes it feel better?

Over the years of injuries, I’ve learnt to appreciate running. To me now, it’s not worth pushing it to the point of time out for injury. I’ve accepted that running distance is not what I am made to do, but maybe I can run 5k a few days a week without a problem? And this is better than no running at all. I think I will miss that feeling of pride after you have finished a marathon and the buzz after completing a long run with friends, but I know now that I don’t ever want to go through a year off again and having to wear a stupid moonboot!

Why do you love to run?