Waking with headaches told me that I had to do something differently
Even though I mostly worked from home before the pandemic, I am now working totally from home. Over the last two months, my neck muscles have felt more and more tense by the end of the day.
I've started doing three simple, quick stretches, and now my neck is feeling lighter. That's good news, because I also had light headaches every day, and even waking up with them. I suspected those were tension headaches.
Our brain keeps our stiff muscles contracted even while we're asleep
While we are all reacting differently to the pandemic and lockdown, I'm hearing more and more often of people having headaches. I've had a few myself, and I've rarely had them before.
Aside from underlying medical conditions, it seems likely that the most common cause is muscular tension in reaction to stress.
Speaking personally, I had a blood test 2 weeks ago and visited my local GP for the results. All perfect, he said. I took the opportunity to ask about headaches, and I mentioned that I'd never suffered from them in the past.
He asked me two questions:
Just choose 1 or 2 to start thriving again
With our routines having been thrown into chaos, many of us are losing our grasp on our best selves. The cumulative stress of the unknown is slowly pumping up our cortisone level, and we are burning out
Our resilience is drooping. It's time to take a step back, to regroup, and to rebuild our resilience, starting with one of two new habits - and committing to their practice.
Having a good store of resilience helps us cope with life, as it happens - not as we wish it would happen. With enough resilience, instead of feeling as if you are drowning, you will start to enjoy the swim - even if the water is choppy.
Here are four habits which will help you get back in touch with your best self. Just choose 1 or 2 that you are not currently practising - keep things simple.
After this advice I completed my first 10km trail run
At my age (72 this year), and having only been running for a couple of years, there are regular aches and niggles that come with the pleasure of running.
I consulted my podiatrist about pains in the balls of my feet and right hip, and she gave me some great tips which solved those problems.
Some find it relaxing as well
As you age, stretching becomes more important, even if you're less active. Unfortunately, I see fewer older people stretching - even those that go to the gym. This one exercise will help regain your flexibility and strength.
Flexibility declines as the years go by because our muscles get stiffer. And if you don't stretch them, the muscles will shorten.
Inflexibility puts a crimp in daily acts, making it harder to walk, raise your arms overhead, or turn your head while backing up the car. It undermines your balance, too, which can cause life-altering falls.
Since I was diagnosed at 50 with Type 2 diabetes I've been learning how to do bone-building fitness training which lowers my age. You can too. It's your choice. Walter