I wonder how many of us constantly hear that expression ”lifestyle changes” and at the same time try to fully understand what it really means.
At a guess I would think most of us hear it at least once or twice a week every week. I do acknowledge the fact that many people have to make changes for their own good, on the other hand many others do it through their own individual choice. Making these lifestyle changes can be covered by a whole spectrum of reasons. The biggest reasons being physical and mental health, the death of a loved one, separation or divorce. The list is endless.
Over these past 18 months or so, I have had to make a few of my own lifestyle changes because of my depression. But I hasten to add more positive changes. This year I have become deeply involved in my love of photography and as a result of this it has encouraged me to get out and about a lot more, visit places old and new. By doing this it has enabled me to move in and out of crowded areas without the anxiety and fear that has troubled me over these past few years. I’m not saying it’s been easy…..far from it in fact, but it’s not impossible either. At various points I believed that perhaps I was trying to do too much too soon.
In July of this year I had my first holiday in almost 12 years, something that I never thought I would have the chance or the courage to do again, but because of a few small lifestyle changes I was able to have a holiday, and a thoroughly enjoyable one at that.
However, although my mental health has improved a fair bit these past few months, all has not been well in other areas of my health And by that I mean years of suffering arthritis took its toll. Not only that, I have suffered from severe fatigue the past 4 to 5 months, and not really understanding why. One tends to sense when all is not well, but rather than I suppose deal with it and be pulled back down in to the dark depth of depression one tends to push on and hope things will sort themselves out. I made several changes to my life style this year in order to have more time for myself and my hobbies, I adjusted my work commitments by not doing all the extra hours I had previously done. It is unfortunate therefore that within these past couple of weeks following a series of blood tests it has been confirmed that I am pre diabetic, and in addition to this my GP believes that I suffer from a disorder called sleep apnoea. However, further forthcoming tests will either confirm or disprove the latter. All this would explain the increased fatigue and the increased overwhelming desire to fall asleep at various parts of the day that I have been suffering from.
The bottom line is by making substantial ‘ lifestyle change’s now, such as in diet and exercise proper rest, I can prevent having full-blown diabetes type 2, and also keep the sleep apnoea problems to a minimum. I suppose realistically all this has been the proverbial ‘kick up the bum’ that I needed to improve my physical well-being as well as my mental well-being.
I had to smile though when my GP sent me through some information leaflets on the sleep apnoea. In one of the sections it states it has been proven than playing a didgeridoo has helped some sufferers considerably. (To didgeridoo or not to digeridoo…that is the question!) Somehow I can’t see myself being a sport and doing a Rolf Harris impression, so that is one lifestyle change I won’t be making!!
However, on a more serious note, all this means I now have to reassess many more important factors in my life to ensure neither conditions progress on to the next stage any time soon. Not an easy task by any sense, I know this is going to be very difficult for me, but by the same token it’s not going to be impossible either. These are unfortunately the sort of lifestyle changes that are forced upon one, and not by choice.
More useful information on sleep apnoea can be found on www.cks.clarity.co.uk ( then type in sleep apnoea)
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