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My Five Currencies. Tuesday February 2, 2016

Today the sun has graced us with its big beaming face. Living in a wet, rainy grey climate really does challenge many of us. My inkling is that part of the reason Britain is teeming with eccentrics and off-the-wall characters is because of our weather.

I have been called "crazy" and "mad" in affectionate ways. And do you know what, instead of trying to tone it down I have decided to embrace this part of me that affords me sunshine. Maybe it is a way of escaping the dark (and I do still go there) but it gives me energy, the currency of living. That's my number one currency.

But I need other currencies to pay into my energy account, especially to balance the zany.

Nutrition is the number two. I haven't eaten unhealthily but I haven't packed enough nutrients or protein. Ridiculous actually as my cooking has inspired others who tell me to write a book on my creations. Depression can take the appetite hostage and anxiety can tighten the purse strings. Since supping daily "blasts" using a well known extractor I feel more vitalised. Frozen berries, spinach, apples and beetroot with fresh ginger is a great pick me up, hard lining nutrients to my brain.

Number three goes without saying – music: especially on the radio or new finds on YouTube. The preponderance of enriching music out there is inspiring.

Number four - meditation and breathing via any source you like. Gyms are functional but for me soulless, so the free fresh air and singing my own ditties gets the lungs working. Wouldn't it be great to have dance breaks at work? I bet that would oomph productivity, the Holy Grail of the industry!

Number five. Winter is the time the trees shut up shop and go within to cultivate energy within ready for new growth in Spring. Trees tend to be around for a while so I am following their wisdom in winter and having plenty of sleep or if insomnia is a problem listening to relaxation tracks or binaural beats on my headphones.

I bet you all use these strategies and more already. I am creating a tree on wall in the house where I pin my tips as leaves to help me sustain these good habits. As I feel better I hope to pin larger leaves with the fruits of my strategies.

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Nick Tue, Feb 2nd 2016 @ 6:41am

I feel you also have a sixth currency: writing!
A beautiful blog, Lesley, thank you. xx

Lesley Tue, Feb 2nd 2016 @ 12:50pm

Thank you, Nick. When i try to write nothing comes but when the moment arrives it all flows onto to the page in 5 minutes. Am learning that less effort is better for me

Nick Tue, Feb 2nd 2016 @ 6:21pm

Over the last couple of months I've been working on, just going with the flow, just playing with the cards I'm being dealt with. I'm also learning, that less effort is better for me! xx

Lex Tue, Feb 2nd 2016 @ 7:38am

I echo Nick's words, Lesley - this is beautifully written. If you are willing, may I see a picture of your tree when you're ready? Thank you. L'xx

Lesley Tue, Feb 2nd 2016 @ 12:51pm

Thank you, Lex.Absolutely. It is a work in progress as I am not very artistic and just trying out ideas.

LillyPet Tue, Feb 2nd 2016 @ 7:52am

Morning Lesley,
Thank you fir a lovely bright blog on this grey winter morning. I'm nit huge on astrology, but am all for anything that strikes a chord, so as an Aquarian I'm going to embrace my inner eccentric and wear something bright and quirky to work!:)
Thank you for sharing your top tips. I was given one of those goodness blitzing gadgets and my first attempt was a bit of a disaster, looked and tasted pretty awful! So I'll try your recipe!
Love your tools tree and the idea of putting your new growth on it. Youve inspired me to create something similar.
Wishing All connection with your bright and shining essence. Love and light. LP xx

Lesley Tue, Feb 2nd 2016 @ 12:53pm

The " blast" is so simple and that is what makes it effective. Add a few almonds and some linseeds when you will. The only thing I really advise against is using grapefruit complete with pith and peel. I thought i was a dragon with the amount of fire roaring in my gullet. Big cabbage greens can also be somewhat peppery.

Hopeful One Tue, Feb 2nd 2016 @ 8:57am

Hi Lesley- It was so uncanny how our lists are so similar! I have added a couple of things to my list which seem to help. The first is that I take Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids in capsule form everyday in the prescribed dosage (see Dr Ilardi's Book page 84 ' The depression Cure') as there is evidence that they help in depression(for the rationale see page 66 of Dr Steve Ilardi's book')

Secondly I use a medical grade white light during the winter months as I feel that there is a seasonal affective disorder component in my depression.

Away with the serious stuff- lets laugh which is also on my list.

An English teacher asked her class to write an essay on what they'd do if they had a million pounds. Alec handed in a blank sheet of paper. "Alec!" yelled the teacher, "Why have you written nothing." Alec says "Because if I had a million pounds, that's exactly what I would do'

Lesley Tue, Feb 2nd 2016 @ 12:55pm

I love Alec's response. Yes, I too take a good quality omega 3 daily and eggs seem to perk me up no end and sharpen my mind. I have a white light alarm clock which wakes me graciously these days.

Mary Tue, Feb 2nd 2016 @ 9:29am

That's such a helpful list Lesley. Thank you. I too like the idea of a tree on the wall. Hopeful one, I had not realised that Omega 3 can help and I will certainly look up this book.

Lesley Tue, Feb 2nd 2016 @ 12:56pm

Mary, it can. One has to take care with it in bipolar conditions and not be excessive. Worth researching. I am training in Naturopathic Nutrition, whilst working, and when i qualify in 3 years I would like to work with mood disorders

susan Tue, Feb 2nd 2016 @ 10:31am

I will think of you dancing and twirling around your kitchen in colourful, flowing robes as you throw (from a distance) nutrients into your whirling machine. You have inspired me to get the blender out, Lesley, for one thing. Your list is terrific -- I can only add that whenever at all possible I seize a day at home with no pressing commitments and wait for activities to unfold; it may produce a walk or a clearout but the freedom helps to reset my nervous system. Thank you. Your writing is wonderful. xx

Lesley Tue, Feb 2nd 2016 @ 5:57pm

Susan, seizing the moment for unfolding conjures up images of you making some puff pastry, folding it all in, and then it unfolds in the oven. Like you I enjoy having a clear out. It really gives a sense of something concrete done and lightness.

Anonymous Tue, Feb 2nd 2016 @ 12:14pm

Hello Lesley. It's nice to see your name at the end of the blog. Is this your first blog? I was very pleased to see you had given a thought to those who have difficulty sleeping when you said about getting plenty of sleep. I get very frustrated when I read articles urging us to sleep more in order to be healthy. Us insomniacs know this!! I think you are first person I have come across to mention us in the same sentence. So a big thank you for this! Jul x

Lesley Tue, Feb 2nd 2016 @ 6:14pm

Hi Jul. Thank you for your kind comment. I have posted a couple of times before but not recently. Insomnia is vile. Sleep has never been my easy companion and I do have to take meds in order to sleep. I sincerely wish to reduce them as they encourage passivity in me and affect my memory. Discovered long ago that hiking or cross country skiing is a recipe for sleep but I can't exactly hike or ski where I live now. I joke that I am like a dog that needs walking to dissipate nervous energy. I recommend the relaxation stuff on YouTube (check out Jason Stephenson and Michael Seale) to help rest me if I wake at 2am. At least I am resting. Other important precursors to sleep are adequate protein intake during the day as this can be a precursor to serotonin. I am sure you will have tried increasing your tryptophan intake as well. (Milk, turkey). Lavender and frankincense essential oils can be useful. Do not use Frankincense undiluted. It was more precious than gold in ancient times. It soothes the nervous system. One other thing in my toolbox is personal to me. I try to attend Five Rhythms dance sessions which are not everyone's cup of tea but therapeutic and sometimes rather tiring. Sending you sunshine. x

Anonymous Tue, Feb 2nd 2016 @ 6:46pm

This is so helpful Lesley. Thank you! I take zopiclone when my Dr will let me have them and the occasional Valium again when I am allowed them. Neither help long term but when desperate they can be life savers. I think the anxiety and guilt associated with taking a drug the medical establishment disapproves of (Valium) contributes to insomnia. Does your medication help? I have some Frankincense which I ordered from Amazon but have never opened it. I may try it now. Your other recommendations are new to me (except Tryptophan) so thank you again..xxxzzzzz Jul

Lesley Tue, Feb 2nd 2016 @ 8:45pm

If you are not yet asleep, Jul (poor joke by me!)more info. I take 50 mg amitriptyline preferably before my evening meal but often after. This does not work for everyone. It is an anti-depressant. It causes mouth dryness and for some people, heart palpitations. I have had occasional Valium for back spasms and it helps them but makes me depressed as hell so I avoid it like the plague. Do you also have adequate calcium and magnesium in your diet? Blood tests can reveal those levels and if necessary taking the right ratio of these supplements in the right absorption formula can aid sleep or at least relax muscles. I notice I get into deeper sleep when I take magnesium an hour before bed.

Bearofliddlebrain Tue, Feb 2nd 2016 @ 8:58pm

Super blog, Lesley, I like the imagery you have given us. I especially like the pictures (in my head) of your Lex said, would be great to 'see it' in real life :)
I use exercise so much more now and have stopped having alcohol as much as possible, to aid better sleep patterns...having said that I seem to be in an insomniac cycle at the moment and am completely pooped!! Lol! But since last April, I'm chuffed that I have reached over 1,540 miles...walking 45 miles, (on average) per week...! Pooped but fit?? Ha! Fit to drop!!
Thank you for a really good blog, Lesley.
Bear hugs x

Lesley Wed, Feb 3rd 2016 @ 7:32pm

Hello Bear. Your walking is fantastic. Do you have a dog? I get in about 9000 steps a day but was far better when I lived in a snowy climate and got on my cross country skis. Bliss. Nice cup of tea time now. Hugs back wherever you are.

The Gardener Tue, Feb 2nd 2016 @ 10:41pm

Lesley's tree is lovely - almost my mantra. This evening has been the grimmest of all - Mr TG nearly out of control - despite all the efforts being made to help with the situation it's almost beyond my control - I cannot sustain these hours of sheer nastiness. Been out sitting in the cold square, just looking at the shut shops and leafless trees. My b-in-law phoned - he will be 90 in March - his own small family have not been much joy to him, and he adores ours. 4 out of 5 of our children will make the pilgrimage to his party, and 3 of their children. I am so glad for him, and have a stab of jealousy because our family will be there and we cannot. The daughter who will not speak to me is going - another stab - BUT it's not the family she's against (she's the one who has struggled with adoption) only me - how I would like to see her again. To add to the general antagonism of the day the farmers, who are having massive demonstrations blocked both supermarkets - the police do nothing. But eldest son due Monday, if ANYBODY can do anything with Mr TG it is he. Looking for a little joy - just watched the Real Marigold Hotel - and watching the effect of India on the 8 famous people. Of all the places I have visited it has the most profound effect. Bear, I, too, have reduced alcohol - did not drink to a dangerous level, just too much - could not cope without its deadening effect - once I started longing for it the warning light went on.

Lesley Wed, Feb 3rd 2016 @ 7:56pm

Dear TG. Just catching up now after day at work. Reading your reply I feel so massively grateful about all I have in my life and fewer difficulties than you are facing. Cold square and shut shops sounds bleak. I do get the stab of jealousy feeling. My own family - brother and his wife and children - are 425 miles away from me. I have no children and live with my lodger. I see family once a year or so if I make the journey. They have busy busy lives and see my stepfamily occaisonally for big lunches and dinners etc. When I see the photos on Facebook it is as if I am the missing person. My stepmother doesn't like me so I am excluded. My sister-in-law is lovely and we speak every week so I do feel cared for. I haven't seen the Real Marigold Hotel but did see the film only a few weeks ago. I understand now why a friend said to me it would be perfect for me. India is a place I am keen to visit. The heat appeals. As for alcohol, I know it doesn't do me good as I get too high and then sail on doing too much before a massive crash. Alcohol is an adaptogen and can exacerbate what mood your are in. If I am feeling exhilarated then a glass ups the exhilaration. If I am not exhilarated, then I get neck spasms and cold in my body. Hey ho. Thinking of you today and hoping that eldest son can conjure some magic on Mr TG who sounds ill and very demanding of you. You are the precious gem who came into this world and is still a gem who deserves sunlight. Off to study now. I need tea! Hugs to you. My tree is in its infancy as I am rubbish at art but it will take shape. It may not be perfect but it will be me.

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