Just Breathe

By Shim Sham

“In this moment, I take a step back and look at myself with the pride of a good mother. I see an abundance of abilities and talents that show up all the time in big and little ways. If I could stick myself on a refrigerator, I would. I would invite all the neighbors over and say, ‘Look at that. Can you believe what an A+ that is?'”

Something I want to do more in my life in meditation. I do not know a ton about it, but I have participated in many meditation exercises. During this year, being more isolated from people has definitely increased my feelings of anxiety and depression. Coupling that with the current political climate, I feel very helpless over outcomes in the world, and I want to try and meditate more as a way to cope with those feelings. I want to be more purposeful about it, so today I am sharing a goal with you, I want to do at least 5 minutes of meditation every day. I think that is a very simple and easy goal to start out with. Help hold me accountable!

I am posting a video of a meditation I have done and I do enjoy it. I have taken my blood pressure before and after this meditation and it does lower, quite significantly. The lower blood pressure doesn’t sustain itself throughout the day, but I think if I intentionally do a breathing exercise like this before bed every night, it will help me relax and hopefully sleep better.

What meditations do you do? Are you consistent with the way you meditate and how did you accomplish that? I would appreciate any and all help!

Kay Jay’s Assessment of 2020 – So Far (and how that relates to wellness)

Good morning, Shim Sham!

Yesterday here in the Midwest, 2020 gifted us with the visual spectacle of half a foot of snow. In October.

BEFORE HALLOWEEN.

But, it’s fine. We’ll lean into it. Just like we’ve been learning how to lean into just about everything this year.

2020 has been a time for many of us to take a look at our lives and really take stock of what is important to us. Many of us have had the unique opportunity in all of this chaos to dig into what’s important to us and find a way to focus on it. Our way of living in the so called “developed world” has been been found out as unsustainable and lacking in compassion. Not that many of us were unaware of this, but now it’s become headline news. More people are plugged into the issues plaguing the United States at the core – and it’s got more people involved than ever before.

And it can be tiring. It can be so difficult to stay informed, live your life, pursue your own dreams, stay in touch and connected with close loved ones, and continue fighting to take down the white supremacist establishments and capitalist structures that uphold them.

It can be downright EXHAUSTING.

And that’s why wellness is so important for me at the moment. I want to be held accountable for the ways I treat myself – positively and negatively. I want to be more aware of the ways I engage with myself. And that means taking more stock of what I put into my body and what I do with my body.

But does that mean that now I’m obsessing over calories, numbers on the scale, how I look in the mirror? Short answer, no.

Longer answer – No, of course not.

I want to be more conscious of what it is I am putting into my body, as well as what I do for myself each day to take care of my body, heart, mind and soul. I hope to focus on many of these in the coming weeks, but for the sake of length today, I’ll focus in on one particular – well, let’s call it a vice. Perhaps an addiction.

Shim Sham knows this, but I want to go on record for accountability purposes. I’ve made the decision to cut alcohol out of my life – possibly for good. While this isn’t the first time I’ve considered this, things are different this time.

I’ve been spiritually drained from the negative emotions that drinking brings up for me, and I have been striving to live and love more freely and openly without the aid (or lack thereof) of alcohol. I’ve been taking a hard look at the practices which no longer serve me positively. While some indulgence is lovely and necessary (I am a Taurus after all) I know that indulgence and bingeing are separated by a thin line, especially for myself.

And so now I’m living a sober life and kind of loving it. I don’t wake up with headaches anymore – I don’t dip down into unexpected depressive states because of the substance in my body – I don’t feel drained and listless for entire days at a time as my body works through the alcohol. What I do feel is much more energy – a certain positive outlook that has been keeping me sane – and a zest for passion projects that I kept saying I would get into, but always found an excuse to not do. While all of these are not mutually exclusive, not drinking has contributed positively to the process.

None of that is to say that people shouldn’t ever drink – PLEASE, DO WHAT YOU FEEL IS GOOD FOR YOU! All I want to point out is that there are indicators that things are not working for us in our lives, and sometimes we need to really take stock of what is serving us positively or negatively. That’s a part of wellness – indulging our body and also treating it with the care and respect it deserves.

Now that I’ve perhaps laid out a bit more than I originally intended, I want to leave everyone with this – We are all just trying to get through this year and many of us are hoping to rebuild something better on the other side of Covid (Whatever that means). For now, be kind. To others. To yourself. To the world. We can get through this together. We can.

And those who don’t want to make things better – we can leave them behind. As the wise Maria Bamford once said, (And I’m paraphrasing here) we can perhaps put them on an island where “they are safe, cared for, and UNABLE TO RULE.”

Welcome to Our Wellness Journey!

By Shim Sham

“I am exactly where I need to be, exactly when I need to be.”

Thank you for checking out our wellness blog! I am Shim Sham and I use any and all pronouns said with love. Kay Jay and I have been on a journey to wellness our whole lives. Always working toward improving our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and we both decided that we need to kick it up a notch and that is where our blog comes in!

I thought if I started writing things down and people could actually read them and check in with me, it would create some accountability. So Kay Jay and I will be posting periodically. We both have different wellness goals and we are both in different places, but ultimately we just want to improve our health and share that with you.

So, back to me. 2020 has been a beast in so many ways and so I am physically and emotionally not in a great place. I am at the heaviest weight I have ever been. I am on two medications to help me control my blood pressure, and my blood pressure still lives in the 140’s/80’s range even on medication. I wake up and toss and turn in the night and never feel fully rested.

I switched to a plant based diet in December of 2019 and I lost 30 pounds in a month and I felt great! Then, the stresses of being a nurse, working on my bachelors degree and also trying to maintain personal relationships got to me and I gained it all back. I started being a “lazy vegan”, with many cheat days.

Spiritually and emotionally it has also been a tough year. The social distancing and lack of connection is never easy. Even though I call people, video chat and make sure I am socializing with someone everyday, I cannot help but still feel heightended anxiety and at least a low level of depression.

So here are my goals. I want to work out five days a week and starting putting food into my body that is going to make me feel good and help me reach all my goals. I want to start meditating and working on emotional wellness. I am a nurse and a nursing student, and I want to be able to bring energy and vitality into my studies and nursing practice. Currently, I wake up most days wanting to go right back to bed.

So please read our blog and help give me some accountability!

I am so excited to start this journey with you!