Testing Out Different Apps

For more than a year, I have tested a several meditation or relaxation apps and websites. I have found that I am smitten with a few that are working for me. My favorite are: Headspace, Meditation Oasis, and white noise. The white noise I get from either Relax Melodies or my Nursal White Noise Machine that I bought via Amazon.ca.

I have had problems sleeping for more than a year and part of the issue was my anemia. Repeatedly I was advised to do yoga, meditate, and change my sleep routine so that I could ease into sleep. Some of the advice worked. I have tried numerous apps and websites, but Headspace and Meditation Oasis are my favorites.

I find that waking up, meditating and doing yoga works well for me. Then, I end the day doing some relaxation poses and more meditation. I prefer the Nursal machine’s ocean mode. With Relax Melodies, I have tried a few of the settings, but find that the underwater or ocean sounds are the most soothing for me. I do not have the paid version of Relax Melodies, but do have the premium Headspace account.

Which apps, sites or YouTube channels do you like for your meditation or relaxation routine? Please share!

Taking Care of Yourself

I have had issues with anemia during the last decade for an array of reasons and each time it’s come up and surprised me. I was never anemic during my pregnancies, but somehow anemia is my kryptonite. And, the two times I’ve been anemic I had no idea until I was exhausted and had a spate of illnesses.

I was referring to my illnesses as an Election Flu, since I had been ill almost every other month for more than a year. Somehow I was caught up in life and work and didn’t think that there was a pattern of illness and exhaustion. But, my family and friends kept reminding me that I was getting sick lots. I finally asked for some blood work and realized that my illness and exhaustion was from anemia. I am eating so many green leafy veggies that I think I am seeing green. Oh, and I’m eating more meat.

But, that is not the point. The point is that it’s important to take care of your health. Self-care is not a luxury. And, in the midst of the blood work and doctors’ appointments I had a few surprises. So, here I am taking better care of myself and finally sleeping better and feeling somewhat better. What I have been thinking about is that I am not going to take my health for granted. I am enjoying this tea from Silk Road and reading with my cuppa.

Yoga

I’m back to doing some yoga and does it feel great! I forgot how much I need yoga and stretching in my life. I also have taken to doing some active meditation. The thing that I like about some of the classes is that I’m seeing fewer flexy sexies and more regular practitioners.

As far as meditation, I have tried a few apps and will write about them at another time. I need to see which ones turn out to be the best fit for me. Sharing a photo of my cup of coffee.

Thinking of #MeToo

You’d be hard pressed to not know what the #MeToo movement or hashtag is. The words really resonate with the fact that so many people are survivors of sexual harassment and sexual assault. The numbers are higher for women as survivors of harassment or assault. In Canada, almost 500,000 will be sexually assaulted each year. This number might sound high or low to some. I am going to offer that the number is likely too low. Statistics in the US are also overwhelming. From RAINN we see that in the US every 98 seconds a woman is sexually assaulted. These stats essentially mean that we all know several people who are survivors.

We are at a tipping point and people are listening to women, girls, and others about different untenable situations that they have faced. It used to be that we didn’t talk about our me too situations. They are ugly and we likely want to move on and not remember the ugliness from work, home, a bar or just about every darn place that we live. My first #MeToo was in junior high, but the me too moments or situations that stung the worse were with partners or in the workplace. There are too many stories to tell.

I took this photo in an Old Navy. It is a shirt in celebration of International Women’s Day, March 8th.

Quit Lit

I have mixed feelings with academic quit lit. To explain, quit lit is the post or letter about leaving academe. The job market stinks and one could spend their entire academic career trying to piece together courses and live at or close to the poverty level. The quit lit genre feels close to home and that is likely one reason why I am uncomfortable. I spent the better part of my career as a lecturer or sessional. Part of it allowed me to get teaching experience and start my family.

The other part of this is the luxury of having a gainfully employed partner and my absolute unwillingness with moving off the West Coast. I insisted that staying near my family of origin was necessary. But, quit lit also makes me sad, as I see most of the posts or letters penned (er, typed) by women academics. I am also reminded of my research about women in political science and all the 1970-1990 early quit lit letters to the Women’s Caucus in Political Science. Yes, the archives included personal stories about leaving political science.

I also have guilt. I ended up moving up the coast and immigrating to Canada to start over. I co-owned a business, applied for government work and had a few interviews, and on a whim, I applied to teach a class at a local university. I got on the part-time track again, but this time after a few years I moved to the tenure-track. I feel like an academic unicorn. The quit lit stories hit me in a sore spot and my sense of empathy is raw. Last hired, first fired. It’s a rough place to live. I remember. I’m including a photo of San Diego State, where I earned my BA in Women’s Studies, and MA in Liberal Arts and Sciences. I’m in town for a family issue. And, it was at State where I decided that I wanted to be a college professor.

Staying Healthy

I am doing my best to try to stay healthy. But, it seems like there has been more illness around me at home and at work. I was my hands lots, take vitamins, exercise and try to get enough sleep. I have asked my students to not come to class sick, so that they don’t infect the rest of us. I encourage my staff at work to not come into work sick, too.

I likely think more about these sort of issues thanks to living with someone who is immune compromised. With this, I am mindful of not wanting to get sick. However, this does not always work. What is your routine for staying healthy?

I love to read. I find reading relaxing. I also like Bananagrams and board games. I’m looking forward to adding the extra cards from my Cards Against Humanity additions.

No Resolutions

I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. Working in higher education, I live the academic year cycle and typically start a new school year thinking about what I resolve to do. But, this year, I have decided that I wanted to learn how to knit. It’s not so much a resolution, though. I have wanted to learn for more than a decade and on a whim I bought a “Learn to Knit” kit at the store.

I was not too surprised to find so many people around me know how to knit and have offered to help me. I am already liking this year.