• Charli

Wellness Matters 26.02.2021

I have previously mentioned the joys and obvious benefits of being an island nation and this last week has given us much to chat about as we enjoyed unseasonably warm temperatures and witnessed crocus, snowdrop and green shoots begin to poke through the cold earth. It’s extraordinary to think that a little over 2 weeks ago much of Scotland was enjoying outdoor snow pursuits such as sledging, building snowmen and walking in the cold crisp air.

However we should be mindful of this well kent phrase: ‘Ne’er cast a cloot till May be oot.’ Basically meaning, keep your coat handy, Summer is still a way off!

While we have a few more months before the temperature remains ambient the news that vaccinations are already having a positive impact, schools begin to slowly reopen and a roadmap for re-booting the economy was launched, we have been given hope and optimism that we will not endure another long period of lockdown.

There is hope, of course, as vaccinations continue to be rolled out across generations that plans for family reunions will be realised to make up for so much lost time. However, remaining safe is up to us individually and collectively because we are a long way from herd immunity.

I would like us to be mindful that for some members of our communities the relaxation of restrictions will not be met with enthusiasm, because the past 12 months have been catastrophic: loss of freedom due to shielding, loss of contact with loved ones, loss of good mental health, loss of good physical health and loss, sadly, through death. It is our collective responsibility to be aware of those who have suffered and who will require gentle encouragement and support to emerge back into society.

I suppose it is assumed that we will maintain high levels of awareness and vigilance with coronavirus very much at the forefront of our interactions, but let’s not forget that our immune systems have not been exposed to the usual coughs and colds, tummy bugs or ‘flu which help to boost our immune system and therefore we could be exposed to a different swathe of illnesses.

This week I tuned in to the latest Unlocking Us podcast with Brené Brown and Dr Edith Eger on Recognising the Choices and Gifts in Our lives.

Listen here.

If you never listen to another podcast in your life, or have never listened to one, I encourage you to try this. Edith has an extraordinarily humbling attitude towards the atrocities aimed at her and all the inmates of Auschwitz.

There were 3 main points that really had me thinking:

We don’t have to be victims even if we have been victimised.

It is not up to Edith to forgive the Nazis, as she succinctly puts it: ‘only God can do that’.

We can choose to live our lives inside or outside of any prison enforced on us. But oftentimes the fear of freedom itself is a barrier. For example, it is well documented that those who have been institutionalised, regardless of whether pain has been inflicted or not, can have a greater fear of ‘freedom’ than we might expect.

Edith is not professing to have answers and is not living in a god - like state, but rather espouses the need to vent anger at times so that we do not imprison ourselves.

She admits to watching Jeopardy and celebrates when she answers a question correctly: she has her moment of ‘Shine’ as I do if I ever get a question right from University Challenge! She uses this example to show that while she might answer 1 question, it takes a team to achieve a wider knowledge base.

Edith makes an honest and open statement of affection for Brené and suggests they meet up, post-pandemic lockdown, eat good Texas beef and get their hair done together, a timely reminder that it’s the small things we can look forward to most, especially connecting and re-connecting with others.

Last week I made mention of making my own muesli. I don’t eat muesli, but I do eat granola and this simple failsafe recipe, one of my own, is cheap and easy to do.

Set oven to electric fan 160’ electric 180’ and gas mark 4. 5 minutes prep. 15 minutes cooking. 5 mins cooling.

You will need:

A roasting tin, approx 40cm x 20cm

150g of oats

30g mixed seeds

50g mixed nuts (satisfyingly bashed in a beeswax cover, or freezer bag)

3 tbspns oil (I prefer cold pressed rapeseed)

2 tbspns honey

1 tspn ground ginger

Jug of boiling water to rinse the tablespoon between measurements: stops oil and honey sticking

Mix all the ingredients in the roasting tray. Pop in oven for 15 mins. Mix ingredients ½ way through. Switch oven off and leave to cool in oven so that the granola goes crunchy.

Enjoy sprinkled over yoghurt.

Have a safe week.

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