Basic Self-care List

Everyone needs a bit of motivation and simple reminders sometimes.

  1. Get the feck up
  2. Brush teeth
  3. Wash
  4. Apply deodorant
  5. Cleanse/Exfoliate face
  6. Add moisturiser/Facial oil
  7. Get dressed
  8. Comb hair
  9. Very milky hot/iced coffee
  10. . Have something (pretty much anything) to eat
  11. Catch up on notifications on social media
  12. Write or read blogs and comment
  13. Order food shop?
  14. Wash clothes/Vac up?
  15. Make a nice meal
  16. Bath/Shower?
  17. Read a book/Watch telly
  18. Hug/phone someone
  19. Cleanse face/Brush teeth
  20. Take a cup of water to bed

I wrote this for myself but if it helps you to function too, then great!

🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

10 Positive Things My Disabilities Bring

If this list serves as ‘inspiration porn’ for someone, then frickin fantastic!

(there’s a full list of my disabilities and chronic illnesses at the bottom of this post)

  1. Being a very sensory person and also having a lot of extra movement in my hips and spine means I have natural rhythm to dance.
  2. My legs are surprisingly strong through them having to correct my balance constantly when I stand and walk. The Amazons have nothing on me lol
  3. I have a really fast metabolism which is great for never having to worry about getting overweight (just hangry) and it means I can totally justify ordering sides and desert. img_7655
  4. Being tall is handy to see where I’m meant to be going in a crowd. 5’8 is usually the same height as online clothing models so I know how clothes will fit me too.
  5. My immune system may attack me but cold and flu viruses beware, it’s effectively coming for you too!
  6. I struggle to keep up academically but I’ve always had loads of emotional intelligence. It helps me navigate social situations as I pick up on the subtext of what people are saying and doing. Thank goodness as I was way to too trusting!
  7. I have weirdly good balance and fine-motor skills if I really concentrate/hyperfocus
  8. Being hypermobile is really handy when trying to reach past a load of clutter or when something has rolled under furniture or for painting my toenails.
  9. I’ve gotten some interesting scars over the years from accidents but I also heal surprisingly quickly.
  10. Feeling different to everyone for numerous physical, sensory, neurological and emotional reasons that you don’t understand, makes you feel like a total freak at first but later helps you to understand and love your true, individual bad-ass self.
  • 🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    Note: Incase you wondering, the disabilities chronic illnesses I have are: Demyelination (usually as a result of Multiple Soroses ), Dyspraxia (effecting mental and physical cognitive skills but not intelligence; Neurological in nature), Aspergers (again not a mental-health issue just Neurologically diverse), Sensory Processing Disorder (imagine most of your senses are dialled up to 11; relating to Aspergers and Dyspraxia), allergies/food intolerances, PCOS (suspected by GP’s), Hyperthyroidism, Hypermobilty Syndrome (too loose/stretchy joints, ligaments, soft tissue, digestive issues). These all have the symptoms of chronic fatigue/brain fog in common.

    Would You Rather tag (with bonus christmas questions)

    I came across this on the awesome Hunida’s blog. It originated with The Newbury Girl  (I think) but I wanted to keep the chain going so I joined in!

    1. Would you rather lose all of your money or all your sentimental items?

    When I first read this question I immediately thought I’d want to keep sentimental items (I do have a giant shoe box as a ‘memory box’) but having no money would take away all of my independence and make me totally reliant on others. So it would have to be the items *sob*

    2. Would you rather experience unrequited love or never love at all?

    I don’t think I’d like to be incapable of love. The guys I’ve loved haven’t loved me back to the same extent and vice-versa. So to never be madly, intoxicatingly in love again would be okay with me!

    3. Would you rather own your own business or work for someone else?

    I don’t have the executive functioning to be my own executive (bad Aspie joke) and I’ve actually liked a lot of my bosses, so I’d work for someone else.

    4. Would you rather give up television (including streaming/YouTube) or reading?

    I get eye strain really easy when reading and I love that I can watch telly with people and chat about it.

    5. Would you rather give up sushi or tacos for the rest of your life?

    I’d give up tacos. The ones in the UK are really hard and crispy and just break in half as soon as you bight them. I love veggie sushi, it’s so refreshing but filing.

    6. Would you rather live in your hometown and never travel anywhere, or live in another country but never visit home?

    I have lived in my hometown all my life and love Manchester but it would be cool to live somewhere else and have my Dad visit me (he loves travelling btw).

    7. Would you rather live in the desert or live in a frozen tundra?

    Hmmm, extreme heat fatigue probs or terrible circulation probs. I’d be unconscious with the heat so frozen tundra it is.

    8. Would you rather eat dessert (but never dinner) or dinner (but never dessert)?

    I’m such a salty person – so to speak. I find a lot of deserts too sickly after a while.

    9. Would you rather run a successful blog or a successful YouTube channel?

    Blog! I hate the sound of my voice as my Dyspraxia means my pitch and tone can accidentally be a bit over the top (too dramatic) or really monotone (too sarcastic sounding), plus when I’m fatigued I sound a bit pissed, ha!

    10. Would you rather give up all makeup/cosmetics products or give up “dressing fashionably”?

    I need skincare but I actively try to avoid wearing anything that happens to be in fashion at the time. So I’d bin fashion (or the idea of things being in or out of fashion) in general actually.

    5 Bonus Christmas Questions!

    1. Christmas jumper or Christmas Jewellery?

    These 5 are my questions so I can cheat and say both jumper and jewellery, and a Crimbo scrunchy and pin badges and socks and…

    2. Classic or Contemporary Christmas Songs?

    Contemporary as in Stay Now by East 17 and All I Want For Christmas by Mariah.

    3. Christmas dinner with ALL of your family or dinner cooked by your fave chef in a restaurant?

    Well seeing as my Dad is going on holiday and he’s my only family, it would have to be a restaurant in this scenario. There’s a really fit Asian chef that was on Celebrity Masterchef this year.

    4. A big surprise present or five things off your wish list?

    As I’m (just about) financially stable and can’t buy my own stuff, I’d love a big surprise! Maybe a trip to see The Northern Lights.

    5. Snowball fight outside or ice skating at a rink?

    I tried to ice skate once, for fifteen terrifying minutes. I’m ace at snowball fights though, tactical and ruthless!

    ________________________________

    Please feel free to join in with this tag and include your own photos of your choices if you want, or just comment instead!

    🎄Chrissie🎄

    Breakfast, Dinner or Tea?

    I only got out of bed just over two and a half hours ago so who knows lol

    Corn thins with dairy free spread, cucumber, sun-dried tomato (out of a jar, not those plastic unrecyclable tubs, cheaper too) with oregano, artichoke hearts (again out of a jar) and jalapeños. I did eat a giant handful of salted, roasted cashews before this so protein isn’t an issue, for anyone wondering.

    🖤✨Chrissie✨🖤

    When People Still Don’t Get It After The 10,000 Time

    Don’t say it, don’t say it, don’t say it….

    When you have repeatedly explained your disability, symptoms and needs to someone, in every way you can think of and they still aren’t getting it.

    Breathe….

    I know it’s tempting to want to strangle them or head butt the desk repeatedly or scream – actually screaming into a pillow is very therapeutic – but eventually you will have to accept it and let it go for the sake of your mental health.

    Not everyone’s empathy works in the same way. Some people will instantly get it (whether they have experienced it or not) simply by listening and taking the info on board. Some people need to have experienced something similar for themselves so they literally know what you mean. Others, because it is different to their experiences will never, ever be fully onboard. Even if you have gone through something and they were witnessing it, they still won’t have learned from that past experience.

    Now, that’s not to say they don’t care and don’t want to understand. It is entirely possible for a person to sympathise, yet manage to say or do something ignorant and tactless purely by mistake.

    I guess what I’m saying is don’t take it personally and don’t beat your head against a brick wall (metaphorically I mean) by thinking you can change someone like that and enlighten them. Some people are all ready at their maximum capacity for understanding and empathising.

    Essentially at that point, it is up to them to get their own head around what you need and how you function. I’ve arrived at the conclusions at the start of this post. Trying to make someone understand, isn’t always worth your mental health or your relationship with them deteriorating. If they obviously care about you, sometimes you just have to accept that no matter how much they try, maybe they never will really get it and you have to be cool with that.

    Chrissie

    October & November Round-up

    I’ve been a bit of a nomad these past few months going between home, my blokes flat and his Dads. No wonder I haven’t been sleeping, my body doesn’t know where ‘my own bed’ actually is anymore! Here is a two month round-up for you.

    October (a fair bit)

    I reviewed this Maleficent tee which I bought from Pop In A Box who sell Funko Pops! but also other alternative pop-culture things.

    I was lucky enough to get gifted some products from my one of my fave natural brands Yaoh to review. Total skin saviours in the crazy changing Autumn weather.

    With Halloween coming up I put together a Modern Witchy OOTD. I’ve found that this style of dress is perfect if you want something over-the-knee and strappy but have a bit of belly as they emphasise the right curves and hide the ‘I’ve eaten way too much pizza’ kind. I also love this style of boot because they look stylish, don’t cut across legs mid-calf (which is never flattering) and the heel is low and chunky enough to support a wobbly wench like me.

    It was my blogs 6th birthday! I’m so glad that I’ve stuck with this particular blog for six whole years and that you’ve all stuck with me too. Thank you so much!

    Dyspraxia Awareness Week (7th-13th Oct) celebrated 30 years. For any posts I’ve written relating to Dyspraxia just type the word into the search bar on the lower right side of this blog.

    I reviewed Ciate Dewy Stix in Gleam Gold and had mixed feelings about it.

    I bought some seasonal and creepy-cute pins from Little Lefty Lou and Em & Sprout (the cat I’d previously bought from Punky Pins and it tends to spin around upside-down unfortunately).

    I put together 6 Simple Autumn Style Essentials as we all want to be stylish and warm!

    For Halloween I also treated myself to these pre-loved Monster High dolls from ebay which were about a quarter of the price they would have been new. One is a punky vampire and the other is a goth looking ghost. #stylegoals

    I reviewed Ciate polish in Paradise Lost – part of their Gelology collection as it’s perfect for Autumn and the upcoming party season.

    I compiled a list of Spooky TV Shows to Binge Watch – old and new.

    I was so happy to be gifted these beautiful Moonstone rings from Gemstone Silver Jewellery to give my thoughts on.

    I bought the oversized bat-wing jumper from Boohoo and lived in reviewed it. Why I look like the actor Ron Perlman in this particular photograph I don’t know.

    November (not so much)

    My hair was very happy that I reviewed this Shampoo and Conditioner from Yaoh but I begged to differ at one point!

    10 Cozy Ideas for Autumn & Winter. I love doing posts like this each year as it makes me feel all cozy and optimistic for the months ahead.

    I was gifted an Exercise (resistance) Band by Care Co. and had a lot of fun and some mishaps reviewing it.

    When Hunkemoller asked my to choose something from their range of PJ’s and loungewear range I knew I wanted these velour joggers immediately. Here’s what I thought of them.

    I thought it only fair to share My Autumn and Winter Skin and Hair Saviours with everyone.

    I’d say this photo pretty much sums up my October and November lol

    Chrissie

    Care Co – 4 Week Resistance Exercise Plan

    Pretty much every Physio I’ve seen has taken into account my little noodle arms, my easily misplaced balance and chronic fatigue and suggested I exercise with a resistance band. So when Care Co – who sell discount mobility aids – asked me to try out an item, that’s what I chose.

    What is it?

    The Exercise Band (£10) helps you to improve your muscles, fitness, control and co-ordination. You use it’s resistance and your own existing strength to build up more strength. This one smells strongly of latex and is a lovely teal colour. It has numbered positions on it to show you where to place your hands so you can increase the difficulty as you get past the first month.

    How and Why?

    The booklet contains a four week plan of six different exercises per week. It describes them with easy to follow instructions and illustrations (I’m not great at following instructions thanks to be Dyspraxic but I found this really simple) and also information on diet, general exercise tips and mental health tips, which I all found useful.

    I have Hypermobity Syndrome meaning my soft tissue, muscles and joints are too stretchy, flexible and weak so I’d have really preferred the band had a loop on each end to help me hold it better (the booklet does mention consulting your GP if you have joint problems, right at the start). It does have enough room to wrap it around your hands though, if you don’t mind them getting squished, which I didn’t. However, I did need to wear wrist supports when using this.

    I really enjoyed working my way through this plan and, I’m not going to lie, the novelty of this weird rubber band. It felt more like I was having fun rather than exercising but I also loved how structured the plan was as I have zero attention span and sporadic motivation, at best.

    The Shoulder Press totally defeated me however, as I just didn’t have the strength in weak two or three or four to stretch the band over my head. I actually lost my grip at one point and smacked myself in the jaw! Hardly the first time that I’ve done this over the years btw. My Dad tried it, who stays fairly fit for a bloke in his Seventies and he got it to his jaw, the same as me. My bloke tried it who’s 6’2″ and 16 stone and succeeded immediately. So it is possible!

    Can a giant rubber band really make a difference?

    I didn’t have the energy to use this everyday but it certainly encouraged me to use it when I did have some. I’ve gotten better at the exercises with practice and my balance and co-ordination have noticeably improved – a big deal for someone with Hypermobilty Syndrome and Dyspraxia (which also effects co-ordination). I also noticed that in just four weeks my muscles adapted to the new kinds of movements.

    My lower back was not happy at first but I realised it was because it was already incredibly tense from holding up my slightly floppy spine all day. A massage relaxed the muscles and I’d say the exercises will continue to make my core stronger in the future.

    The band immediately highlights your strengths and weaknesses so, if like me, you have chronic fatigue and have to pace your workouts, you could just focus more on the areas that need improvement and reduce the amount you do in just four weeks with the areas that don’t need it as much.

    Conclusion

    Overall I found the Care Co exercise band to be fun, incredibly versatile, confidence building, easily transportable and storable but more importantly, something that gives me a reason to exercise, rather than an excuse not to.

    Rating 4/5

    Chrissie

    You Don’t Have To Hide Your Disability Or Condition

    I have what is referred to as an ‘invisible disability’ because Dyspraxia is part sensory, part co-ordination and part comprehension/attention/memory related, it’s not always an obvious physical thing. Invisible Disabilities have their own problems when it comes to mingling with the general pubic (yes, I know). I’m going to list them because I like lists!

    Lazy But Frequent Assumptions People Make About You

    1. People loose patience with you because they think you are being lazy or just taking your own sweet time.
    2. People think you’re just a big weird goof and make tactless observations or find it easier to avoid what/who they don’t understand.
    3. People scowl at you for using things/spaces for disabled people because you aren’t in a wheel chair or you don’t have a big neon “DISABLED” sign hovering over your head.
    4. People think you are acting precious or being a bit of a diva because you’re asking for special attention or more frequent attention compared to everyone else, who’s just ‘getting on with it’.
    5. People think you are being an ignorant arsehole. Yes, I just love loosing the plot of our conversation about your baby who’s just started walking (and who’s name I can’t remember) or literally bumping into you on the street when we’re the only two people on the pavement or over compensating and giving you a ludicrously wide birth (hilarious to watch apparently!) or struggling to join in a group conversation and then blurting out what I want to say when it’s not even relevant anymore.
    6. That you are just plain stoopid.

    Talk About Your Condition/Disability! Tell people!

    Don’t stop strangers in the street and regale them with details of your latest Dr’s visit like, but do get a dialogue going with people you are going to be spending a lot of time with.

    In hindsight I would have found it so much easier in every college, every job and every new circle of friends I’ve made, if I’d have just had ‘the talk’ with them. Alright, back then I had no understanding of why I struggled so much but I knew which things I struggled with.

     

    Yeah, I know it shouldn’t be up to the disabled person to set the standard and to feel like they have to justify their actions but explaining them might possibly make it easier for said person in the long term. Your disability shouldn’t be something you are ashamed of either.

    Why Covering For Your Disability Won’t Always Work

    I did an Office Administrator apprenticeship in my 20’s where I wasn’t much older than most of my colleagues kids. They noticed straight away that I wasn’t coping very well but falleveryone was lovely and they all really helped me. After a year the apprenticeship was over and I had to find a new job.

    I fell in with a group of people that had started a month earlier and had bonded with each other quickly. After 6 months I still felt a little like I was ‘the new girl settling in’ and had an uneasy feeling I hadn’t meshed quite right with them. I automatically assumed it was down to my wonky social skills. Other people in the office had previously dropped subtle hints to me about ‘knowing who your friends are’ etc. but subtlety isn’t my strong point and anyway, these people were doing just enough to con me into thinking they genuinely were my friends. I think that they knew I was (intentionally) hiding something from them and something i_m_fine__by_halliova-d5jex0lwasn’t quite right, so they all thought it gave them the right to treat me like shit. I ended up leaving because of it, with no other prospect of employment on the horizon but that’s not the point. They were a bunch of knobs, obviously, but that’s not the point either….

    Accept It And Own It!

    The point is, I was trying to hide my condition in plane sight and failing miserably. One minute I was chatting a mile a minute and the next I was being evasive and not making eye contact. Fine not fine. Basically I was really embarrassed by my ‘weirdness’ and was bright enough to quickly be able to come up with a vaguely plausible excuse for every symptom, while t the same time feeling really rather stupid. We need to remember we aren’t wrong or broken, we just function differently. We shouldn’t be making excuses for being who we are or acting the way that we do regarding being different.Every single person on the planet has things they are good at and things they are crap at. The only difference with us is that we are more determined to give the things we know we’ll struggle with, a try in the first place.

    If people notice you are acting or doing something that’s a little different don’t try to hide it,uniqueness-quotes or make excuses for it. People will see through you and wonder what on earth is going on. If you continue to behave like that, it’s pretty obvious people are going to get tired or even annoyed. It’s not fair I know but there you go. Either find a quiet time to have a casual chat or wait until someone brings it up and then just be open and honest with them about it.

     

    Even if you only make your lecturer/manager aware so that they can make ‘reasonable adjustments’ to help you cope. For instance, amassing angrier and angrier warnings from your boss for being late, when you struggle with time management and planning might actually be avoidable! Maybe you could start and finish slightly earlier/later to avoid rush hour?

    What To Say About Your Disability or Condition

    Maybe talk about specific things you struggle with, if you’ve been diagnosed with a certain thing or the reason why that condition effects you (if you are lucky enough to know) or how long you’ve had it. Go into as much or as little detail as you want but try to keep your sense of humour. At the very least it gives people a better understanding of you, and why shouldn’t they!

    Admit If You Need Help WithA Task

    I know with invisible disabilities it’s possible a person can keep on scraping by and covering up their mistakes or their needs but that knotted stomach feeling of dread can lead to anxiety and depression. It’s much better to ask for help or clearer guidance from your teacher/lecturer/manager/colleagues/friends from the start, even if that help is just a little more patience or understanding from them. Absolutely everyone needs help sometimes so if you are really really struggling with a task don’t feel embarrassed to ask for some!

    _________________________________

    Being more open about it might make you feel vulnerable at first but as I’ve learned, hiding it can make you just as vulnerable. They are some awesome people out there with more empathy and understanding than you might first realise.

    The more people talk about disabilities, the more people get to hear about them and gain a greater understanding of them :o)

    Chrissie xx

    More ‘Funny’ but Very Earnest Things I Said and Did as an A-typical Kid

    LouiseSacredCow

    I remember the Dr’s making a fuss that I wasn’t crawling yet and thinking I was ‘backward’ – a supposedly acceptable medical term in the 80’s. My Mum called my name and I noticed the new Dr and shouted “Hiya!” as I determinedly pulled myself up onto my feet and stood up.

    ____________________

    Another time the Paediatrician asked me “Can you draw me a picture” with a little frown I replied incredulously “Yes!?” My Mum had to explain to the Dr that he needed to ask “WILL you draw me a picture?”

    ___________________

    I got sent to speech therapy as a kid as I wasn’t saying (repeating parrot fashion) the ’normal’ amount of words for my age. The therapist who had a thick London accent said “Lorry” and pointed to a truck. Little Northern me said “No silly, it’s l-u-r-r-y! Mam, the lady needs school!”

    ___________________

    Apparently on my first day of nursery, it didn’t occur to me to play with another kid at the table-height sand pit. I just queued up behind them and patiently waited my turn!

    ___________________

    Also at my first day of nursery school when the teacher announced it was story time I headed straight for the beanbag, curled up and closed my eyes. It wasn’t until I heard everyone laughing that I realised they were all sat on a square of carpet cross-legged. Feeling totally embarrassed I guess I decided to style-it-out and just dragged the beanbag over onto the carpet and curled up on it again.

    __________________

    In junior school the dinner lady brought out the big skipping rope but got distracted talking to another kid. Knowing that when you mess up – which I usually did after only three jumps – you have to join the back of the queue all over again, I saw my chance. I got my mates to hold the rope and began awkwardly skipping. When she noticed, the dinner lady freaked and told me to form a queue. I stopped and asked “So you’ve stopped me taking my turn skipping, to form a queue, to be the first one in the queue, so I can start skipping again?!” She waited until a big queue had formed and then sent me to the back of it – the cow!

    __________________

    As a kid my Dad tried to engage me in math homework by asking “If you had nine oranges and you gave three to Mum and three to Nanna, how many would I get?” I replied “Two.” “No love, I’d get three.” With a rather perturbed expression I replied “Er, I’m really sorry Dad but you’d only get two otherwise I wouldn’t get ANY and you said they were my oranges!”

    __________________

    Do you have any examples of you or your kids wonderful logic? I’d love to hear them!

    Chrissie

    Happily Eating Gluten & Dairy free at Pizza Express

    Screen Shot 2017-10-12 at 20.33.35

    My bloke treated me to a meal at Pizza Express, Didsbury to celebrate my 5th blogversary and to check out there new Autumn menu.

    Starters

    I ordered the Leggera Superfood Salad (gf v) as a starter which is made up of ‘black rice, edamame beans, red quinoa, mung beans, chickpeas, cranberries, pumpkin seeds and kale in a flavoursome vinaigrette on a bed of seasonal mixed leaves, rocket, cucumber, roasted red & yellow peppers, red onion and fresh parsley.’ It’s a very varied and tasty salad with all of the ingredients working really well together and is gluten and dairy free.

    I also could have chosen Dough Balls (v), Bruschetta (v) or Mozzarella and Tomato Salad (v, gf) to help with my food intolerances. 

    Main 

    I knew I was going to cheat with my desert so I decided to be sensible with my main. Luckily for me, the dairy free option sounded like the nicest pizza on the menu. I ordered  the new Vegan Giardiniera (v, gf option) made up of ‘artichoke, closed cup mushroom, red onion and black olives, with tomato, vegan mozzarella alternative and garlic oil, finished with fresh parsley’ and specified a gluten free base. The result was the best pizza I have ever eaten at Pizza Express! The vegan mozzarella was so creamy, I just wished there were more of it. Because of my dyspraxia I really struggle to cut up pizza using a pizza cutter or a knife and folk but the gf base was thin and stretchy enough for me to manage fairly easily. I imagine this is similar to the base of a calzone.

    I could also have chosen Bolognese Rigatoni (gf), Broad Bean Rigatoni (gf, v), Cannelloni (v), Every pizza (gf option) apart from a Calabrese, with 7 of them having (v) options.

    Screen Shot 2017-10-12 at 20.33.48

    Side

    Polenta Chips with Honey and Mustard Dressing because I love these strange little sticks and they don’t fill me up too much. I was naughty and got them with parmesan.

    I also could have chosen Coleslaw (gf), salad (gf) or the left off the grated parmesan from the polenta chips to help with my food intolerances. 

    Desert

    Not the most sensible choice, ok the least sensible choice but I absolutely adore cold chocolate fudge cake with vanilla gelato or ice cream. Nom….

    I also could have chosen pretty much any other desert (v or v option) and chocolate brownie (gf) or Caffe Reale (gf) to help with my food intolerance. 

    We’ve honestly never seen a menu which is so flexible and inclusive of vegetarians, vegans and people with food intolerance and allergies. Well done Pizza Express!

    Chrissie

     

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