Bench musings: biophilia and exercise.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013
(taken on my webcam as I type this post)

I woke up today feeling really crappy. I mean, exhausted, sick, sore, stiff, just everything wrong. I felt low, too. The most I could do to start with was drag myself out of bed, grab my phone, kindle, and water bottle, and head to the back room to turn on the tv. I spent a few hours sitting in front of kids television shows (ones I'm loving lately: Mouk, The Octonauts,  and Rob the Robot), unable to do much except pour myself some cereal and take my vitamins.

By 10:30, I was feeling worse. My limbs felt like they were made of lead, and my head was pounding away to a rhythm I couldn't seem to understand. My partner, Xin, despite being stressed with his own busy schedule, tried to comfort me from afar via text message (I love you!), and it was then that I realised no one else could do anything about this. I had to do something about how I was feeling - even if I could just cheer myself up, being exhausted and sick wouldn't be nearly as uncomfortable and...boring.

So I took myself outside. Despite it being pretty much the middle of winter here in Australia (well, we're two months out of three), the sun was shining and there were birds and even bees around (not sure the bees ought to be around... :| I hope they don't die from the wet and cold!). I wandered around just listening to the breeze drifting through the trees and played with Bronte for awhile. And I immediately felt better - more positive, lighter, calmer. And that's what biophilia is to me - the belief that we have an innate connection with all natural systems. The belief that nature can heal us.

Sure, there's the basics - sunlight on our skin (particularly areas where the veins are close to the surface, like your inner elbows or wrists) gives us a dose of vitamin D, which makes us feel happier. Fresh air can give us a little reminder to breath easier, which doses us up on oxygen. But there's more to it than that. If I get outside and just make an effort to clear my head and get OUT of my head, just for a little while, I feel connected to the world outside of me. And a lot of my emotional pain comes from just sitting inside my own head for too long - allowing old problems and negative thoughts to stagnate and take over.

Another thing that I've realised lately is I haven't been trying hard enough to get more exercise. And that's just silly. (Really.) Even though I have CFS, I don't want to let that rule everything about me, and so I'm determined to move back into finding exercise that suits me. For the last two days, it's been yoga, walking, and (today alone) Just Dance 4 :P Because, believe it or not, dancing makes me smile.

Just one more thing I wanted to mention - I have decided that I'm going to go two months without buying any books. (Please pick your lower jaw off the floor, it's quite unseemly.) Basically, because I'm now in full reading mode judging for the Aurealis Awards, buying new books for myself is kind of....pointless. Oh, there are still things I want to buy. But I'm just putting things on the back burner, at least for two months, until I can see that I have some form of self-restraint when it comes to book buying. (Exceptions to this rule are if I win books and if I am given books as a gift.)

The other decision I've made is to try and buy only fairtrade, eco-friendly clothes from now on. (I do include op-shop finds in this, however.) I really want to try and back up my choices with my money, and just buying clothes that I like isn't working for me so much anymore - when I start to think about where it was made, and where the fabric came from, I just start to feel a bit guilty. Being fairtrade and eco-friendly is important to me and, while I may not have much money to back this up right now, I can at least try. (Again, exceptions are items won and gifts.)

I am tentatively thinking over a final choice and that is whether to give up watching TV for a little while. But, because I've been sick so often lately, this has been a harder decision to make. I will update if I come to a conclusion.

Anyway, thanks for reading!! Out of interest, does anyone have anything they want to give up - just to see if you can, or for ethical reasons? Tell me down below!


  1. I find you so inspiring. The reasons I love you now are the same reasons that captivated me when I first saw your myspace page in high school. You are a very fascinating person.

    1. I love you. This comment made me smile so much. You inspire me, too. Every day.


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