Thursday, 29 September 2011

Music and my moods - All Stars post by Imy

I'm delighted to have another wonderful guest post for you. It's great to have some music on my blog and thanks to the wonderful Imy for sharing some of her taste in music. I like a bit of System of A Down too :)

A while ago the lovely Anita did a post on my blog about what is in her bag as part of the All Stars Philofaxy Tour!

And I could not think of an idea at all, then suddenly I had the idea of music and my moods, they're all a bit cheesy I guess but it's just music that helps me through things!

I will start off with the more depressing side, as I was born Intersex, I have felt alone quite a lot, I know I'm not but it's hard when you know there is not that many people out there going through what you are, I know there are a lot worse things in the world, but it's just hard and the one song I always listen to when I feel like that is: -

Olive – You're not alone!

It relaxes me and reminds me of all the amazing Intersex friends I have out there!

Another slightly sad thing I listen to is when I feel like I have no friends, as I feel as if I lost my “real life” friends, including a best friend a very long time ago, even though my boyfriend is my best friend, just that girl best friend you call when ever.

No Doubt – Don’t Speak

When I was younger I used to cry to this song thinking about a friend I lost, sad I know.

Now here goes my more bizarre taste in music which most of you won't like as much!

When I feel really stressed and annoyed I listen to this song, I always find that FAST HARD music relaxes me when I feel angry or stressed! (The original song I was going to put was a bit inappropriate).

That was all my more down unhappy music for when I don’t feel great, but now for some more happy music!

So a song that gives me lots of great happy memories, it would be this song because my old best friend and I had a great evening to it at a music festival, it just reminds me of the magical fun we had, I also listened to it on the way to the Philofaxy meet up this weekend, and it just made me feel so happy before, and the sun was actually coming up as I was on the way there, which is why I used it for the video!

Example – Watch the Sun Come Up

A song that makes me feel happy no matter what day of the week it is, whether it is a Monday morning or a Wednesday lunch time is another random song but it's something I was brought up with!

Union Jack – Red Herring

(Give it time it builds up)

The song that I LOVE to sing along to and dance along to is something from when I was in Primary school, I bet everyone will want to sing along with this!

Spice Girls – Stop

This is the last one I promise! It's just the chart song that I have in my head constantly, and the video is so dodgy but I love it!

LMFAO - Sexy and I Know It

I hope you have enjoyed my very random taste in music, I could have put some System of a Down in but I thought that might scare people a little.

Thank you very much Anita for letting me post on your blog!!!

My guest post over at Imysworld

I'm delighted that the lovely Imy agreed for me to do a guest post for her as part of the Philofaxy All Stars team! You can be nosey and find out what's in my bag at Imysworld. 

Thanks a lot, Imy!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Vintage Winchester filofax

Last week end whilst visiting family, the subject of discussion came around to filofaxes. My husband's uncle mentioned that he'd used one for work in the 80's and after a bit of rummaging and emptying, handed me the beauty below!
After some searching on Philofaxy, it seems it's a Winchester king crocodile calf leather print according to here. I really don't know much about vintage filos, but believe the Winchester is a bit of a classic.

 This definitely isn't one that lies flat!
Comparison with my personal Malden.

As you can see from some of the photos, it could do with a little TLC. All I've done at the moment is given it a clean with a baby wipe and it's airing as it smells a little. Looking online, I've found various sites recommending putting it in a container with cat litter or bicarbonate of soda to remove the smell. Steve wrote a great post about caring for your organiser over at Imysworld, which I'll definitely be using in my little restoration project.

Despite some scuffs, which I hope will polish out, it's in great condition for its age and the earliest inserts are dated either 1984 or 1985. The ring mechanism is sound and shuts with a healthy click. I had considered keeping it, but really don't feel the need for another filo (even a vintage one) and it'll be going on eBay when it's a little more cared for.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Philofaxy All Stars tour

The lovely people over at Philofaxy had a great idea - 'how about a team of bloggers known as the 'Philofaxy All Stars', touring around each others blogs and doing blog posts on each others sites?'
A list of the All Stars posts can be found here

I thought it was a great idea, so immediately signed up and Amanda's guest post is what will hopefully be only the first of its type on my blog. I also returned the favour by writing a post about sadhana for her site Paper Pens Ink, which you can read here.

I just realised I put Amanda's post on my blog without any real introduction to what the All Stars is about! So there you go... I'm going to get myself sorted out and contact another member of the team to arrange another swap.
Thank you very much Amanda for such an interesting post and I'm delighted we could write for each other.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Can Exercise be Used as a Treatment for Depression? - All Stars post by Amanda

This is Amanda who has popped over from Paper, Pens, Ink to do a guest-post for Anita, as part of the All Stars Blog Tour with Philofaxy. Although I largely blog about stationery, I am a physiologist with a particular interest in exercise.

Depression affects many people, with estimates of the number of people affected worldwide cited as over 120 millioni. It is important to realise that ‘depression’ covers a huge spectrum of both physiological and psychological conditions. It can be classed as mild, moderate or severe, according to the presentation of a number of signs and symptomsii.

Much of the research into whether exercise can be used in the treatment of depression has focused on mild to moderate depression and has compared whether exercise is a useful alternative to conventional therapy. Some research has been done on whether exercise is a useful adjunct to conventional therapy. The conclusion of the most recent systematic review of the research found that, “Exercise seems to improve depressive symptoms in people with a diagnosis of depression, but when only methodologically robust trials are included, the effect sizes are only moderate and not statistically significant.”iii

Now, that doesn’t sound too promising a start. However, the way the systematic reviews look at the data is quite critical. One important aspect of clinical trials is to have the participants ‘blind’ as to which group they are in. So for example, in a drug-trial, all participants will be given an identical-looking pill, but only some of them will be taking the drug and the others will be taking a placebo.
When the ‘pill’ is exercise, it is hard to see how the participants can be blind as to which group they are in. In the review, when all the collected data was pooled and examined, a large clinical effect of exercise was indicated. However, when only the data that met certain criteria were analysed, the effect was much less significant.

In the UK, the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) guideline for depression recommends structured, supervised exercise programmes, three times a week (45 minutes to 1 hour) for 10 to 12 weeks for mild depression2. The National Health Service (NHS) also has a webpage with recommendations regarding exercise for the alleviation of depression.

So, assuming that exercise does have some role in the treatment of mild to moderate depression, how is it doing this?

There are a number of reasons why exercise can alleviate the symptoms of depression. Some of them have a physiological basis and some of them are psychological in basis. To cover them all in depth would constitute a thesis, but I will try to summarise some of the main points.

Physiological changes due to exercise
Many of you will have heard of the ‘endorphin rush’ or ‘adrenaline rush’ or ‘runners’ high’. In all of these cases, the act of exercise changes the release of chemicals in your body. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain-killers and are in the same family of chemicals as morphine. They act at the spinal cord to reduce the transfer of information about pain from the periphery of your body up to your brain (and thereby reduce the perception of pain). They also affect the brain directly. They are useful when you are in pain (obviously) but they are also released when you are exercising, which gives you an exercise/runners’ high. Not all people get a runners’ high though, even during intense exercise.
Another change that occurs in the body is a reduction in the stress hormone cortisol, which has been linked to a reduction in anxiety and depressioniv.

Psychological changes
Exercise is thought to help with depression for a number of reasons. It can give you a feeling of control in your life and of goal-achievement. It can act as a distraction, changing your focus on things. It can be sociable if you choose to exercise with others. Exercise, especially done outdoors in the middle of the day can also help you to sleep better.
All of these factors (and more) can help to reduce depression.

What kind of exercise is best?
My answer to that is “whatever you enjoy doing!”. Most of the evidence (both scientific and anecdotal) looks at the affect of aerobic exercise, such as walking, swimming or running. There is also good evidence that yoga helps to reduce anxiety, stress and depression and help you to sleep better toov. Any exercise is better than none, but always exercise within your limits.

Even if you have no clinical diagnosis of depression, exercise can be great for lifting your mood and decreasing your stress and anxiety. It’s also linked to a reduction in many other disease states such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Even if it’s just taking the dog for a walk or managing a stroll around the block, why don’t you go out and get a little exercise today?

Disclaimer: I am not a General Practitioner. I am a physiologist with an interest in exercise. If you are suffering from any of the signs of depression or if you are contemplating undertaking a new exercise regime, please consult your doctor.
i Moussavi S, Chatterji S, Verdes E, Tandon A, Patel V, Ustun B. Depression, chronic diseases, and decrements in health: results from the World Health Surveys. Lancet 2007;370 (9590):808–9.
Mead GE, Morley W, Campbell P, Greig CA, McMurdo M, Lawlor DA
ivStetler, C and Miller, GE. Depression and Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Activation: A Quantitative Summary of Four Decades of Research Psychosom Med 2011 73:114-126
v Field, T. Yoga clinical research review Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice 2007 17:1-8