My blog is multi-lingual

Today I am happy to announce that my blog is multi-lingual. I know I have a lot of new readers who are English speaking, that’s why I had to update.

Just go to the Swedish flag to the right and choose the flag of your country, and you will be able to read my blog in your own language!

Fantastic I think. So from now on I will not write special posts in English, all my posts are availiable for all of my readers.

Happy reading!

Från och med idag går min blogg att läsa på en rad språk förutom svenska. Jag fortsätter att skriva på svenska för jag vill gärna värna vårt språkliga kulturarv, men är glad att även besökare från andra länder nu kan ta del av innehållet.

Balans, återhämtning, hållbar hälsa och livet på landet är trots allt ämnen som är allmängiltiga.


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God Jul!

Glöm inte att vara extra snäll mot dig själv i jul. Ge dig tid att mysa runt i gosiga sockor, njuta framför brasan och hugga in på Aladdinasken. Nu finns det tid för att läsa den där boken som väntat på sängbordet, följa den där serien som du hört så mycket gott om. Och framförallt, att kramas och visa kärlek till alla du tycker om, för det är ändå vad julen handlar om.

Kan berätta att jag har många spännande inlägg inplanerade framöver. Det får bli min julklapp till dig! Förutom några juliga bilder som kommer här, som du kan frossa i.

Önskar dig en riktigt God Jul!

Merry Christmas!

Don’t forget to be extra kind to yourself this Christmas. Give yourself time to cozy up in warm socks, feel good in front of the fire and chop into the box of chocolates.

Now is the time to read that book that was waiting on the bedside table, to follow those series that you heard so much about. And above all, hugging and showing love to everyone you care about, because that’s what Christmas is all about.

Can tell you that I have many exciting posts planned in the future. It will be my Christmas present to you! Besides some Christmas pictures coming here, which you can enjoy.

Wishing you a really Merry Christmas!

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Forest bathing keeps me in balance

When I get stressed, when the pulse beats faster and the thoughts start to spin, then I go out into the woods. I can hike for hours, just be, enjoying the scent of pine needles and the song of the birds.

I go slowly to be able to capture all the impressions and try to widen my field of view, as I often end up in tunnelvision when I’m stressed. When I walk slowly, I usually discover things in nature that amaze me, drops that glitter from the branches of the fir trees, ice crystals in frozen streams that look like diamonds, the first beautiful spring flowers, or the orchids Forrest Wife and Virgin Mary which are protected and must be studied at place.

I feel that I am part of something bigger, and my own problems are shrinking. I raise my hands to the sky, breathe deeply and smile, and feel the energy begin to replenish my body.

During my walk, I go where my nose points, or rather where my stomach and heart want. I practice my intuition, and my ability to feel what’s best for me. When I find a glade soaked in sunbeams, I lay down on a stump or lie down on a tree trunk. There I remain with my eyes closed, listening to all the sounds of the forest.

Half an hour later, I open my lunch bag and put my teeth in a freshly baked bun and drink a hot cup of chocolate. When I have eaten up, I pack up and go home.

The head is cleansed and clear and the body is energetic. I’m already longing for the next forest bath.

My daily forest baths for several years are the main reason I recovered from my fatigue syndrome. My doctor recommended me this, but then I couldn’t imagine what a crucial difference it would make.

It’s pure magic.

5 tips on a perfect forest bath

1. Look for a forest or grove.

2. Turn off your phone.

3. Walk slowly forward.

4. Explore every glade, feel the tree trunks, smell the flowers, listen to the birds.

5. When you find a place that feels good, sit on a stump, or lie down on a tree trunk. Close your eyes. Stay for 20 minutes.  Just be, or meditate if you like.

The forest will heal you

The term forest bath, shinrin-yoku, was invented in Japan in the 1970s when many people died stressed and worked out. There are 50 forest baths in Japan, where a forest therapist guides the visitor. Modern, stressed contemporary people go to the forest to regain their health. In Japan, a forest walk is seen as a treatment and given by prescription.

Well-documented research shows that forest bathing is curative. The parasympathetic nervous system is activated and both the heart rate and blood pressure drops, and the stress goes down radically. Depression and anxiety are alleviated, and cognitive abilities and concentration are improved. In addition, the immune system is strengthened as the chemicals of the trees, phytoncider, increase the body’s natural killer cells. If you spend a day in the forest, your killer cells in the blood will increase by 40 percent. The forest air also increases the production of DHEA in the adrenal cortex. It is a substance that protects us from heart attack. Forest baths have also been shown to have a preventive and combative effect against cancer.

In Sweden we have a unique opportunity to swim in the forest because we have our right of common. It’s just going straight out into the woods for us, which is not obvious in other parts of the world.

Best of all – you don’t need a swimsuit!

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Lucia – a lovely Swedish tradition

Have you got a winter-feeling yet? If not, visit a Lucia-concert. Today we celebrate Lucia in Sweden, getting up early to dress for success in white dresses, putting glitter in our hair, and candels in our hands, and then we sing Christmas carols, for hours and hours.

I have been singing Lucia-songs since I was little. First for mum and dad, later for the entire school, with the school choir. In college I was chosen to join the master choir. We were practicing Lucia-songs för several hours every day with a vocal coach a whole semester.  On the Lucia-day we were performing for the elderly, sick and homeless. It was nice to be able to do something good.

Althougt I was a little bit sad I never was elected to be Lucia. I was bridesmaid year after year, standing in the shadows while all the limelight was landing on the Lucia. Later though then the Lucia was fainting due to the press and the heat, and got stearine all over her hair, and had to cut it short, I was praising the Lord that I never had became Lucia. Yes, I was vain back then and my hair was too precious to me.

But I also valued my peace of mind. To stand just behind the person in the center has been my role in life all since then, and it is a comfortable place, especially if you are sensitive to stress.

Later on it was my turn to be the audience when my sons were performing as star boys. I have never seen anyting as cute neither sooner or later. But I realise that is typical for a parent. All parents have special ears, don´t hear if their kids are singing false or looks silly in their hats. Just crying and think it is magical.

Don´t laugh, your will soon be there yourself, if you don´t have children allready.

If your don´t have the opportunity to watch a Lucia-procession, try at least the typical Lucia-fika, saffron buns and glögg.

That is magical. I promise.

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I got a Swedish diagnosis

When I got my diagnosis ”Exhaustionsyndrom”, I didnt release I had got a Swedish disease. But apparently, this diagnosis is only existing in Sweden as far as I know.

Does that mean that people abroad dont get sick out of stress? That I have hard to believe.

It was the Swedish professor Marie Åsberg at Karolinska Institutet who invented the diagnosis, ”Exhaustionsyndrom”, and namned it. The term was launced in 2003.

Today a lot of people are on sick leave because of this diagnosis.

Outside Sweden the phenomenon with exhaustion after a long time of stress has been labeled much later. This spring World Healh Organisation for the first time classified the condition as a medical condition.

But WHO calls it Burnout, and it is not exactly the same thing. The different is that the Swedish diagnosis include a persons entire lifesituation, and mean that you can get sick of stress not only in your workplace, but also because of your private life. Burnout refers specificially to exhaustion caused by work.

So if I havn´t lived in Sweden I might not been considered suffering from burnout, since I got sick due to longterm stress in my personal life.

Then doctors talk about burnout they also often say that the phenomenon can lead to death. Burnout causes weaker immunesystem, which can lead to cancer and heart-failure, and depression, which can cause suicide. In Sweden we tend more to look upon ”Exhaustionsyndrom” as a pfase, something you will recover from if resting properly.

I think, as a former patient, not as a scientist or a doctor, that it would help if ”Exhaustionsyndrom” was a diagnosis worldwide. Science would benefit from it and so would patients. Still there are no cure for this condition, rather than rest, and more and more people suffers from longterm stress so the need is vastly.

What do you think?

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The archipelago in my heart

I will write some posts in English now and then, because I´ve noticed that many of you readers are English-speaking. If you speak Swedish you can just skip them, or you read too. Most Swedes are fluent in English.

Today I am going to tell you a little bit about the island were I live, an island in the Stockholm archipelago. Here I live surrounded by forest and sea. This morning as I took my walk, I encountured deer jumped over the road. Right now we have sun and a thin layer of snow, but in six months it is summer, and then I am out in my boat enjoying views like the ones I am posting today.

The Stockholm Archipelago is as most beautiful at the far end, there you can find small desert island where you can sunbath and swim from the cliffs all alone. You can grill saugages and sleep in tents. Be really close to nature.

But this time of year is also nice. The tourists have gone home, and the peace and quiet have settled. It is pure serenity. You can hear the birds sing. Often it´s completely silent.

With my experience of stress and burnout it is a perfect environment.

It was my doctor who recommended me to move out in the country to heal, and that was good advice. There are so many unnecessary sounds in the city. Our brain is made for a life in nature, and it is strange how powerful it is to give the brain what it wants. If you do not have the opportunity to live by the sea, you may be able to seek out nature at your leisure. Or you can buy forest wallpaper and listen to the sounds of the seawaves in your cellphone.

I dont know if it´s working, but it is worth trying.

Please tell me how you heal your brain after fatigue!

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