Category Archives: Blog

Announcement… Big News! (a long overdue update)

07 Mar 17
Megan
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8 comments

You may have noticed I’ve been missing in action lately. There is a very good reason for this and it’s time to make an announcement… Life has taken a major turn in the last 6 months.

Not only did we launch the Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang picture book in September last year, and help to organise and host a national conference in Adelaide in October, but on a more personal level E and I are expecting a baby! Due date 6 July 2017.

Yes, you read that right! We’re over half way to meeting this much awaited new addition to our family.

Why has it taken me so long to make this announcement?

Simple. I wanted to tell as many people in person as we could before I announced online. If I do know you offline and haven’t had the chance to tell you in person yet, I apologise. I’ve tried my hardest to see as many people as I could over the last few months but I felt that I couldn’t really hold off much longer with making this announcement as I’d been avoiding blogging until I was ready to announce.

Pregnancy, Parenting and Chronic Illness

Those of you who have been following me for a while, or who know me in real life, know how important the idea of being a parent is to me. You would also know how much thought, research and discussion has gone into the process of deciding whether or not to try for a baby. We obviously made the decision to try, but it was not an easy decision to make.

Living with several chronic illnesses has limited what I’ve been capable of achieving over the past few years. I’ve very slowly built up my work hours and my capacity to exercise and participate in social activities to a point where I felt comfortable coping with whatever impact being pregnant and being a parent may have on my health.

I know that it’s not going to be an easy process but it’s something that is important enough to me that I’m willing to modify what I do to make this work.

Over the next few weeks I’m hoping to begin a series of posts that talk about what it’s been like so far being pregnant with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. While reading these posts please remember that I’m sharing my personal experiences in the hope they’ll help others.

What I experience may not be the same as what you experience. In fact, the research I did before becoming pregnant showed that people’s bodies react in very different ways to being pregnant with these conditions. There’s no way to know how it would impact you in advance. All you can do is have strategies in place for coping with the wide variety of possible outcomes.

Anyway, enough of me talking for now… I’m just so excited to finally be sharing the news. We’re going to be parents!!!

Hello in there!


Life Beyond Chronic Pain – A book review

28 Dec 16
Megan
No Comments

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you! I’ve been missing in action lately and early in the new year I’ll do a few posts explaining why. For now though, I’d like to talk to you about a book I’ve been reading over the last few months; Life Beyond Chronic Pain : The Step By Step Guide to Healing Chronic Illness Naturally.

I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.

life-beyond-chronic-pain-cover

Life Beyond Chronic Pain is a short e-book (only 46 pages including the covers) available via Amazon written by Jaime Hiedel. Jaime is a 30-something year old woman who lives with several chronic illnesses, including chronic pain and autism. She blogs over at I told you I was sick about “chronic pain, natural remedies, ASD, relationships and life…”

Book Structure – Ease of reading

As well as being a short book, each section is broken up into even shorter sections. This is great for those of us living with chronic illness who may find it difficult to read for long periods of time. Despite this, it still took me over a month to read the book – mainly because my brain fog was quite high the last few months and I was struggling to do anything that involved reading or working on the computer.

I found, at least in the introductory section of the book, that I was struggling to follow what was being said. I think this was more of an issue with my capacity at the time than an issue with the text itself but it did feel quite disjointed. Having said that, once I got to the actual details of how Jaime recommends healing chronic illness naturally I found that it became easier to follow.

Content – Healing Chronic Illness Naturally…

As the title suggests, this book is all about helping people have a life beyond chronic pain. Jaime talks about how it is possible to heal chronic illness naturally by following a certain regime.

Personally, I don’t like information that claims that you can completely recover from a chronic illness by doing XYZ. Thankfully Jaime doesn’t do that explicitly. Although she claims that it is possible to heal yourself naturally, she acknowledges that not every treatment option works for every individual. Instead she recommends an order to look into and experiment with different treatment options.

Jaime suggests that you need to:

  1. Eliminate
  2. Detoxify
  3. Rebuild
  4. Maintain

(in that order)

Based on my own experiences, I have to agree that the steps she outlines are important ones to go through. I believe that if you attempt to follow this type of program after first getting diagnosed you’re more likely to reach a point where you can have a reasonable lifestyle (even with persistent symptoms).

Within each section, she goes into more details with examples of how you can do each of these steps. Eliminating toxic people, drugs  and foods from you life. Detoxifying your body, mind and soul with different techniques. Rebuilding with a healthy diet, balanced lifestyle with meditation and exercise, and finding meaning and purpose in life. And finally, maintaining by being mindful about what you do with your new found energy and health.

Overall, I found this book a good way to reinforce what I have already learnt myself through trial and error. I would highly recommend Life Beyond Chronic Pain to people newly diagnosed, who are looking for where to begin.

CIB Holiday Giveaway

CIB Holiday Giveaway: It’s almost Christmas again!

22 Nov 16
Megan
3 comments

The CIB Holiday Giveaway will run from Nov. 23 – Dec 3, 2016.

This giveaway is sponsored by Chronic Illness Bloggers. Prizes have been donated by the following:
Alisha Nurse – https://theinvisiblef.com/
Aromafloria – http://www.aromafloria.com
BackPainBlogUK – https://backpainbloguk.wordpress.com/
Bridgwater Crafts – http://www.bridgwatercrafts.com/
BeingFibroMom – http://www.beingfibromom.com
Broken Teepee – http://brokenteepee.com/
Chronically Content – http://www.chronicallycontent.com
Chronic Mom Life – http://www.chronicmomlife.com
ColitisNinja – http://www.colitisninja.com
The Fay Farm – http://www.thefayfarm.com
Fed Up with Fatigue – http://www.fedupwithfatigue.com
FibroCane – http://www.fibrocane.com
Fresh Assist Spray – http://www.freshassistspray.com
Gupta Programme – http://www.guptaprogramme.com/
HFactorWater – http://hfactorwater.com/
Kirsten Schulz – http://www.kirstenschultz.org/
Living Well Today – http://www.livingwelltoday.com
Living Grace Blog – http://livinggraceblog.com/
Lupus Chick – http://LupusChick.com
Megan Schartner – http://www.liveken.com
Melissa Swanson – http://www.fibrowarriorslivinglife.com
Mini2z – http://www.mini2z.com
Natalie Abbott – http://www.stillicantbesilent.com 
Organic Aromas – http://www.OrganicAromas.com
Oska Wellness – http://www.oskawellness.com
The Pain Free Life – http://thepainfreelife.com
Patient Playbook – http://patientsplaybook.com
Perfectly Ambitious Blog – http://www.perfectlyambitious.com/
Posture Pump – http://www.posturepump.com
ProHealth – http://www.prohealth.com
Rebuilding Wellness – http://rebuildingwellness.com
Strength Flexibility Health EDS – http://www.strengthflexibilityhealtheds.com
Sylk USA – http://www.sylkUSA.com
Theraspecs – http://www.theraspecs.com
Vital Plan – https://vitalplan.com

Last year I participated in the Ultimate Spoonie Giveaway. This year, I’m joining in with the CIB Holiday Giveaway.

This event is even bigger and better than last year’s giveaway. Thanks to the number of people who have been willing to donate prizes, there are 11 Prize Packs, each with a value between $400 and $600.

I’m very excited to say that 5 of the prize packs contain an e-book copy of Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang. This is an exciting opportunity to get your hands on a range of products that others who live with chronic illnesses have found to be useful.

It’s important to note that 2 of the Prize Packs are available only to US-based winners. As winners are chosen at random, if a non-US- based winner is chosen for one of the US-only prize packs the winner will have the option to either have the prizes shipped to a US address of their choosing or to forfeit the prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Top 3 worst symptoms

My Top 3 Worst Symptoms (and how I cope with them)

18 Oct 16
Megan
2 comments

I’ve joined a fantastic group of Chronic Illness Bloggers and this month we’ve decided to do a post across several of our blogs using a common theme. The theme for October is our Top 3 worst symptoms and what we do to try and help manage them.

If you blog about life with a chronic illness, I highly recommend joining the Chronic Illness Bloggers community. Not only do they provide opportunities for sponsored posts and product reviews relevant to our topics, I’ve learnt so much from the community about basic blogging and writing techniques.

Anyway, on with the post…

I can easily identify my top 2 worst symptoms (extreme fatigue and chronic pain) as they’re with me all the time. Selecting a third has been difficult. Anyway, after much thought and consideration, I believe my top 3 worst symptoms are:

  1. Fatigue (lack of energy) – I still don’t like the term fatigue but until I can find a better one it’ll have to do.
  2. Pain – Constant and continuous aching pain and more random stabbing and burning pains.
  3. Nausea – Not constant but when it hits it can be debilitating.

Over the last 3 years I’ve accepted that I’m not going to be able to cure my conditions and remove the symptoms completely. Instead, I am learning how to cope with them and manage them to minimise their impact.

Fatigue

I would say the constant fatigue, and the brain fog (Foggy Frog) that accompanies it, is the symptom that has the most impact on my life.

The frustrating thing with this symptom is that, until recently, I haven’t been able to stabilise it. Most of the time my energy levels were so low, and the fog so high, that I was struggling to function like a normal human being at all. Occasionally I’d improve and start being more active only to crash severely every few weeks or months.

Over the last 3 years I have tried many things to combat the fatigue (or at least minimise it). These include:

  • Acupuncture – ended up helping the pain but not the energy levels.
  • Diet Changes – has minimal impact on energy levels.
  • Drugs and Hormonal Therapies – While using testosterone supplements, my energy levels finally stabilised and my number of energy (and mental capacity) crashes reduced. I’ve recently stopped all prescribed medications again so I’m waiting to see what impact that will have on my symptoms.
  • Pacing – I talk about pacing a lot on this blog. I won’t go into detail here (you can read my other posts for that) but without pacing I wouldn’t be functioning at all!

Overall, I still haven’t found anything that improves my energy levels to any real extent. My coping mechanism for this symptom is just to avoid crashes and hope, that over time, my energy levels will slowly and naturally increase. Hormone supplementation and pacing are the two tools that work best for me in terms of minimising the impact of fatigue on my health.

Pain

My other constant companions, the Pain Gang, interfere with my life but over time I’ve learnt to just ignore any of the lower level, constant pains.

I have many more tools in my kit for managing the pain than I do for the fatigue:

  • Heat – I use hot (or at least warm) baths and showers, wheat bags, electric blankets, and heaters. Heat works to release muscles that are clenching too tight. When I get cold, my joints seize up and all my other pains flare as well.
  • Acupuncture – As mentioned above, I have regular acupuncture (every 3 weeks). This helps to release any tight muscles and can reduce my overall pain levels for up to a week after the session.
  • Meditation and Hypnosis – Mindfulness meditation and hypnosis seem to help me cope better when pain levels are high.
  • Low Dose Nortriptyline – I found that very low dose Nortriptyline (20 mg a day) seemed to reduce my pain levels as well. I tried several other antidepressants and anticonvulsant drugs. Some worked for a short while, but most had too many side effects or made no impact on my pain.
  • Supplements – I take fish oil, magnesium, and calcium regularly. When I don’t my pain levels increase, especially the joint pains.
  • Pain Killers (Panadol and Nurofen) – Although I don’t use pain killers regularly, I do use both panadol and nurofen during my period when the pelvic cramping is at it’s worst.
  • Exercise – It’s definitely a balancing act, too much or too little and pain increases. These days I try to maintain my step count between 4-7,000 steps a day. I’ve recently added in regular stretching and aqua zumba classes at my local gym.

Nausea

I have a very low level of nausea 95% of the time, but it only really increases and interferes with my ability to live occasionally. Right now my nausea seems to increase fairly often but luckily not to the point of throwing up. When I first crashed, my nausea made it impossible to keep anything down at all!

Because this isn’t something I deal with regularly I don’t have as many tried and tested methods for coping with it.

Generally I’ll take an increase in my nausea as a sign that I’m doing too much. I’ll try to find ways to step back and take time just to rest or meditate.

Ginger and Mineral water (or soda water) seem to help me out when I’m feeling nauseous. As does eating small meals more frequently and keeping up my fluid intake.

Do you have any tips for coping with nausea, pain or fatigue? I’d love to hear from you!

Foggy Frog Book Launch

Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang book launch in Pictures

26 Sep 16
Megan
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2 comments

On Saturday, 24 September 2016, we held a book launch party to celebrate the completion of the long awaited Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang picture book. I say “long awaited: because the book has been almost 3 years in the making and I first got support from the community through a Kickstarter campaign in March 2014.

The Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang picture book has been developed as a way of introducing people to the symptoms of invisible illnesses. There is a strong focus on the different types of pain that people may live with, but it also looks at symptoms such as brain fog and fatigue. As well as the main picture book part, the back of the book contains more in-depth information to help promote further discussion.

We had around 60 people attend the launch, including a few local politicians and key medical staff in the chronic pain field. It was a great opportunity to also raise awareness of the fact that these conditions are often being overlooked from a funding perspective, as well as from a general quality of life perspective.

I still have a bit of work to do to get the paperback version of the book available online, but you can get the Kindle version on Amazon now. You can contact me via the contact us page if you’d like the printed version (I have some of the Kickstarter print run still available for sale).

There is also a giveaway currently running through Goodreads (10 copies available) if you’re interested in trying to win a copy of the book.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang by Megan Schartner

Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang

by Megan Schartner

Giveaway ends October 30, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

I really wanted to do the book launch this week, as it coincides nicely with Invisible Illness Awareness Week. However, due to the fact that none of the print-on-demand printers seem to allow A4 Landscape books, I had to redesign the book to be square for online sales. This should be available soon and I will let you know when it is!

I want to give a big thank you to everyone who helped make the launch a success. In particular, thank you to:

  • Erik for videography and money handling.
  • Akil, from Akil Madan Photography, for the images.
  • Vouch, from Black Sheep Cooking School, and Sophie for catering.
  • The Hon. Kelly Vincent for speaking.
  • My Step-father, Wayne for making the Ukelele as a door prize
  • Erik’s Amma, Erika, and my Step-father’s mum, Clarice, for helping to ice the cake.

Without further ado, here’s the book launch in pictures (we did record the speeches and I’ll share the videos another time)…

Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang Book Launch

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Media Release: Children’s Book Makes Invisible Illnesses Visible

04 Aug 16
Megan
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No Comments

Children’s Book Makes Invisible Illnesses Visible

For Immediate Release

Contact: Megan Schartner foggyfrog (at) liveken.com for further information or to schedule interviews.

Adelaide, South Australia, 4 August 2016

Author, Megan Schartner, is pleased to announce the release of Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang, a picture book aimed explaining invisible illnesses causing chronic pain and fatigue, in time for Invisible Illness Awareness Week (September 26 – October 2, 2016).

1 in 5 people live with an invisible illness causing chronic pain and fatigue. It can be difficult to explain these symptoms to others but Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang can help. The Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang picture book, being launched Saturday 24 September 2016 by author Megan Schartner and Dignity for Disability MLC Kelly Vincent, is the first step in a wider campaign to raise awareness of invisible illnesses and the common symptoms of pain, fatigue and fogginess.

Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang were developed as Megan’s way of putting some distance between herself and her symptoms and for describing these symptoms to those that asked about them. Since their creation, Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang have been used by multiple people living with chronic illnesses like Fibromyalgia and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) to describe their symptoms to their loved ones.

Elizabeth Christy, Fibromyalgia “ninja” and author of Why Does Mommy Hurt?, says that “This book magically transforms and expands the intangible and misunderstood concept of ‘pain’ into something concrete and easy to understand. Readers will have a broader understanding of pain, and what it’s like to live with it. It is an excellent resource for anyone affected by chronic pain.”

Celebrate the release of Foggy Frog and the Pain Gang and help make the invisible visible by attending the launch party on Saturday 24 September 2016, 1:30 pm at Burnside Library, 401 Greenhill Rd Tusmore. There will be light refreshments, a live story reading and book signing. Books will be available for purchase on the day. RSVP on 0421 429 531 or at bit.ly/FoggyFrogLaunch

About Megan

Diagnosed with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, Megan is currently searching for a lifestyle that reduces the symptoms from these conditions and allows her to live a simple, sustainable and meaningful life. She is passionate about the provision of high quality, individualised education on an ongoing basis to enhance sustainable living and awareness of invisible illnesses.

Living with Chronic Pain

Living with Chronic Pain – Top 3 Tips

21 Jul 15
Megan
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2 comments

As I mentioned last week, it’s National Pain Week in Australia this week. I will be sharing my story over at the National Pain Week website and at My Invisible Life later in the week. I’ll also be talking to local media, starting with ABC Riverland Today at 10:45 this morning.

Living with chronic pain can be frustrating, overwhelming and disempowering, however it is still possible to live a meaningful life while coping with it.

With over 2 years experience of living with chronic pain myself, and having spoken to many people who have lived with it a lot longer than I have, I’ve found many tips and tricks that have helped me live a reasonably quality and meaningful life despite constant pain and fatigue. Below I share my top 3 tips for living with chronic pain:

  1. Listen to your body and pace yourself
  2. Don’t stop researching and trying new things
  3. Eliminate the unnecessary so you can focus on what is meaningful to you

Listen to your body and pace yourself

One of the first things I learnt on my journey with chronic illness is that my limits had changed. Before chronic illness I was a high achiever who had to always be doing something active and challenging. Since becoming ill, I still need to be doing something but I’ve had to cut back on the level of activity.

On a day to day basis I need to consider how I am feeling and plan my day accordingly. If my body has higher pain or fatigue levels than normal, or my brain is complete fog, then I know I need to step back and rest most of the day. If my pain levels are lower than normal or I’m feeling energetic (doesn’t happen that often but it could!) I need to remember not to push too hard or I will crash later on.

 

In general it’s best to aim for consistency and to allow your body to rest when it needs to.

To give you an example, I’m just coming out of a 2-week crash so my step count and activity level has been cut way back to an amount that i can maintain even if I’m feeling really bad. I have to minimise work and social activities and focus on resting. On any given day I usually only have one or two key activities lined up, which could be as simple as make a meal. While I was in the crash I didn’t really do any activities and most days were spent on the couch.

Don’t stop researching and trying new things

For many of the causes of chronic pain there is no known reason or cure for the pain. As a result there is usually always someone claiming to have the solution. Although it’s important to consider each solution offered to you carefully it is good to keep an open mind and try many different things.

What works for one person may not work for another.

I’ve tried multiple prescription drugs, none of which helped. In fact, most of them caused side effects worse than the symptoms they were meant to be helping. For other people though these drugs have helped.

I’ve tried (or I’m trying) physiotherapy, various exercise programs with guidance from an exercise physiotherapist, acupuncture, breathing techniques, a tens machine, and hypnosis.

Using the TENS Machine for Pelvic Pain

Using the TENS Machine for Pelvic Pain

Eliminate the unnecessary so you can focus on what is meaningful to you

Because of my limitations I have gone through phases where I’ve felt that my life had no meaning. To help me get over that I’ve had to focus in on what is meaningful to me.

I’ve worked on identifying my values and changing my lifestyle so what little energy I have is used doing things that fit with these values.

Since living with chronic pain I have taken up blogging so I can still contribute to the wider community, I’m focused on shopping and living as sustainably as possible, I meditate daily and practice gratitude, and I make time each week to spend at least an hour with family and friends.

I have eliminated my gym membership (I can’t exercise to that extent at the moment any way), full time employment (again beyond my limitations), and cleaning the house (we get a cleaner in fortnightly to do the major cleaning, and I’m slowly decluttering so there’s less to pick up and care for around the house).

Bonus Tip: Have Fun

I personally believe the most important tip I’ve been given on my journey towards a simple, sustainable and meaningful lifestyle while living with chronic pain, is to focus on what makes you happy and to have fun.

Tasks such as cleaning can be outsourced and when you have limited energy to contribute to society you are more likely to be happy with your life if (as in the tip above) you focus on what is meaningful to you and make sure you do at least one thing to have fun each day.

Whether it’s taking the time to look out the window and connect with nature, reading a good book or spending time with family and friends, it’s important to make time for fun in your life.

What tips would you give someone who was living with chronic pain and struggling?

National Pain Week Australia 2015 and a LiveKen Update

15 Jul 15
Megan
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No Comments

It’s been a while since we’ve done a post here at LiveKen and there’s a reason for that! We’ve been busy running our first online workshop, Back to Basics: A life with Meaning.

We’re into week 4 of the 6-week workshop now and I have to say I’m very happy with how it’s going. I’m actually working through all the activities along side the participants and have found it extremely helpful so far. Over the next few weeks we’ll be using the insight we’ve gained into what is meaningful for us to create our own plans for moving forward to a more simple, sustainable and meaningful life. I promise to provide more of an update in the near future, however the next few weeks are looking very busy for me, especially next week.

National Pain Week Australia

20 – 26 July 2015

It’s National Pain Week here in Australia and there is going to be a lot of media coverage around living with chronic pain.

I’ve volunteered to be a storyteller for the week and will be sharing my story via the National Pain Week Website and in the local media. I already have a radio interview lined up for Monday and there looks like there may be more coverage opportunities during the week. Keep an eye on our Facebook page and Twitter for updates of exactly when and where you can here from me during National Pain Week 2015.

In other news, those of you who followed me before at My Chronic Life Journey would have noticed it’s been a very long time since I’ve posted or made any changes there. Unfortunately, I’ve had some technical difficulties over the last few months and currently find myself locked out of the site. I’m trying to rectify this at the moment because I know that I have quite a few loyal followers there who haven’t yet moved over to this site.

 

Meaningful FAQ

Meaningful Life Workshop: Back to Basics FAQ

20 Jun 15
Megan
one comments

The atmosphere here at LiveKen is buzzing as we put the final touches on our Back to Basics Meaningful Life workshop, which will be starting on Monday.

It’s not too late to join us. For just AUD$19.95, you can join us and begin your journey towards a simple, sustainable and meaningful life.

join-now-button-19

If you haven’t yet heard about it, don’t worry! I’m hear today to address a few of the questions we’ve been asked as we’ve promoted the workshop.

Without further ado, let’s answer your questions

What do you mean by a simple, sustainable and meaningful life?

I can’t give you a specific definition of what this will mean for you (that’s something we work through determining during the course) but when we talk about a simple, sustainable and meaningful life we are talking about determining what our priorities and values are and living a life that allows us to live by those as much as possible.

For me the most important things are to be environmentally friendly, have the energy to spend time with my family and friends, and to help others/make a difference…

For you it could be travelling, eating good food, being safe and secure…

It’s very personal.

This 6-week online workshop focuses mainly on determining what is meaningful for you. If you are aware of what your values and priorities are, then you’ll be able to view each of your activities and possessions to determine if they’re in line with them.

It also looks at how to simplify and make your life sustainable. By sustainable we mean something you can continue doing without negatively impacting your health, your finances, the environment and your relationships with others.

I don’t have much time so I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to participate in the course.

Ok, so this isn’t a question but it is a statement I’ve heard a lot since announcing the workshop.

My response to this is that the workshop has been developed to be suitable for those suffering from chronic and invisible illnesses, who have very little energy to participate in anything. The activities are set up in a way that you can do them in your own time and participation in the LiveKen Community Facebook Group is optional (although I personally believe this is where you get the most from the workshop because you’re interacting with others).

In fact, even if you can’t participate in the Community or complete all the activities at this stage, you have lifelong access to the Facebook group and the activities are sent via email so (as long as you don’t delete them) you can come back to them at any stage.

Why should I do it? I’m already doing to much and really need to prioritise.

This workshop will help you to determine how best to prioritise and to develop a plan to move your life slowly towards something more simple, sustainable and meaningful to you.

Is this workshop tailored for those living with chronic pain/invisible illnesses?

The generic workshop content has not been tailored for these conditions, however the purpose of this workshop is that everything will be tailored to participants. For people living with chronic pain or other invisible illnesses, managing these conditions is a major part of their life and as such would definitely be considered when developing a plan to move towards a more simple, sustainable and meaningful life.

What do I get for my AUD$19.95?

For the low cost of just AUD$19.95 (equivalent to roughly AUD$3.30 a week – less than a cup of coffee), you will receive:

  • An email containing facts and advice and one key activity each week which will guide you through the process of determining what is meaningful and establishing a plan for simple, sustainable and meaningful life changes
  • Life-long access to the closed LiveKen Community Facebook Group. Being a closed group, people can see who are members but only other members can see your comments.

Within 24 hours of signing up (using the link at either the top or bottom of this page), you will receive a welcome email and a Facebook invite (or second email with a link) to the LiveKen Community Group.

Have I addressed your question here? If not, please comment below and I’ll answer as soon as possible.

As I said at the beginning, the first run of this workshop will be beginning on Monday (only 2 days away), so make sure you sign up either today or tomorrow to participate in this round. We do hope to run the workshop again in the future, however I can’t guarantee when this will be happening so if you feel you’re ready for a change I strongly urge you to join us on this journey.join-now-button-19

And yes, this first time through I will be participating in the workshop as we go as well so I’d love to get to know you all better when you join us.

My simple, sustainable & (almost) minimal Wardrobe

16 Jun 15
Megan
5 comments

Over the last year or two I’ve been decluttering our house to help create a simple living environment. A big part of that has been reducing the amount of clothing and accessories I own to only those that I actually love, feel comfortable in, and enjoy wearing all the time.

Janelle has previously shared a bit about her experience decluttering her wardrobe but today I’m going to take things a step further and actually show you exactly what I’ve kept in my wardrobe.

I’ve read a lot of blogs about sustainable fashion, capsule wardrobes, and minimalist wardrobes and have always found it fascinating to see what others have kept in their wardrobes.

I haven’t taken the approach of minimising to a set number of items like Courtney at Project 333 and many others recommend, instead I’ve just slowly purged out anything that was too damaged/stained/worn out, didn’t fit me, wasn’t comfortable or wasn’t my style.

I’m still slowly going through my tshirts (as they wear out I’ll be replacing a few with more neutral/versatile tops and just removing some of the others), and I still have way more dresses and jackets than I really need but I wear them all.

So, without further ado, here’s my wardrobe as of today in pictures. I’ve included everything from socks and undies, to shoes and accessories, and everything in between.

Wardrobe - underwear, shoes, bags, hats and scarves

I only own one sports bra (which hasn’t been worn in over a year) because with my Fibromyalgia I haven’t found any others that are comfortable. Most the time I don’t wear one at all.

Wardrobe - Accessories, Bathers, PJ's, Trackies, Bike wear

My Winnie the Pooh PJ set were a Christmas present when I was about 11 or 12 so they’re almost 20 years old and still fit me (too big still). The green oversized t-shirt was my husband’s from the Uni pub crawl that was on my 18th birthday, I now use it as PJ’s.

Wardrobe - bottoms and other sports wear

The two pairs of leggings may look the same but one is ankle length and the other 3/4 length. I don’t own many bottoms (and those I do own are either big on me or maternity) because anything tight around my waist is uncomfortable. For example my Jeans are actually these.

Wardrobe - tops and suits

As I mentioned before, I’m slowly moving away from band/concert t-shirts to more versatile tops that can be used with most my wardrobe.

Wardrobe - jackets, coats, jumpers and cardigans

Wardrobe - dresses

My go-to outfit, or uniform, is generally one of my dresses. In winter, I layer it with leggings, tops, boots and jackets. In summer, I pair it with sandals and a hat.

And that is everything except my wedding and engagement rings, my garmin and my silver sleeper earrings which I wear all the time.

I haven’t included hair accessories in here, but I only own one tortoiseshell bulldog clip, 2 hair ties, 3 different coloured flower clips and 3 different coloured beaded clips. That’s it.

Although I’m aiming for a minimalist wardrobe for simplicity and sustainability, I’m not quite there yet but each and every piece in there is meaningful to me and plays a role in my life.

I’m currently participating in Summer Edwards 20 Day Sustainable Fashion Challenge which is providing useful insight into the best way to have a sustainable wardrobe.

I’m also about to embark on a 12 month challenge (starting 1 July 2015) of not purchasing any clothing at all, including underwear. I had thought about starting at the beginning of this year but have recently had to purchase new underwear and have picked up one dress from an op shop in the last week (the grey cotton 3/4 sleeved one with pockets). I first heard about this challenge from Mrs Frugalwoods and was inspired to give it a go. So, starting 1 July 2015 I’m making a pledge to purchase no clothing at all for 12 months. I’ll keep you updated with how I go.

 

Do you have a simple, sustainable, meaningful wardrobe?

Would you consider doing a wardrobe challenge to help you determine what your simple, sustainable and meaningful wardrobe would be?