Showing posts with label stress. Show all posts
Showing posts with label stress. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

9 Fun Things You Can Do to Help Manage Your Anxiety During Stressful Times

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. 

Do I even have to say that right now is the probably one of the most frightening times we've lived in since 9/11? The uncertainty, the lack of knowledge and mixed messages, and onslaught of bad news has sent even the calmest of folks into a tailspin. For those of us who are prone to anxiety, it has become very difficult to manage.

I could write a post about all the usual things you can do to help keep yourself calm: limit screen time and avoid the news, get outside for some fresh air, guided meditation and breathing exercises, phone a friend or video chat with a few, working out, limiting alcohol, and avoiding overeating--all things that can certainly help with managing stress. If you have anxiety issues, you know about all these things. You've probably tried some, if not all of them.

All my life, I've dealt with anxiety. Believe me, I've tried all kinds of strategies to manage my symptoms when they threaten to take over. Today I've got you covered with some creative, fun things you can do to distract yourself, make yourself smile, and maybe ease some of your anxiety. What we're dealing with right now isn't one bit fun, but taking a break from all the bad news and stress to do something different just might help ease the pain a bit.

Friday, November 3, 2017

5 Things I'd Tell You Over Coffee

I'm so glad you could meet me for coffee. It's been a while--a month, to be exact--and I have a lot to share with you! So pull up a seat and let me pour you a cup. Cream and sugar? Pumpkin spice? Splash of whiskey? Let's chat!

Friday, October 13, 2017

And then I Needed to Just Breathe...

Disclaimer: I received The Breathing App and gear in exchange for this blog post. All opinions are my own.

It's no secret to anyone that I am somewhat of a high-strung kind of gal. In fact, some call me type A+. Being driven is often a good quality-- as a type A person, I have high standards, I'm ambitious, I'm goal oriented, I'm not a quitter...but there are definitely some downsides to being type A. It is exhausting being such a perfectionist, and the drive to continually succeed can lead to stress. And we all know what stress does to a body.

Unless you're type B, that is.

Running has always been an outlet for stress relief for me. But what about when I can't run? It's not like I could just leave in the middle of my workday for a run, right? Can you imagine?

What I can do when I'm feeling overwhelmed is take a minute to breathe.

Friday, October 14, 2016

The Gift of Running

We all run for different reasons. But I bet if you polled a large group of runners, you'd learn that most of us run for at least one reason besides fitness. I'm fairly sure that most of us recreational runners run for stress relief.

That's why I started this journey over 25 years ago. Running has been the best medicine for me. My type A personality lends itself to feeling overwhelmed. Running has always helped me sort that out. Nine times out of 10, I end a run feeling much better than when I started.

Until I don't.

But there's always something good in every run.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

A Runner's Gotta Do...

I came home from work Monday and told my husband I was "this close" to a nervous breakdown.

Life 1, Wendy 0.

How do non-runners deal with stress?

I'm pretty sure I have some ideas about that. All of them tempting. None of them healthy.

I've been dealing with this latest flare of PF by taking time off the road. This latest break has lasted 3 weeks. I did run that 10k a few weeks ago, but other than that, I've behaved myself.

Normally when I take time off from running for injury, I'm ok. But this go round? I'm struggling. Probably because this injury has lasted so long. On Monday, I hit critical mass.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Rewind, Reset, Recharge

Greetings from the North Woods of Wisconsin! This post comes to you from one of my favorite places in the whole world, the beautiful Door Peninsula. My parents have had this lovely vacation spot since I was a little girl. I love to take time away from the craziness of life and just unwind here. It always feels like coming home.

Can I stay here forever?

Did I ever need this little getaway! All the stress of the last couple of months--my son Matthew's leg fracture, the new puppy, and other assorted annoyances--has really started to take a toll on me. You know I'm feeling overwhelmed when the mere idea of getting in the car and driving 5 hours to my favorite place exhausts me. But here I am and my arrival felt like a balm to my soul.

My oldest son and husband had to stay home to work, but Matthew, Cocoa, and I have been enjoying our time away in with my parents. Prior to our trip, I took Matthew to the orthopedic surgeon and pleased with the healing she saw on the x-ray, she took his cast off and put him in a boot. She told him he could walk on his leg and that he should swim. Walking has been painful for him. He's still using his crutches. On Friday he and I took the kayaks out and since it is so stony at the beach in from of my parents' house, we paddled across the bay to the sandy beach. Actually, we did it twice. Both times, Matthew walked in the sand and swam. It was the happiest I've seen him since he broke his leg.

Cocoa wasn't so fond of the kayak. We left her home with my parents.

Saturday morning, Cocoa woke me up at 5:30 to go out. I was tired but I got to see this:

After a few cups of coffee, I felt more awake and readied myself for a run. It was a gorgeous morning with a light breeze and a temperature of about 75. Instead of heading into the little town where my parents spend their summers, I headed up the hill to the bluff park. This hill rivals the hills of Big Sur. Even though I was tired, I vowed to run to the top and I did. The view was my reward.

The waters of Green Bay are just beyond where I'm standing.
I continued on my way to the bluff. Another beautiful view. And a clean latrine. I headed back home, savoring that downhill.

Tree pose on the bluff overlooking Green Bay.
Sunday morning I woke up to rain. Cocoa woke me up at 4:30 to go out but I brought her in the bed with me after our trip to the grassy patch. We both promptly fell asleep until 7. By then the rain had stopped. I hemmed and hawed about going for a run, but I wanted to visit my other favorite path that takes me deep into the woods.

A feast for the senses.
I stopped by the rocky shoreline to do some yoga.

I finished off Marcia's push up challenge with 100. They weren't easy today. My arms were tired--probably from the kayaking-- and I had to break the push ups up into small sets. My furry coach made sure that I got them done.

Since it was another gorgeous day, Matthew and I went kayaking on the bay again. The water was unusually calm and we paddled over to the bluffs to explore the caves. I've never done this, and Matthew really enjoyed himself. Even though he fell in the water trying to get back into his kayak. It wasn't that cold...

Tomorrow we drive home and it's back to reality. I'm grateful for these little getaways to rewind, reset, and recharge. 

Do you take time off to get away from everyday life? What kind of activities help you renew?

I'm linking up with Tricia and Holly for their Weekly Wrap! And with Angela and Ilka for the Sunday Fitness and Food Link Up!

How was your week?

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Getting My Head Back in the Game

On Thursday, when I went to train with Becky, she told me that the day's workout was a test to see how much I improved since we started on the upper body training. She had me get on the ground to do what she termed "Tabata Hollows to Supermans". I had no clue what she was talking about.

"You did this!" she said, "a couple of weeks ago! And you were supposed to work on them at home. How can you not remember this?"

I hung my head in shame. Sadly, this isn't the first time in the past couple of weeks that I've been called out for forgetting things. In fact, it first hit me last week that I needed to get with the program when I found out I made an error in calculating a dose of medication. Nothing serious, thankfully, but it was a wake-up call that I need to get my sh** together. It was kind of scary. I realized that I seriously need to get my head back into the game.

And no, I don't think I have early Alzheimer's disease. At least, I hope not.

I'm pretty sure I've been downplaying life lately here on the blog. Or maybe I've really been in so deep that I had no clue how overwhelmed and forgetful I've been. I really do try to keep things positive. It seems to me that if you dwell on how bad your current situation it just makes you feel worse. You know how it is. Life throws a bunch of stuff at you, and you just keep swimming. That's what we do. We just keep swimming. Plus things could always be worse.

But it wasn't only Becky who commented on my mental lapse. My husband started calling me out on my intellectual interlude last week. Then he started commenting on my 2d (or maybe it was a 3rd) glass of wine. As if one has anything to do with the other. No, I believe that the wine has medicinal properties and I've been self-medicating.

There's been a lot going on since we got back from California. Something had to give and apparently it was my memory. I'd apologize but when I did that on Thursday, Becky made me do 5 burpees.

For the last couple of weeks, I've been dealing with Matthew's broken leg and the aftermath. There are the bills, the appointments, and driving him to and from school. There is also the emotional upheaval I feel while supporting my normally very happy son while he deals with pain and depression because he can't participate in life. He's much happier now that his long leg cast was replaced with a short leg cast. He can shower by himself now instead of having me wash his back and hair every morning. But with a broken right leg, he can't drive. Crutches and the beach don't mix. Summer is pretty much shot for him. The ortho told him he's got a 4-6 month recovery before he can return to sports.

A much happier Matthew sporting his new short leg cast
Still not able to bear weight on that leg yet.
There's the new puppy, who, while being adorable and funny, is also a stressor. Slowly but surely she's getting the idea that pooping and peeing outside is the key to success (treats and praise). Playing with her is fun but those little teeth are really sharp. Doing yoga and my pushups on the floor is a challenge because she thinks it's playtime and I'm one of her puppy friends. She's still learning the rhythm of the household but hasn't figured out that 4:30am is way too early to wake up.

How can this be comfortable?
Weighing heavily on my mind is today's high school graduation ceremony. My oldest son, who has given us our share of challenges the last couple of years (and me plenty of gray hair and reasons to run) graduated early in December. He has chosen not to participate in the official graduation ceremony. While I respect his decision and understand it--high school was not a happy time for him--as a mom, I can't help but feel a little melancholy. I know that in the big picture of life, this is just a blip. As a mom, though, I'd like him to experience this major life milestone. Heck, I'd love to be there to experience this major life milestone with him! But this really isn't about me at all.  I would never tell him how I feel about this because he has to do what makes him happy. It's not up to me. He's chosen a different path, and I'm proud of him for that. He's been doing so well since he graduated, which reassures me that he did the right thing for him.

Meanwhile, this week I'm grateful to have gotten 4 good runs in again, in spite of my PF flaring after Sunday's race. While Marcia's May plank challenge ended, she's extended it into June with the added challenge of working up to 100 push-ups by month's end. The push-ups fit in nicely with the upper body work I'm doing with Becky, although her comment to me when I told her about the challenge was that "100 push-ups are easy". For her, maybe! Anyways, on Sunday, I did 50 push-ups. Not all at once. I did intervals--run for 2-3 mins, do 10 pushups. It's a start. The goal will be to do them all at once. I've got a whole month to work on that.

In addition to my runs and push-ups, I took the bike for a 25-mile ride on Monday. And at that CrossFit session with Becky on Thursday, I did those Tabata Hollows to Supermans. I hung from the bar until tears came to my eyes. I did Body Pull Ups on the rings. She also had me do triceps dips on a box alternating with lunges carrying kettlebells overhead. I even did my homework on Saturday--push-ups, that Tabata workout, and my hip work. On my run, I stopped to hang from a bar at the playground.

Mission Accomplished.

I left my CrossFit session with the resolve to be more mindful here on out. It's my new goal for the second half of 2016. Realization is the first step. Here's to hoping that the dust is settling and the rest of summer will be uneventful.

Upward Facing Plank
Last day of the plank challenge

Anatomy of a push-up

Hanging from the bar. Harder than it looks.

On my way to 50 pushups
How was your week? Everyone's making new goals at this point in the year. How about you? 

I'm linking up with Tricia and Holly for their Weekly Wrap!