Tag Archives: anxiety

Sometimes Life Is Like A Country Western Song

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Well, hello there.  Long time, no blog.

As you may have noticed, I disappeared in the last month or so.  There was a major snowstorm in our area which resulted in our home losing power and heat for a week, as well as a small tree falling against our neighbor’s house.  Hubby and I tried to stick it out at home, but it was freakin’ cold, so we shuffled around hotels.  When the power came back on, the furnace didn’t work, and it took a few days to get it to work.  And, oh yeah, I hurt my back shoveling snow.

After the snowstorm debacle, we left town for a pre-booked, much-needed vacation.  It was a whirlwind trip as we flew around visiting friends and family, then finally spent a couple of glorious days at a warm, sunny corner of the world.  When we returned to town, I thought I would also return to my normal routine.

Instead, I lost my job.  At least the boss waited until after my birthday.  Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s been a hell of a year.  It would be easy to give up, to tuck myself into bed and not get out for the rest of the year.  In fact, the day I lost my job, I sat in my car in the driveway thinking, “Do I really want to tempt fate by going to the grocery store?  With the way things are going, I’ll get into a fender bender on the way there!”

I tempted fate, and I continue to tempt it.  I get out of bed early each morning and I stay busy all day.  I view this time in my life as an opportunity to refocus and reorganize, literally and figuratively.  I’ve used the last couple of weeks to clear my head, to clean out and organize my house, and to do things I haven’t had time or energy to do in, oh, years.  I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the overwhelming support I’ve received from friends and family, as well as colleagues in my field.  Their love and support has reminded me that there is so much more to life, and my life, then a job.  (Hopefully I’ll remember that as the bills come due!)

Finally, I’ve returned to a steady diet and exercise routine.  I’m doing yoga again, and I’m back at the gym several days per week.  In fact, yesterday I did my best time ever on the treadmill–a mile in 10:34!  And I’ve lost a total of 23 pounds since mid-July!  I’m totally gonna turn into one of those “ladies who lunch” who spends all day in a velour tracksuit, going to the gym and flirting with the trainer.  Just kidding.

Have you ever had a period of your life where it seemed like everything went wrong, or you had a big, unexpected shake up?  How did you handle it?  What’s your advice for other people going through a rough period or a major life change?

Curse Ye, World

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Ugh.  Just…ugh.  Do you ever have those days where you want to quit your job on the spot just so you can curl up in bed all day?  Or you find yourself doing a slow drive-by of the grocery store and contemplating buying every pint of Ben & Jerry’s in their freezers?  Or you just feel like the poster child for Murphy’s law?  Yeah, it’s one of those days.

Okay, so rather than wallow in self-pity and doldrums, I will try to think of 7 things that make me happy.  Let’s see…..:

1.  Daffodils.  (They remind me of my grandparents.)

2.  Roads where trees hang over so you feel like you’re in a tunnel of trees.

3.  A nice cup of coffee on a weekend morning.

4.  A particular outdoor jacuzzi in Bermuda that overlooks the ocean.  When you sit in it, you feel like a movie star.

5.  The color blue.

6.  A hug from a loved one.

7.  Snow days, water main breaks, or anything else that suddenly closes the office so I have to go home.

What are 7 things that make you happy?

Guideline #9: Unplug an Hour Before Bed

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Just a few months ago, I couldn’t sleep.  It took me a couple of hours to fall asleep only to toss and turn all night while having bad dreams.  Then, I woke up early–sometimes as much as 3 hours early!  I was not a happy camper.

I hoped that exercise and a healthy diet would help my sleep patterns, but I also knew I had to try Guideline #9:  Unplug an hour before bed.  About 30 to 60 minutes before I turn in for the night, I turn off the TV and the computer, and I relax in bed with a book.  Sometimes I take a cup of hot tea with me.  I keep the lights as low as possible (without straining my eyes), and occasionally I’ll listen to soothing sounds such as classical guitar music or nature sounds.  (There’s a great app called Relaxing Sounds of Nature where you can actually mix a soundboard of different relaxing sounds.)  Once in a while, I’ll light a scented candle.

Thanks to this new habit, I’ve been sleeping so much better lately.  How do you prepare for bed?  What helps you sleep?

The Work Treadmill

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Yesterday I had to be at a work-related event by 8:45 AM in one county, then dash from there to another work-related event in another county where I also had a business lunch.  After work, I had to go to a professional association dinner in a third county.  I didn’t get home until 9:00 PM and I had to go to bed because I had to get up early for an 8:00 AM business meeting.  I barely had the time or privacy to use the ladies’ room by myself!  I don’t like days like this.  Can I call in tired to work?

How do you deal with weekday stress when you’re rushing from one thing to the next?  How do you keep your energy up on those nonstop days?

On A Serious Note

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You may recall that the genesis of my new healthy lifestyle (and, subsequently, this blog) was a period of intense anxiety and suicidal thoughts.  I do not want to give the impression that I think you can “cure” depression by eating an apple and doing some aerobics.  If you are experiencing depression or suicidal thoughts, please seek immediate, professional help.  If you are in the United States, a good place to start looking for a psychologist is on the American Psychological Association website.  You can also call your health insurance provider for a list of therapists in your area.

When it comes to total wellness, diet and exercise are just part of the equation.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help.  It’s better to ask for help now than to be beyond help later.

Do You Have That Not-So-Fabulous Feeling?

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Maybe it’s been raining all week and you haven’t had a good jog.  Perhaps you dropped your phone down a toilet or onto the subway tracks.  Maybe, ladies, you’ve been popping Midol like candy.  Whatever it is, you’re having a bad day.  So, how do you get back to your usual fabulous self?  What perks you up and gets you smiling again?  Leave your get-fabulous-fast trick in the comments section to this post.

Doldrums

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D*mnit.  It was bound to happen.  I woke up cranky yesterday and made the mistake of getting on the scale.  After a good workout on Monday, I expected to at least maintain my weight, but it went up a bit.  Sigh.  I told myself that the scale means nothing and I’m supposed to focus on my total wellness.  Except I didn’t feel so great.  The rest of the day brought more work and family stress, and last night’s yoga didn’t calm me down like I’d hoped.  Then I made the ultra-stupid mistake of getting on the scale again this morning.  Dear reader, I probably weighed myself six different times, and got six different numbers, none of which pleased me.

So, by the time I made it to my evening walk/jog, I was not feeling the whole-new-lifestyle-isn’t-it-exciting vibe.  I found myself walking through a forest and not even noticing it because my mind was abuzz with worries about work, family, and the d*mn scale.  I finally had to stop, take a breath, look around, and remember that this is a lifestyle, not a quick fix.  I can’t get rid of all sources of anxiety, and I can’t expect to magically change overnight.  At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

What do you do when you hit a little skid?  What gets you back on track?