Relinquishing Control

I’ll just start off by saying yesterday’s mini goal (hitting snooze no more than once) definitely didn’t happen. Lol. I could not sleep at all last night and ended up getting only about 3.5-4 hours total of very fitful sleep. The reason I couldn’t sleep is because for the last couple of days I have just been a big ball of anxiety. I can’t really say what I’ve been anxious about right now, but it’s not even something I can control. I’ve been worrying about all the little what-ifs and going straight to the worst possible outcome, and it’s just been driving me crazy.

I went to bed at 9:30 last night, and it was lights out by 9:45. I then laid awake in bed tossing and turning for about an hour until I decided to get up and do some research to try and put my mind at ease. I did that for about 15-20 minutes and then it was lights out again. About 15 minutes later, I thought of a couple other things I wanted to look up, so I did that quick, and it was lights out again. I still couldn’t sleep, so I got up and made a checklist of all the things I wanted to do to help ease my anxiety toward this situation. That helped quite a bit, and I felt a little of the anxiety slip away because I felt like I had a solid plan. Finally around 2 a.m., I was able to lay down with my mind somewhat calm.

How often do you find yourself in that situation? For me, this was the first time in quite a while that I’ve had a sleepless night like that due to anxiety. What really finally calmed me down was honestly kind of having a heart to heart with myself. I just thought about it and was like why are you freaking out over these things that you can’t control? YOU CAN’T CONTROL THEM! Whatever’s going to happen is going to happen, and all you can control is yourself and your thoughts, feelings, and actions, so figure out a way to get those in check, and you’ll be fine.

That was when I sat down and made the checklist. I thought about exactly what it was that was getting me so upset and figured out what about the situation was in my control. From there I came up with a list of things that I could do to make sure that I really take care of everything I have control over. Then whatever happens, happens, and even if the worst case scenario happens, I’ll have peace because I’ll know I did everything I could do.

This was an exceptional scenario for me as usually I’m pretty well able to keep my anxiety in check. When I start to feel anxious about something, I usually go through a process. Depending on how anxious or stressed out I am, I may only need to do a couple of the steps below. I don’t always do them in order either, but almost always, once I’ve gotten to the exercise step, I can think a lot more clearly and feel much more calm.

  1. Deep breathing-just what it sounds like. When I start to feel anxiety coming on, I close my eyes and take a few deep breaths. Often this is plenty to avoid the anxiety.
  2. Putting things into perspective-Similar to what I described above, I tend to think about what exactly it is that I’m getting upset/stressed/anxious about and try to think about why I’m getting upset/stressed/anxious about it. Sometimes just the simple act of thinking about it makes it seem a lot smaller.
  3. Making lists/doing research-I’m a very analytical person, so when I get upset, after I’ve figured out what it is that is causing my anxiety and put it into perspective, I research everything I can about the situation or ways I can alleviate it, fix it, or work through it. I like to make lists-checklists, pro/con lists, detailed plans… you name it. This usually helps me because I feel like I need to be in control a lot, so when I am faced with a situation I can’t control, I get nervous. Figuring out all the ways I can take control of or influence a situation really helps me.
  4. Progressive relaxation/meditation-I learned this in college, and it is probably the biggest thing that has stuck with me since I graduated sadly. I took a relaxation class where we learned about progressive relaxation and meditation as ways to alleviate stress. Meditation is just quiet focusing to help make you more mindful and calm. There are many, many different types, but basically they all tell you to focus on something-often your breathing. This helps get your mind off of the 90 million things you need to deal with for just a moment and calm yourself. Progressive relaxation is a type of meditation where you focus on different parts of your body and slowly relax every muscle until your whole body is soft and relaxed. Then you breathe deeply and focus on your breathing. I do progressive relaxation on nights when I’m having trouble sleeping and it usually works to put me right to sleep.
  5. Yoga or any kind of exercise-This one’s pretty self explanatory.

Anyway, that’s my process. How do you deal with stress?


 

Today’s wins:

  • I felt really focused at work today despite only functioning on a couple hours of sleep.
  • I successfully completed my first week of Whole30!

Tomorrow’s mini goal:

  • Hitting snooze no more than once. (Hopefully tonight I’ll be able to sleep!)

Gratitude:

  • I am thankful I live in an age where information is easily accessible. It comes in so handy. πŸ™‚
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Whole30-Days 24-25

The last couple days have been kind of boring, so I don’t really have much to report. The good news is that my stomach is feeling mostly back to normal today! πŸ™‚Β It still looks a little more bloated than it was before the celery incident, but I feel so much better. I can actually eat things again without feeling discomfort, so yay for that!

Yesterday I hit the gym after work, and I nearly had a panic attack when I realized I left my jewelry in my locker at the gym! I had been putting it in my jeans pocket, but, irony of ironies, I was worried I’d lose it! I called the gym as soon as I realized it was gone, and my heart sank when they said they couldn’t find it. She took down my name and number and said she’d call me if anyone turned anything in though. I just felt sick. It’s not very valuable jewelry by any means, but it’s sentimental and unique. I was just thinking about how I’d never be able to cost effectively replace it because it is so unique when she called me back and said someone had turned it in! I was so relieved! I got it back after hitting the gym again tonight, and I feel so much better.

Speaking of hitting the gym… I signed up for a free personal training session for next Wednesday! I work out at Planet Fitness, so it’s not really one on one training, but I do get to sit down with the trainer and talk about what I’m hoping to get out of it, and he’s going to give me some exercises I can do. So I guess I have to think about what my goals are now… Really I just want to tone up everywhere. I’m sure he can give me a total body routine to do.

Another fun thing I did today was attend a meditation techniques class at work. It was awesome! I’ve always been a fan of meditation and relaxation techniques to help calm and center your mind. We practiced a few different techniques in class, and when I was done, I felt so relaxed and ready to take on the rest of my day! The one technique that I was kind of bummed about was called Chocolate Meditation. He handed out Ghirardelli chocolate squares and told us to slowly unwrap the chocolate, study it, smell it, etc. Then he told us to take a bit and just hold it in our mouths to pick out the depths of the flavor; then slowly chew it letting it fill up your mouth. Then slowly swallow it feeling it go all the way to the stomach.

I, of course, could not participate with chocolate, so he told me to do it with water… somehow it just wasn’t quite the same. Haha. I don’t really feel like I missed out on anything though. I got the point of it, and there will always be chocolate later on if I really want some. I thought it was a great reminder though to just be in the moment and enjoy your food, whatever it is. I know I am usually doing 10 other things when I am eating, and when I get done, I don’t even really remember what it tasted like. I always say I love food, but do I really if I don’t take the time to enjoy it and experience all the depths of flavor and texture in my meals? Just something interesting to think about!

So what did I eat?

Wednesday, October 22-Day 24

Breakfast-Ham, Apple, & Sweet Potato Scramble, an apple, 8 oz Gingerberry kombucha

Lunch-Lazy Pot Roast with potatoes and carrots

Dinner-2 Larabars and some Raw Sesame “Cookies” over the course of about 4 hours. Shame on me for not eating a real meal, but I just wasn’t hungry after my workout. I had to make myself eat the Larabar.

Thursday, October 23-Day 25

Breakfast-An apple, 8 oz unsweetened black tea, Paleo Pumpkin Soup

Lunch-Sliced ham and a banana

Post Workout Snack-Larabar and 16 oz pineapple coconut water

Dinner-2 eggs and ham slice


One thing I learned in my meditation class is that thinking positively can really help improve your outlook on life. This is something that I try to do anyway, but he said one thing you can do is think of at least one thing every day that went well or that you are grateful for, so I am going to start adding that at the bottom of every blog post.

My proud moment for today was that I went for it at the gym. I’ve always been really timid and worried that people were going to judge me and the things I do. That my form was off or my exercises were silly, but today I said to hell with them. I brought along a list of exercises to do, went over and grabbed some free weights and did my exercises without worrying what others thought of me. So I am proud of myself for that!

I’d love to hear what some of your proud moments for the day were!