so much room for activity!

One week ago today, I had my stomach follow-up.  Two of the recommendation biggies were exercise more and follow the GERD diet.  I’ve had moderate success with the GERD diet, and today marks the 1 week anniversary of only having ONE cup of coffee a day – YAY!

I’m a beast in training

Now where I’ve been even more successful is with the working out piece.  Listen to this:  last week I worked out 4 times.  This one is exciting folks.  I can’t remember the last time I hit 4 days.  At first I felt guilty because it has been so long since this happened and then I hit myself upside the head and replaced it with loads and loads of pride.

Last Tuesday I swam for 37 mins.  Thursday, Saturday and Sunday I ran/walked on my pal the treadmill.  I’m even typing this with a smile on my face.

This week, I’ve had some success as well.  Tuesday night I swam for 40 minutes.  I worked on my stroke and kicking and let me tell you, I was wiped out after it.  I did swim faster, which is always a cool thing but my endurance is iffy so my heart was a beatin’.  After my swim session, I came home and knocked out (I use that term loosely as it was HARD) 3 miles on the treadmill.

I know.  Two works in the same day.  I checked the mirror to make sure it was still me.

I will say, I was exhausted yesterday.  I had to work late so I didn’t swim nor did I run.  Rather, I ate way too many servings of Chicago style popcorn.  Yet another form of popcorn crack – take my word for it.  I wanted to stop but I could.not.do.it.

I demolished that popcorn… not quite like this though… next time

Tonight is another round of swimming and running.  I know it’s pushing my fitness in a positive way.  The other major benefit?  It’s been an emotionally exhausting week (see emotionally indulging in popcorn above) and at the end of my swim, the overwhelming sense of anxiety had dissipated by leaps and bounds.  I didn’t even realize it until about 2 hours after I was finished.  It’s making me a believer in this whole meditative exercise choice.

swimming and me = besties

As mentioned, the emotional roller coaster has, of course, had an effect on my tummy.  I decided to try to reintroduce a few things to my diet in regards to the FODMAP diet and this was a disaster.  Last weekend I was learning/trying to accept my conflicting new diets and now I need to figure out to implement them.  Spreadsheet world here I come!

I haven’t figured out if Friday will be a swim day or not but I think I might need it.  Running will be high on the agenda for the weekend as I need to push past this 3 mile business.  I need to add some mileage in order not to crawl across the finish line in this impending 8k… which is 2 weeks away – EEK!

me = ass

So there were two different posts rattling around in my brain.  I decided to go right ahead with the ol’ karma hates me post.  I think it’s been a couple of weeks since I last wrote one of these.  Seriously, doesn’t it seem like some individuals totally get bypassed by her?  Well, don’t you worry, I’m one of the chosen ones.  If being visited by karma, never feel alone – I’m positive I am right there with you.

I’m sure this is what karma looks like

Now, I should first admit a couple of things.  I’m an ass.  Not all of the time, but this week I was.  I didn’t even really mean to be said ass but it happened.  I made some pretty decent mistakes & instead of karma allowing me to slink off into a corner to lick my wounds I got an audience.

no wait! I want to be put in a corner!

Me = Ass:  One major work error where all of my higher up bosses got to be privy to my mistake. One personal mistake, which while may not have the biggest audience, makes me feel worse than the work one did.  And then there were the smaller work & personal ass-ish things that came into play off and on all week.  So, I’m not saying that I don’t deserve karma’s attention but sometimes, just sometimes, I wish she would lose my digits.  Pretty please?!
While I was all retail-therapying it up in Target yesterday (you see, I already hit Yankee Candle and Old Navy online earlier in the week), I realized I have to learn to simply brush the shit away.  It’s true.  I promise you, I’m going to think about how I messed up – how I misread ppl & how I could’ve/should’ve done just a few minor things differently & this whole week would have been different.  Even though what’s ailing me at the moment isn’t actual shit (they are important things), I can’t change what happened.  My proclivity toward rehashing my mistakes & rehashing & then rehashing them again, sure isn’t changing the situations.  Those are said and done.  I’m great at accepting responsibility mind you, rather I need to work on the whole concept of damage control (not target) & then moving on.  I don’t have much confidence in my ability to do this at this moment…

I will admit, I made a rookie mistake & went against my cardinal rule of “never say it can’t get any worse”.  Last week I lamented about what a doozy of a week it was and while I don’t think I actually said it I sure as hell implied it.  The universe spoke up with a rousing rendition of “OH YEAH?!”  A challenging week has ensued & my only hope for the rest of these days are some personal victories – ones that have eluded me so far: only drinking one coffee per day, not scavenging for chocolate in the mid-afternoon when I’m clutching at my sanity for dear life, crossing all of my I’s & T’s (um-apparently i’s need crossing now), not oversleeping & not letting the !#*%^ tears fall.  Or maybe if I accomplished even a couple of these it could at least be considered a draw.
It’s not really a weekend in my working world but I hope for those of you who are weekending, that it’s a good one – maybe a nap?  Maybe some holiday shopping?  Maybe hanging out with friends and family?  I will leave you with a song that I am currently OBSESSED with despite the strange video.  It kind of fits my mood right now.

Later alleges toe (<— I tried to write later alligators and this came up instead.  I like it)

britney spears is helping me through

Work.  It’s been exhausting.  It’s the busiest time of the year for me and student affairs professionals across the country.  Suddenly there are status write ups from my colleagues that say things like, “I promise, I do like you but I probably won’t be able to talk to you for the next month”.  This is the norm.

This week has been particularly challenging.  I won’t go into details but even my bones are tired.  Not that sleep deprivation tired rather that mental fatigue that no amount of sleep can cure.

I repeated this to myself this morning. I’m not even kidding a little bit.

ANYWAY… First of all, due to the above, I haven’t run in a week.  Not my best choice considering the Detroit 26.2 is inching closer by the hour.  I could have run, of course.  Wait – my brain was on strike.  And then a miracle happened.

I got up this morning and RAN!!  I know!  I’ve been setting my alarm for an early morning run for months now and so far my bed’s siren call is just too strong.  At 4:45 am I woke up with a panic attack that kinda sorta stuck with me until I finally got out of bed at 6:20 am.  So, I can’t totally thank some inner motivation.  However, I didn’t stay in bed.

It was chilly this morning – I LOVED it.  I was pretty certain I would need to walk within the first mile and up the wretched hill.  I was pleasantly surprised when I made it up the hill, still running.  I kept going.  Then I kept going some more.  I finished out with 3.5 miles and ran the whole way.  Even my dizzy spell at the end of my run couldn’t beat down my feeling of accomplishment.The panic attack, dizzy spell and a stomach ache that I’ve had for over two weeks now are symptoms of my anxiety which is in high gear.  It’s also my second dizzy spell of the week and yes, I do find this troublesome.  Nevertheless, I’m pleased with my run.  I felt strong(ish).  Originally, I planned on making it a double run day but considering the dizzy spell, I opted for some ice cream and rest instead.

Oh and for dinner?  My first ever STIR FRY!  Wahooo!  I made fried rice and my cup runneth over with pride.  Silly?  Maybe… I’ve wanted to make fried rice for about a billion years yet found it intimidating.  I was convinced I would mess it up.  I realize now, this could be difficult but only because of my success this evening.  I added more veggies and chicken than called for so not only was it pretty but filling.  And delicious!

okay, it doesn't look that pretty but it was/is delish!
okay, it doesn’t look that pretty but it was/is delish!

Even though my brain is mush and my inner organs are being drowned in cortisol, my happy pills are at least keeping me functional.  I actually have all of Saturday off so I need to get through a hectic day tomorrow and then can let my body turn into a pool of mushy goo for a whole 24 hours.  Sunday there will be more work to be had – good thing I’ve got this little dude to keep me company.

this is simon's new favorite spot
this is simon’s new favorite spot

strange day of anxiety

Note:  I tried to add a bit of humor to this post so it wasn’t super whiny but those of you out there with anxiety disorders know, it’s a tough way to live.  One of my outlets is humor.  I absolutely take it seriously.

Yesterday was an anxious day.  I have no idea why.

I woke up feeling really jittery and nervous.  I did a few things around the apt and then made some coffee.  Typically, following some of these routines will help calm me down but my efforts were in vain.  It just got worse.

I couldn’t figure it out.  I didn’t have any projects due today (Monday).  In fact, two of my bigger programs I completely forgot about until early this morning.  I went to the farmer’s market on Saturday and enjoyed some sunshine AND went for a run.   So, to feel this overwhelming anxiety, on a Sunday was weird.  Which, of course, made me feel even more anxious.

I thought maybe a run would help.  And it probably would have if I had gone.  I decided to bag it though because being this nervous also gives me a jumpy stomach.  This plus running does not a happy runner make.  So, I got in the shower.  I couldn’t see very clearly as I didn’t have my contacts in when I stepped into the shower.  I thought I saw something move but wasn’t sure.

I wasn’t brave at all

I put my face down close and it was the BIGGEST bug.  Good gravy, it scared the ever-living daylights out of me.  I kept trying to splash water on it but it would keep moving away.  It scared me even more since then it could get out of the tub and find me while I was sleeping.  I got it toward the drain but it was too big to fit down there.  Finally, I grabbed my little hand held sink plunger and trapped it.  It’s still there.  I’m not trying to be cruel, honest.  But I was so sincerely freaked out by it.  I really do hate bugs and spiders inside my place and for some reason (probably given my previously established state of mind) I could not handle it.  At all.  I talked to my friend today and he said he would come take care of it for me.  I’m usually not this phobic about things like this but even when I was talking about it today with my coworkers I felt the panic well up inside me.

After this, it was all over.  Wine.  Yep, wine came to my rescue.  Along with a Netflix marathon.  I’m guessing running would have helped my strange day of anxiety better than wine but I felt too overwhelmed to even get out of the door.  I still don’t know why.  Today has been better (except for the trapped GIANT THING that I am now bathing with).  There’s my story of my day filled with anxiety.  Sometimes it really does rear its wicked head for no apparent reason.

goodness gracious…

Good gravy-Tuesday was a doozy.  The air was thick with anxiety!  Unfortunately, not kidding.

The morning was kind of an odd frenzy of activity in the office that seemed to breed angst.  Per my MO, I soaked up all of the stress & anxiety like a sponge.  I thought I was going to vomit at one point since this is also part of my MO when it comes to being overwrought with nerves.

it’s even a dino puking a rainbow – big win! I’m working on being positive so this sort of counts

BUT!  After I calmed down a bit (leaving for lunch can help with this) I realized something.  A few months ago I felt like this EVERY FREAKIN’ DAY!  I can’t believe it.  I mean, I recognized that I felt less shaky/panicked on the inside but somehow I pushed aside how it felt physically.  So while yesterday morning was unpleasant, I am happy at the strides I have made.  Yes, chemicals are part of the equation but so are some behavior modification & more exercise.  This feels good.

The rest of the day was busy.  I had a doctor’s appointment at 2pm & I was really proud of myself, as I got there 15 mins before my appt time.  I got to the front & said my name & appt time.  The clerk:  “umm, your appt. was at 1:15”.  Nooo!

I apologized profusely, felt like a jerk & apologized again.  They took pity on me & still fit me in between other patients.  I was very grateful.  Oh & they were kind about the whole thing as well.

I was relieved to see the end of the day.  Some quality time on the couch was necessary along with some deep breathing and meditation.  I’m not so hot on the meditation piece but I’m practicing.  Also, letting go of the stress of the day – the animal section of pinterest is always helpful with this.

so much adorableness!  this is a big year for sloths - I wonder if they realize?!
so much adorableness! this is a big year for sloths – I wonder if they realize?

release the kracken

I need/want to release the anxiety.  I feel like it’s this beast that lives inside me, growing and I just want to unleash it so it runs away.  My anxiety is my personal kracken!

yep

Months ago, my neurologist told me some of my anxiety was probably habitual.  In the appointment I nodded my head and acted like I believed her.  In my mind I scoffed and felt she was feeding me a line.

I will say, I’ve thought about this (<— huge shocker considering my over-analyzing ability) and while it gained merit in my mind, I had no idea what to do with this.  How do you stop yourself from feeling anxious?  It sounded like an old wives tale; you know where some of it is based in fact but for the most part it has been embellished.

I’m not sure I know what this ^ means either

Last week my friend (thanks Larissa!) sent me a link to this article, “Mentally Strong People:  The 13 Things They Avoid”.  The author talked about the habits of what make people mentally strong as per clinical social worker/writer, Amy Morin.  I was immediately intrigued and read through it.  There was some good info there and I began to think of how I could put it into practice.

One of the suggestions was to stop negative thoughts.  My MO is to rehash an issue or interaction until I’m blue in the face.  Typically I do this out loud and it definitely gets me all worked up and out of sorts.  So, this past week when I started doing this and caught myself I say “Stop”.  It works.  I know!  I’ve found when I realize I am doing it, put an end to it I can stop turning it over and over in my brain.  I recognize it quicker than I thought I would, which also helps.  They say it takes 21 days to form a habit (or rid yourself of one) so I have 7 days under my belt.

Another one was releasing whatever it is that is vexing you when you no longer have control over it.  For instance, on Friday I had a project due.  I’ve been working on and coordinating this project that involved a couple of different offices aside from mine for about two months.  It had to go well.  A half hour before it was supposed to start I was going through my mind to make sure I had everything in place, that I had done everything I could and what I would say when clearly it was going to bomb.  Again, I said “Stop” and then said out loud “there is nothing else you can do at this point.  It will go over and if there is a mistake you can fix it.”  Ahhh… I was still nervous but recognizing my control had limitations and letting it go helped.  I also minimized the project’s ability to make or break me – yep, I took away some of its power.  By the way, my supervisor for the project got pulled out at the start of the meeting so I did it on my own and it went well!

I realized my neurologist was right (haha, this sentence is funny because you know, she’s smart!).  Some of this is definitely a habit and anxiety I create from my own actions.  I understand better how behavior modification can work.  There is still the anxiety that I  can’t control.  I don’t even realize it’s alive and well until I have a dizzy spell or a panic attack or I have shakey hands.  I have a doctor’s appointment to discuss this but I do like this all-encompassing plan of action.  It feels good taking control of aspects of it rather than depending on some chemicals to do all of the work for me.

actions plans feel like this

I recommend the article.  Even if anxiety isn’t part of your daily life, it has solid points and suggestions.  I like that it gives real ideas rather than “just meditate”.  Meditation is important but for me to get to that zen-y state means I need to clear my head a bit.  I feel the above actions are a path to this.

P.S. I pretty much love the Falcor-unicorn-rainbow action above

body don’t fail me now!

I’m out of internet detention!  Internet silence was the lovely product of being booted off the network until my computer could pass a virus scan.  It wouldn’t pass and it wouldn’t download the lovely newest definitions.  THEN – it finally worked!  Yay!

Truth be told, last week was a rough week.  I’m certain there was a variety of anxiety going on in my brain and in my body which led to all of the mishaps but since some of it is subconscious I don’t always realize it.

1.  Mad panic attack on Tuesday morning as I wrote about.

2.  Wednesday general day of feeling unwell.

I guess I wasn’t fully aware of it?

I attempted a run on Wednesday and failed with flair – again, as I wrote about last.  Thursday rolled around and I had high hopes my dead-leg run from the day before would be vindicated with something akin to the feeling of Christmas morning as a kid.

It did not disappoint… until the end.  It was chilly but I have kick ass winter running gear.  In fact, I did the math.  I was wearing approximately $400 worth of gear (including shoes/iPod) which was just plain ridiculous.  I know I sound like a bragger-mcgee and I’m not trying to!  Thankfully, I didn’t pay that much since I shopped end of the season sales in years past.

thank you, thank you – I tried to dull my pride a bit!

Anyway, the run was great and I felt really good.  I didn’t look at time, listened to my updated running mix and really enjoyed running outside and feeling strong.  I was maybe a mile from finishing and I had a really bad dizzy spell.  I practically fell down zig-zagging across the street and I’m sure if someone saw me they laughed because my arms flailed as I tried not to hit the pavement.  These “dizzy spells” are my small seizures.  Adrenaline and endorphins allowed me to finish the run, go to a work event and act like my normal self… for about one hour then I was exhausted.

Friday I spent the day nursing a wicked headache; it was very migraine-esque.  By the end of the work day though, I felt better and was still able to help at another work event and then go out with friends.  These last two probably weren’t the best plans of action but there has been a lack of fun night time activities as of late so I went.  Actually, I would have stayed home the whole day but I promised to celebrate my friend’s birthday.  I wouldn’t feel right resting up during the day and then getting my groove back out on the town the same evening.

I kind of wonder if all of the negative energy just built up and then my brain fritzed out – no, this isn’t a scientific explanation but it’s the best way for me to describe it.  It’s clear to me I need to get a better handle on this aspect of my health since the consequences are quite unpleasant (and possibly dangerous).  I also realized there were warning signs the whole week and while I recognized there was something amiss, frankly I attributed it to my imagination.  Completely silly.

I’m not sure how to avoid this in the future.  How do you stop anxiety from building up if you aren’t even aware it’s happening?  Or the better question, when the anxiety is present how do you know when you’ve reached the boiling point?  Seriously, I gots nothin’ on this one.

Talking with a good friend of mine today, she said it seemed that the anxiety is getting worse.  I agreed.  It was nice to hear that someone else thought so too and I wasn’t imagining it (ha! I guess I don’t trust myself in this arena!).  So, I will be calling the doctor to see what steps I can take from here.  I’ll keep you updated in case someone else is going through this.  Also, if you know of something helpful please share!!

happy? me?! YES!

I wrote this yesterday!

Oh great scott – how is it only Wednesday?!  For the last two days first year students and their families took over campus.  It’s a really exciting time and I would greet it with open arms if it weren’t for the month of training that happens prior.  At this point I greeted them with limp-y arms and a big smile.  That’s what exhaustion looks like:

When I was hanging out with friends on Saturday, one of them remarked how I seem much happier than I have in a long time.  It was so nice to hear.  I am feeling happier!  The stress (rashes, teeth grinding, eating) isn’t pleasant but it doesn’t always denote unhappiness.  For at least the last year however, the stress and unhappiness have gone hand in hand.  Which of course, created more stress, more unhappiness and more anxiety.

and more eating – boo

I’ve been feeling happier for a little over a month now.  Honestly, this feels kind of odd to talk about but it’s true.  I bounce back from grumpy moods faster, don’t descend into “pits of dispair” and no longer consider getting out of bed to be my biggest accomplishment of the day.  Yay!

The interesting thing about being happier is realizing a) how unhappy I was b) that there was something I could do about it and c) that some of my current behavior is habitual.

a) My unhappiness was deep.  It was one of those where even when I was having happy moments it couldn’t out-feel the sadness inside.  A lot of it had to do with my mom and healing/time have played a role in this journey of “recovery”.

b) I didn’t know my epilepsy meds were effecting me so much.  Now that I am 6 months into the med switch, I’ve noticed a HUGE difference!  Being on the old meds, along with my own brain chemicals (depression/anxiety) were a combo that I couldn’t fight.

c) So yay!  Happier!  Now, I need to get back to routines I had before that were uplifting.  As I started drowning the following started happening – afternoon (2 hour naps) everyday, calling in sick for work due to depression and sickness, avoiding friends, increased anxiety, staying up really late, watching endless hours of tv, poor eating habits, no energy to run – there are more but I can’t think of them.  The problem is, some of these have become habitual.  I need to break up with the bad habits and now that I’m feeling better I’m working to make it happen.

I like feeling happier.  I got used to feeling crappy so I am not even sure what to do with myself.  It’s like when I had gallstones.  I was sick for a year and half and would get gallbladder attacks (seriously, I thought my body would explode) every couple of months.  I assumed the-always-sick feeling was just me.  After the surgery, I felt AMAZING!  I didn’t even know I could feel that good.  It’s like that now.

I do think my personality/person has been changed on a permanent level.  I don’t think it’s a bad thing.  I am more introverted and more accepting of myself.  I can admit I have anxiety and ADD.  And I’m learning to work with all of these.  It’s kind of liberating and I am happy I am making changes in myself because I want to and not because someone else wants me too.  Hmm – that’s good.  I’m going to put that on a pillow!

have mercy little short week – you are killing me!

Today was the day, the day I kind of lost it.  I’ve come to the conclusion that short weeks are not always the best weeks.  Yes, I absolutely LOVE having an extra day in the weekend.  However, it seems more and more short weeks make people INSANE!  And my own life has been a ball of disconcerting oddities as well.  Ew.

Okay, so let’s start with what drove me over the edge this afternoon.  I had three hours of hot and sweaty work that was supposed to be completed by some other folks.  I was working with some quality people and what I can say about that is I’ve never laughed so hard or so much when in a completely crappy mood.

Then I had to call a customer back.  He ranted at me for a solid 15 mins.  I kind of broke – typically, I can handle this kind of thing.  I go into “kid mode”.  Remember when you were little and getting yelled at by your parents?  You sit there and just start saying, “yes.  I understand.  I get it.  yes.”  Going into this mode is often annoying to either your parents or the customer but it usually works to get them to realize they have driven the point HOME.  Today though… oh man – I was being called all sorts of unkind names and that was it.  Then he told me not to take this personally.  Um no.  I explained I did take it personally and then please imagine my rant about how much I care about my job and how seriously I take it.  I was surprised how much this put him in his place and hopefully makes him more careful about the terms he throws at people in the future.  I should admit, I am kind of proud of myself.

OH!  I went to the eye doctor today – another fun piece of my week!  Turns out the contact fell out at some point on its own.  My eye doc couldn’t find anything and let me say, she LOOKED!  She put a stain in my eye, lifted my lid with some kind of small stick, stuck something in my eye and looked extensively.  She did put some numbing business in there as well so it wasn’t the torture it sounds like!  She explained that it’s going to feel like something is in there for another day or two and I simply aggravated it by rubbing it, poking it, sticking my finger under the lid, basically abusing the poor little guy.  Glasses for me for a couple of days.

If you can imagine, this coupled with stress at work and lack of sleep has left me just a smidgen anxious!

I decided one way to help is to hack off all my hair.  Tomorrow I will be taking my lunch with my hair dresser and off it will come!  I looked at several pictures and think I am going for half long-ish pixie and half short bob.  Mostly, I want a hair style that I can put some styling crap in it, maybe blow dry for 6 seconds and then be out the door.  I have a bunch of pictures, which I am sure isn’t annoying at all!

Okay, I think that concludes my whining for today.  I plan on running tonight when the heat dips a bit and I’m sure this will help with all of this bitchy energy that is bouncing around me!

stress is contagious! fight it!

Yesterday, as I was leaving the office, there was the general hub-bub.  In addition, I felt some angsty vibes.  I am pretty sensitive to anxiety/stress-related feelings so as I was walking out, I had to do a double take as the panic was welling up inside me.  “Am I stressed?  Or am I reacting to the stress of others?”

Of course, there are things/issues occupying my mind but I realized I didn’t have anything to be seriously anxious about.  I walked to the elevator reminding myself that I was picking up on the stress of others and I needed to let it go.  I.was.not.stressed.

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Does this ever happen to you?  I don’t think I am in the minority here.  I’m not sure how and why stress is so contagious but it seems to feed on our insecurities and our desire to want to be part of the group.  I also think our society equates stress with importance.  If you are important then clearly you are going to have higher levels of anxiety because you have a higher clearance level within your world.  I guess?

I’ve thought a lot about balance over the years.  Since I already operate on a higher anxiety level, I’ve realized I need to be attentive to why and how I am reacting to stressors in life.  I always knew physical exercise could be an outlet but I didn’t think it would help ME.  Because, you know, I am so vastly different from the rest of the world!

272890058641081543_nE5UVhDO_b

Then I started running.  HELLO endorphins!  Wow.  I soon found that running did help to mitigate those anxious feelings.  I slept better, felt better, thought better – I was shocked.  Even now 5 or 6 years later, I am still surprised by how damn good I can feel after sweating my buns off on a run.  Unfortunately, running can’t solve all of my problems (nor can I just drop everything and go for a run *sigh*) and I’ve realized I have to make a conscious choice regarding stress.

Nevertheless, sometimes stress seems to lay it on thick and I’ll feel all wild-eyed, crazy in the wilderness.  Sometimes, it starts to creep up on me and I can feel my heart starting to beat faster.  Other times it’s a sucker punch to the face.  With all of these, the first thing I do is sit up straight and take a few deep breaths.  Then I evaluate: where is this coming from?  Is it really about me?  Am I simply responding to someone else’s stress?  When I figure those out, I start trying to talk myself down to a somewhat normal state.  Then I figure out a time to go for a run.

umm...yes, this is sometimes how I feel on the inside when I'm freaking out!
umm…yes, this is sometimes how I feel on the inside when I’m freaking out!

And yes, I talk to myself a lot!

Seriously, this has helped.  While some stress is healthy, too much can have major effects on your health – mental and physical!  So whether you are prone to anxiety or not, having a plan of combating the “too much stress” zone is important.  Is this a foul-proof plan?  Nope… I still resort to chocolate at times or taking a nap when I don’t want to/can’t deal with the stress around me.  Hibernating works too.  But at least I know I have options in my personal life tool box.

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I’m also proud of myself for getting to this point.  There are still times when I am a basket case but I’ve made improvements!  It hasn’t been easy and it hasn’t been without some heavy conversations with myself.  I also had to let go of some of the shame that comes with admitting that anxiety IS indeed, part of my life and make up as a person.  I’m sure everyone else already knew but I kept trying to shove this aspect of myself under the bed as it seemed so weak and unattractive.  But it’s who I am and fighting a part of who you are is exhausting.  So now, I am working to understand this part of me and come to terms with it.

Maybe something in this post rang true for you!  At the very least, during the sometimes chaos that is the holiday season remember to stop and breathe and not take on the stress of others as your own!  Oh and do something sweaty – that totally helps!

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