“You wanna be right or you wanna be happy”-Celeste + Jesse Forever
Well guys. I’m back. It’s been like two months since I touched or thought about this blog. Life has just run away from me. Over the last few months I kept thinking that as I catapulted towards the finish line of school things would get easier. I kept waiting to coast. But, sadly, it never happened. Apparently, I don’t allow myself to coast in academics. (or anything for that matter) In fact, one teacher gave me a 95% on a Portfolio assignment and I imaged smashing his face into a toilet. (shameless, I know) Regardless, it is now basically November and with 6 weeks left to go; I am starting to feel like my old self. The self that can kill a hard workout. The self that can admire the way the rising sun hits my favorite blazing red tree during fall. The self that cares less about telling everyone when they’re wrong and more about building organic relationships. Oh, and the self that shamelessly smiles when my favorite song comes on. As things have winded down; I’ve made some small changes that I wanted to share with all of you because I think they have helped enormously. In the last year; there has been so much discussion about mental health and I think that sometimes people try and use the stress excuse as a way of masking some deeper issues. But, as human beings living challenging lives; I think calling attention to the mental hiccups is crucial. No, we may not be battling anxiety or depression but we are all battling something. After 3 years of feeling like I am walking backwards into a glass wall – I have learned some important coping mechanisms. The ones I have instilled in the last 3 months have made me a collectively more grounded person. I have learned to value being selfish and ask for what I need; when I need it. I have also learned to take a time out when I feel my brain getting hot.
- I called in help. No, we can’t all afford expensive smoothie and meal delivery services but there are small modifications everyone can make. Suddenly one day I realized that my busy schedule was creating dietary chaos. Sugar, I was eating so much sugar. (which meant I was snappy and tired ALL THE TIME) I was also eating huge meals at lunch because I had this urge to feel satisfied during the day. I’ve tried cutting out sugar cold turkey before and depriving myself of all the things I love and truthfully, it never lasts long. Maybe a week and then I binge on whatever I felt was missing in my life. I also realized that attempts to eat healthfully meant a lot of wasted food because I never actually had time to make a morning smoothie with 87 ingredients. So, I sat down and weighed the pros and cons of a service called Daily Harvest. The smoothies are roughly $6-$7 per smoothie depending on how many you sign up for per week. They come pre-portioned in little cute white cups. All you do is add your choice liquid. After throwing out like a bunch of kale, a shit ton of cauliflower and saw the pineapple rotting on my counter I decided to pull the trigger. It’s an $87 splurge per week. To make up for it I have cut out smoothies out and coffee in the morning from my local bakery. In the end, I spend less for something delivered to my doorstep that I can blend in two seconds. (p.s. the strawberry cheesecake sundae is fucking bomb, it’s made from strawberries, cauliflower, almonds and coconut-perfect for a late night sugar craving)
- I put my cell phone away. I started turning my cell phone off and tucking it downstairs for the night about a month ago. 8:30 PM – I am officially disconnected from the world (9 on some nights, it depends but no later than that) It has been proven that the blue light emitted from cell phone usage effects levels of melatonin (the hormone that controls sleep/wake cycle) and can create activity in your brain that will keep you awake. Also, 6 AM texts from my insane family members meant that on weekends; I was losing out on valuable catch-up sleep. In the past month, I have had no trouble falling asleep and I have STAYED asleep. I’m often surprised when my watch alarm wakes me up. I sleep more soundly and it is much easier to get up in the morning. On Sundays, I keep my phone off for the majority of the day. It has made such a difference in my tude.
- I started taking baths. I have always responded to the sensation of water and now that it is hella cold in the lake/ocean and I can’t open water swim – I have started taking baths regularly. It’s a way for me to have a connective experience with something natural. It is also a way to immerse myself in something healthy for my mind/body (bath salts, essential oils, scented candles, I love Pursoma bath products which range from $12-$36 per bath, they have a great one for when you feel a cold coming on) Taking a half hour to myself means that I get a little bit of time away from the world I live in. I try not to think or focus on anything but how my body feels in the water.
- I slowed down my running. After being seriously burnt out from running at the end of 2015; I backed off from running. My body fought every single run. I couldn’t get out the door. I was miserable. But at the same time, I knew I was missing the only time I felt fully immersed in something that allowed me to be outdoors, chat with friends or be alone with my music. The last month, my coach has forced me to slow down through heart rate training. It has shifted my perspective a great deal. The runs are no longer about beating my head against a wall to meet some stupid goal. Right now, it is just about intention. Be outside, control my heart rate, enjoy the experience. I’m not jumping for joy every day I have to run but I can get out the door willingly and I feel good while out there. After, I feel cleansed and renewed; ready to tackle whatever life throws at me.
- I stopped asking people for their time. I used to hang out with friends up here in Maine a lot and when that kind of fizzled; I was definitely sad about it. Now, I appreciate the fact that I have time to be alone when and if I need it without the lingering guilt. While having a packed social calendar is fun, it is important to realize that being a grown up with kids means that those around you have less and less time as life progresses. While my schedule might be freeing up, that other person might still be in the weeds. So I stopped asking for their time. I’m allowing friends who have grown distant to just be distant. What this means is that I appreciate when I do see them and I don’t set unrealistic expectations. It’s not always personal. Sometimes its just life.
Other small modifications: blasting music while making dinner, eating for fuel rather than just to eat, giving myself a fucking break when I fuck up, limiting my drinking (I probably have a drink once every two weeks), wearing real pants and looking like I give a shit about myself and most importantly, being nicer to my husband because he is fucking rad and deserves to not get the scary side of me quite so often.
It’s Friday guys and tomorrow night I get to see a bunch of people I love at the most ridiculous annual Halloween party ever, so lets unplug, unwind, have a few laughs and wind down the hours.