Weekly Update – 4/4/16

Monday

Monday was a day off of work and a travel day back from Atlantic City.  Nothing too crazy, but we did stop for a yummy lunch at a cool place called Blacksmith Bar and Restaurant.  They are a farm to table type restaurant.  Totally unexpected up on the Eastern Shore in the middle of nowhere!

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Yummy locally sourced salad!

 

We also stopped at Island Creamery because ice cream.  I didn’t take a picture of my ice cream, but I’ll recycle an old picture because I get the same thing every time!

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Tuesday

Work kicked my butt. I didn’t work out, and I don’t feel bad about it.

Wednesday

Went for a normal checkup at the doctor and my blood pressure was high (its normally on the lower side of normal).  Does anyone else get high blood pressure at the doctor’s office? I hate going to the doctor and it sends my stress levels through the roof!

Made it back to yoga on Wednesday and class was great.  My knee is able to tolerate a lot more pressure on it, so I don’t have to modify poses as much.  Its been a month since my fall at work, so I’m relieved its finally feeling much better.

Thursday

I had to work late on Thursday.  Stopped by my mom’s house on the way home and had her check my blood pressure.  It still high.  This is a clear sign to me that I need to find a way to reduce my stress and do all the other things I should be doing to take care of myself.  My lack of consistency in working out and eating right has certainly started taking more of a toll.  How can I be this stressed after a vacation!?

Friday

Friday was a surprisingly relaxed day at work.  We went out to dinner with my dad and stepmom.  I resisted the urge to get all the bad things, and got one of the healthier options on the menu.

Saturday

On Saturday I got up and got in 3 miles on the treadmill.  I showered, enjoyed an iced coffee, and vegged out for awhile.  I had some Jersey Mike’s for lunch, then went to get my bridesmaid’s dress altered (for my brother’s wedding).

I spent the rest of the day being a complete bum and watching Jurassic Park on TV.

Sunday

Had church responsibilities in the morning.  Afterward, we had tickets to the Norfolk Tides baseball game (minor league team).  We got them from work…didn’t realize how nice the suite was!

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We stayed until the 8th inning, then got on the road.  I wasn’t feeling well. We spend the rest of the night vegging out.

How was your week? Do you like baseball?

Weekly Update – 9/15

Monday

Monday AM: Monday mornings are so hard.  Only 1.25 miles in after a really good stretch and foam roll session.

Monday PM: Yoga with Jaye.  Not sure why, but this class felt especially difficult.  I think she was holding poses for a really long time, and my muscles weren’t having any of it.

Tuesday

Stayed up way too late on Monday night to watch my Philadelphia Eagles win so I overslept, which was just perfect, because I had to get bloodwork done.

Danny night – outside!  We did more of a rehab type of day, which aren’t any easier than a high intensity day.

Round 1 (3x):

1. Resistance band tightrope walks (25 yrds)

2. Resistance band lateral steps (25 yrds)

Round 2 (3x):

1. Windmills with 12 lb KB

2. 10 KB step-ups each side

Wednesday

Wednesday AM:  I didn’t feel well most of the day on Tuesday, so I opted to sleep in. Such a good choice.

Wednesday PM: Yoga – Neve filled in for Jaye and I LOVE HER! She’s so sweet.  She normally teaches Hatha Yoga, so she admitted that she wasn’t extremely fond of teaching this Vinyasa yoga class, but I think she did a good job. With all of my stress recently, class was good for the soul!

Thursday

Danny night, outside in the gorgeous weather!

First Round (2x):

1. Sled push with 50 lbs,  20 body weight squats

2. Sled push with 25 lbs,  20 body weight squats

3. Sled push with no extra weight,  20 body weight squats

Second Round (2x):

1. SL step up with 25 lb weight in hand (each side)

Stretching:

Elevated hip raise with resistance band on thighs, 15 SL lifts while holding the hip raise (each side)

Friday

Friday AM: Skipped my workout.  Stress was bad yesterday and I opted for a really good night’s sleep.  Sometimes you have to know your body.

Friday PM: Rest night!

Saturday – Sunday

The fiance took me on a surprise trip for our one year anniversary from when we started dating! (We got engaged after 7 months of dating). He had told me all week that I should plan to go away, and he wasn’t going to tell me where we were going. For those of you who don’t know (I don’t often prefer to reveal my flaws) I am a control freak.  Not knowing where we were going was KILLING me.

We ended up going to Cape Charles on the Eastern Shore of VA! We had wonderfully fantastic weather! I’ll write another post about that later, but it was a lovely weekend 🙂

How was your weekend? How’s the weather where you are?

 

Stress and Anxiety

I don’t often talk about my stress and anxiety issues because I like to pretend that they don’t exist.  If I don’t acknowledge them, they aren’t real.  At least that’s how I like to think.  And because I don’t acknowledge them, I don’t deal with them, and they get worse.

Also, its a really private thing.  But I feel compelled to talk about it. Maybe it’ll help me feel better, maybe it’ll help one of you feel better, who knows?

Lately I’ve been feeling increasingly more stressed.  Work is pretty crazy. Not in the way that everyone likes to say when they are making small talk, but really very busy.  I don’t think wedding planning itself is really stressing me out, but the change associated with marriage.  And those of you who deal with stress know that sometimes even really good things stress you out.  Simply because it is a change from the normal; even when it is something you are so excited for!

My stress and anxiety came to a head this weekend when I had a benign but scary cardiac episode.  I was feeling very stressed and very jittery.  Michael and I were celebrating his and my dad’s birthday with family. I had had a little extra caffeine and I thought that is what was irritating me, but then I realized that my heart was pounding and my heart felt like it was “skipping” a beat.

My dad noticed that I looked unwell, asked me about it, and since he’s in the medical field, he listened to my heart.  My heart rate was high, my blood pressure was high, and my heart was fluttering. He said I have something called Premature Atrial Contraction.  Its benign, happens in healthy people and does not point to a serious heart issue.  It is usually brought on by stress, anxiety, and high alcohol and caffeine intakes.  I’m still feeling anxious, and still feel that flutter in my heart every once in awhile, but I feel much better.

It is not something that requires me going to a doctor unless its extremely bothersome, or I feel like I cannot reduce my stress/anxiety levels.  However, I don’t like to treat things with medication until I’ve explored more natural ways of controlling it.

One of the other things I don’t talk about much on here is my faith.  I’m a Christian and my faith is very important to me.  I tend not to talk about it here, because I’m mostly talking about running and fitness and only about my personal life when it intersects with those things.  However, I am going to bring it up here because it is pertinent to the topic.  I love that my fiance reminded me to rely on God, when so often we try to rely on ourselves.

I talked to my fiance about it today and he gave me some really good advice, some of which I’ll highlight here for you:

“The best thing I’ve found is you really should look at all the things that are on your plate, remove the ones that aren’t as important and focus on what’s really important, then rest and relax and enjoy your life, not trying to accomplish too much at once.I was like you once and I had to really make an effort to “feel” and recognize when I was anxious and stressed and take the steps I mentioned above to keep healthy mentally. Nothing is worth putting yourself through that.  Mainly because we should be trusting God in a lot of our circumstance versus trying to control them.

I can’t say it enough….it’s VERY common to be in the position you are in, especially in your mid to late twenties, you’re going through a lot of major life changes and sometimes it’s not always one thing you can put your finger on but a combination of things.  The best thing you can do is pray for peace and ask God that he reveal what it is that’s stressing you.  Sometimes you have to put up the white flag and trust God.”
No matter what you believe in, it is no secret that sometimes you have to look at something outside yourself for strength.  Whether it is your family, or religion, or yoga and meditation, or something else entirely, there is something that helps keep you grounded.
I’m working very hard to find ways to reduce my stress and anxiety.  Its a process and it won’t happen overnight.  But recognizing it is always the first step! I feel that with taking proper steps in taking care of my spiritual and mental well-being, I’ll feel a lot better.  Of course, taking better care of my body is a large part of that too.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?  What keeps you grounded and gives you strength?