Saturday, April 29, 2017

Rigidity.

Well friends, I made it through a tough week.  Part of what bothered me about how it unfolded is that I had to change my plans on most days.  On Monday I had to interrupt my yoga study because The Teen needed help with something important.  On Tuesday I got home too late to attend the 4:30 yoga class I'd been planning on.  On Wednesday I had to skip the chiropractor to attend an important meeting at work.  On Friday I missed my morning gym time because of a milkweed emergency (I'll tell you some other time).  That's a lot of rearranging, you know?

So this brings us to a bit of a sticky point.  I function a whole lot better when I have a structure, a schedule, to work within.  But.  I can also become rigid around that schedule, and it becomes an internal crisis when I can't follow it.  Flexibility is something I'm working on. 

Side note: I am now going to take all four of my rabbits to the vet.  Wish me luck!

How do you stay on track when life throws you curveballs?


Friday, April 28, 2017

Time.

Oh, time.  It's imaginary, and yet there is never enough of it.  How does that even work?

Last week and this week both, I have struggled to keep my work hours under 40 - never mind that aspirational 32.  Meanwhile, I've been missing yoga classes and study time.  I am not OK with this.  I don't know when I'll get it back down, but I must.  I'm hoping that the workload settles down once a few key projects are squared away.

Then there's the greatest time suck of them all: Facebook.  I'm of so many different thoughts on this one.  On the one hand it seems frivolous and pointless and like an enormous waste of energy.  Based on that view, I should back off of it.  But on the other hand, it provides a social outlet for when I don't have the time or energy to engage socially in a more full way, and I generally use it during time slots when I can't really be doing anything else anyway.  That's usually because either I only have a few minutes or I'm too tired to be doing anything else.

Given these facts, I'm dabbling with the idea of limiting my Facebooking to 15 minutes at a time.  If I have more than 15 minutes, I have time to do a more productive activity.  If I'm so tired that I can't do anything else for more than 15 minutes, I should get in bed for a nap or for the night.  Sounds solid maybe?  I'm going to give it a try.

How is your time management going these days?



Thursday, April 27, 2017

OMG are we seriously talking about sugar again.

Yes, yes we are. 

It's been a bad week for me stress-wise, and thus sugar-wise.  The sugary things around the house that I've been successfully avoiding for weeks became like magnets, drawing me to them, impossible to resist any longer.  Last night The Teen came upon me eating a row of sandwich cookies and said, "sugar diet not going so well huh?"  I looked at myself and was saddened.  I took a shower to get a clean start, and then I decided on a course of action. 

Let's review why I'm concerned about my sugar intake.  Of course it's physically bad for me - it's physically bad for everyone.  But I'm particularly worried about it because of the way it impacts my mental health.  It exacerbates my anxiety and my depression.  In other words, it undermines all of the positive work that I'm trying to do for myself right now.

So!  To start, I'm trying to get all of the sweets out of my house.  Or at least out of the public areas.  The Husband can keep his chocolate bars in his desk.  The Teen can keep her Easter candy in her room.  (She has helpfully suggested that every time I want to eat sugar, I should give it to her instead!) 

I'm still in a place where I need to replace the sugar with some other kind of food, so I need to think about that before this weekend's trip to the grocery store.  I hope, eventually, that I can address sugar cravings with an activity that is not eating.

What healthy snacks help you avoid sugar binging?




Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Easing up.

I'm still not feeling great today.  And while yesterday was a day to keep myself on the ball despite all things, today I'm at the point where I really need a break.  I'm still going to do everything that was planned for the day, but I'm going to take my time with it.

A little leeway is necessary from time to time.

Aaaand that's all I got.  Have a great day y'all!


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Doing it anyway.

Today is one of those days.  I have a wicked headache that kept me up last night.  I'm feeling a little depressed and a lot unmotivated.  I have a lot to do, and I don't want to do it, and I'm going to do it anyway.

This is one of my biggest self care struggles: knowing when to push forward and when to rest.  Sometimes that decision is extremely difficult to make, and I have definitely made the wrong choice on more than one occasion.  For whatever reason though, today it's clear to me that resting would be the wrong way to go.  No, not wrong.  Less beneficial.

So, here I go.  To the gym and to work and to yoga class.  Wish me luck.

Where are you at today?  Do you need to push forward or to rest?


Monday, April 24, 2017

House Rules.

As fate or luck would have it, as of Sunday night I now have a full time teenage roommate / mentee / new family member.  Weird right?  Maybe not so weird.  It's been in the works for a while.  So I've been thinking about what the rules of the house need to be.  They will apply to all three of us, of course.  Here's what I've come up with so far:
We respect and consider one another.
We are a built family.  That means that we chose one another and love one another.  And that means that we respect one another and consider everyone's needs and feelings whenever we make a choice.

We take care of ourselves.
We can't take care of each other without taking care of ourselves first.  We ask for what we need.  We advocate for ourselves.  We're honest about our limitations.

We screw up, and that's OK.
Everyone screws up.  Even our heroes will let us down sometimes.  Though it's disappointing, it doesn't mean anything but that we're human.  When we screw up, we apologize, do what we can to make it right, and remember not to do it again.
What are your house rules?


Sunday, April 23, 2017

My Week Without Sugar: a Recap

Last Sunday I set about going a week without eating any sugar.  I failed.  But I do think I ate significantly less sugar.  So that's something.

Sugar is in everydamnthing.  It is very, very difficult to avoid.  I did well on Sunday and avoided all of the Easter sweets.  I even drank tea instead of coffee, because the creamer we use of course has sugar in it.  Sadly Sunday was the only day I did that.  Monday I eschewed my normal salad dressings for their sugar content and then, not thinking it through, reached for the balsamic vinegar.  Sugar.  Tuesday and Wednesday I did pretty well.  Thursday I ate a cookie - major sugar.  Friday I did alright.  Saturday I more or less gave up and ate a whole chocolate bar as well as a grapefruit.  Moreover, though I ate less sugar, I ate way more carbs than I have been pretty much every day.

I failed, but my week was not a failure.  It made me more aware of the sugar I consume, and showed me that the cravings, though strong at first, actually do die down relatively quickly.  This week I will aim to continue to have less added sugar, but allow fruit back in and try to get the carbs back down.  It's quite a dance.

How do you balance eating what you crave and what's actually best for you?


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Making hay.

Well.  It's been an interesting week.

I have officially reduced my hours at work, but the truth is that right now there is too much work for me to do to responsibly work fewer hours.  I worked 40 hours this week.  I have high hopes for next week - I doubt I'll get down to 32, but maybe like 35? 

I keep asking myself if I am sacrificing my mental and physical health for work.  But really what I think is happening is that my work is too important to me not to do it well.  Leaving things undone, leaving people in a lurch, feeling like I'm doing a poor job would be more stressful to me than working full hours.  These kinds of assessments seem to be at the core of my self care work: would you like tough choice A or tough choice B?  Which allows you to take better care of yourself?  It's always a difficult decision.

I won't say I'm not concerned - I am.  I reduced my hours for a reason.  But hopefully this is just a fluke and things will settle down soon.  Not next week particularly, but maybe the week after that?  Fingers crossed.

How's your work/life balance going these days?


Friday, April 21, 2017

Anxiety Warp.

Yesterday I attended a work event in Baton Rouge.  It's my fourth year doing this event, and the first three times I did it I worked myself into an absolute FRENZY over it.  This year I just... did it.  It was a long and tiring day to be sure, but I left wondering what the hell I've been getting so worked up about for the last few years.

That's anxiety for you.  Its superpower is to make anything, anything at all, into a life-changing earth-shattering crisis.  A laundry mishap can feel like the literal end of the world.  So an actual out of the ordinary event like going to Baton Rouge to represent my organization can easily become something to fret about for days and days.  The fact that this didn't happen this year speaks to the current state of my anxiety.  Apparently it's better.  Like, a lot better.  This is good.

There is a flip side here though.  My anxiety makes bad things terrible and stressful things unbearable, but it also makes good things extraordinary - by triggering my hypomania.  Going to a fun event used to mean several days beforehand of dreaming and hoping and playing out possible scenarios in my mind, and then when the event finally came being completely enraptured in it.

That's gone now.  Now I go to the dinner with friends, or attend the concert, and it's nice, and fun, and then it's over.  And frankly I miss the emotional high I used to get over these simple everyday occurances.  (If you've ever wondered why in the world some people with Bipolar disorders stop taking their mental health medications, this is a frequent reason.)  What I do not miss at all is the bottoming out of crippling depression that inevitably followed those hypomanic highs. 

All things considered, I'll take the medicated, less exciting, more stable and higher functioning life.
 


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Slowly, slowly

Today I face a great challenge: I must do my best not to feel rushed or stressed in the face of having much to do.

It's too easy for me to feel a bit chaotic in my brain when there's a lot going on.  The intention, I'm sure, is to be more effective and get more done, but the effect is the opposite - I lose focus, get less done, and do it less well than if I stop and take my time.

So, though I feel great pressure to get out the door, I'm taking the time to eat my breakfast.  Drink my coffee.  Write my blog post.  It is not easy!

How do you pace yourself when your instinct is to rush through?