Alright I’m almost 2 weeks into my stress reduction month and I’ve definitely made some progress. I think the most important thing I’ve done has been keeping data by maintaining a stress journal. It helped me discover what events triggered additional stress and the times of the day that meditation can provide the most benefit. On the other hand, some things that I thought might help like driving in the slow lane probably caused as much stress as it prevented. Avoiding competitive games has really helped. I’m really competitive and for me it’s difficult to return to equilibrium after competition. So if I can keep those activities to a reasonable level it seems to really help. Mediation on a consistent schedule has also been a big plus and I notice the difference when I miss a planned session. It’s all about calming your mind as it tends to start juggling too many tasks as the day goes on. That’s all for now but we just purchased a massage chair that might help more on this front. More details on that later.
I wish I could say that after my fail last month that I picked myself up and kicked butt this month. That did not happen. I was pretty sick for 3 full weeks and I still have a chesty cough. Yesterday was the first day that I really thought I was better and that was day 8 of antibiotics for a sinus infection that made my face hurt for days.
My plan was to do a different exercise video every day. I even managed 15 minutes of a yoga video on day one. I didn’t even attempt it the second day since I was a coughing, snotty mess. I thought, I’ll get better and catch up. Haha. Didn’t happen. The real challenge was (and still is really) getting healthy.
Next month I plan on doing something with food to make up for last month. I’m thinking along the lines of a new recipe everyday that I adapt to be gluten and dairy free. My first thought was to try the recipes that are in the magazines that come into the house and that still may happen. But, I’m also tempted by all those food videos that get shared on Facebook. Either way, it will be a month spent in the kitchen coming up with some new inspired recipes. Since I’ll be taking pics it will also force me to keep the kitchen clean 🙂
Or, as often happens at the last minute, I could change my mind altogether. Is there a challenge you’d like to see me take on? Maybe even want to join me?
For March, I’ve decided to make reducing stress a challenge. Everyone has too much stress and we all know that’s not a great thing, but what can you do about it? This month will be an interesting experiment as to whether a plan and concerted effort can make a difference when it comes to stress. The first step of my plan was to identify the major sources of stress in my life, which include work, competitive activities, family responsibilities, and commuting. Some of these like competition and commuting I can materially change while work/family will need a different plan. For competition, the plan is to avoid all competitive situations where possible, easier said than done for me. For commuting, it’s going to be the slow lane for me although this might actually increase my stress, time will tell. And for the things I can’t really change at work and home, I’m going to meditate and do some stretching 4-5 times a day for 3-5 minutes at a time. Hope you have a stress free March.
This challenge proved too much for me this month. I made it nine days, fell off the wagon and failed to get back on. I think because I tried to change too much that it became overwhelming for me and, to be honest, I did not prepare and I think that’s where failure starts in most endeavors. I need to try this challenge again, but after I’ve worked through some of the bad habits I have and have a plan/menus/prep work in place. I do feel bad about failing this one so royally, but it does show me that I’ve got real problems with food that I need to address. That’s what this challenge has done for me in the long run. A focus on adopting one new good habit at a time. I did a good job with mostly eliminating Diet Coke and Dr. Pepper so I’d like to keep that going. I started drinking more water and I’d like to focus on getting to eight glasses a day. Same with the juicing, a good start that I need to continue daily. So, the challenge wasn’t a total loss, but it was disappointing.
I love Ron Swanson from Parks & Rec and his take on food is not so far from my own, lol.