Energy on the Rise

I’ve had a good week. I have been dedicated to doing my runs — I’m now at 3 minute running intervals. And, with my new tracker, I have also been dedicated to making sure I have 10,000 steps per day. This has been a very helpful motivator for me on days where I have no plans and I would often stay in bed. This week, at least, I’ve beat the temptation. And the more I am active, the more I feel like being active. Yay!

I’ve been reading a lot lately on the benefits of exercise for depression and other mental illnesses. And the benefits for the brain in general. I find it helpful to think in terms blazing new pathways in my brain and how I have to keep reinforcing them to make them strong and replace the old, well-worn paths.

So that’s where I am right now. Finding my way out of the funk of winter and easing my way back to an active lifestyle with walks and short running intervals.

Hope you are well!

Withdrawn

If I had to sum up the past week, I would say withdrawn. I’ve been very anti-social and apart from some short burst of energy I have been staying home and alternating between watching TV and sleeping. I’ve been sleeping a lot.

Which makes me wonder what is going on and if this is just situational or a concern. Or if it’s just the transition period as I lower my medications.

By and large, I think it is related to my current situation. I’m not working and finances are beyond stretched. So I avoid going out, avoid invitations because they mean spending money I don’t have… I even ignored an invitation to visit a cottage this weekend because I didn’t think I had enough gas to make it there and back. Not that I explained this!

I cannot tell you how unbelievably stressful it is to be penniless. It casts a pall of worry over everything and constant stress.

But:

I know that I have done everything I currently can do about this.

And:

There is just one more week to go, and then I have my permanent job.

Also:

Not going outside and not using yoga classes and fitness passes that were already paid for simply hurts me with no benefit.

So. This week, I need to turn things around. Get ready to go back to the work force and revive my energy.

The plan: 8 x 8 energizing days

I need to get myself back in order so that I’m ready to return to work. So, I’ve taken a page from my old 10 x 10 challenge, and set myself some clear goals.

For the next eight days, I will do these eight things.

  1. Get up and shower by 9 am
  2. Go outside in the morning for at least 10 minutes
  3. Do some form of exercise
  4. Spend 10 minutes planning finances and/or brown bag lunches for work
  5. Go outside in the afternoon for at least 10 minutes
  6. Meditate for any length of time
  7. Eat a veggie meal
  8. Avoid napping. If I start to feel sleepy I can:
    • take a walk
    • go outside
    • eat fruit
    • do five sun salutations
    • blog
    • drink tea or coffee
    • watch TV
    • clean something
    • etc.

Here’s to a good week!

I changed my mind!

Okay, I decided that doing 30 minutes of cardio a day for 40 days straight was a bit ambitious!

Instead, I want to do the following: Enjoy the rest of summer to the fullest. That does indeed mean exercise, but not necessarily cardio. Today, for example, I walked about for about an hour and a half, enjoying the beautiful day.

I am a very good traveller and have boundless energy when I travel. So I want to apply that attitude to my little “staycation.”

This is my new mantra:

Mantra: It's vacation time. Take 3 weeks to Enjoy & Live each day as if you are Travelling.

Today was a great day. A few hours out in the sun, a couple of movies, and dinner and hanging out with a friend. I really like this idea! 🙂

De-dustifying

I slept in late today (i.e. past lunch) and worried I’d be in for another depressive weekend. I’m supposed to get some work done this weekend, so that was hardly the best start.

The good news is that I’m starting to get over my nasty summer cold. But it’s still lingering a bit and today I was struck by a major urge to clean. No need to succumb to allergies right after the cold!

So after showering and going out for coffee, I really went at it. Removed all the clutter I’d piled in my apartment as I was moving things around between my two storage units. Took down the recycling that had piled up. Found that something is wrong with the attachment on my vacuum so I actually went around my bedroom on my hands and knees with just the hose, vacuuming up every speck of dust, cat hair and dust bunnies. I did so much cleaning I actually worked up a sweat, so I’m feeling more energized. Might finally be ready to work soon.

This seems to be quite a routine for me, established in university. I have something I need to study or work on and first thing I have to do? Clean, rearrange furniture, make everything just so. I’m glad to have gotten the urge today, as I really tackled some of the cleaning I’d left half-finished for a awhile. It feels nice to clear those burdens.

Now I’m pausing for a break and some lemonade, but I think this has turned the tide for the weekend and I should be able to stay productive.

Have a great weekend!

Self-Reflection

Another one of my yoga homework tasks is self-reflection. Ironically, I have so much yoga homework that I’ve done a lot less self-reflection than normal. (Another reason is also that I still have a house guest.)

But tonight I will blog and self-reflect. 🙂

Today was a chaotic day at work. My supervisor was really, really stressed. So much so that I felt I needed to keep reassuring her that things would be okay.

I have general anxiety disorder, but the thing is that I think I generally perform well in a “real” crisis. It’s like there is no time to worry, I just have to do things to get stuff done. Here is where perhaps my procrastination gave me good training. By leaving everything to the last minute (a habit I had long before it was worry-driven), I’m used to performing under fire. So I’m generally ok in crisis mode. Though I do usually crash afterwards.

But I can’t this time! Because not only is this project nearing the end, so is my yoga teacher training and I need to be fresh to start a new job too.

So I think that for my self-reflection homework over the next few days, I’ll periodically assess how I am doing. Am I running myself to the limit? Am I taking a daily walk at lunch for fresh air and space to keep myself centered? Can I keep my focus on things I can control? Can I keep my composure and generate a calming presence?

I’d like reflect on how I handle this stressful week. And I want to do periodic checkins with myself where I assess if I am becoming stressed and if I can take an action to help with that. Take deep breaths, go for a walk, whatever. I need to work hard but I also need to be compassionate to myself so that I’m not burnt out in time for my next challenge.

That’s the plan, anyway! We’ll see how it goes! 🙂

Slowly energizing

Today has been a good day. It started off slowly with a lazy morning sleeping in (still a bit upset over yesterday), but after lunch things really picked up.

I went through all the job notices I had in my inbox and printed out a handful to apply to. (Work on finding new job: check.) Then I packed up my yoga homework and went to a coffee shop to work. (Go outside: check) The latte did the trick and I worked some on my yoga class. I also read a chapter in the textbook on meditation because I want to include a guided meditation at the end of my class. (Yoga homework: Check)

Then I went back to my yoga studio, scene of yesterday’s disaster. Same room even. But I had a completely different class and teacher so I was able to get rid of the bad vibes and refresh. (Exercise: check) (Centering: check)

I’m now back home for dinner and have a lot of work still ahead of me to flesh-out my yoga class and meditation, but I’m feeling energetic and engaged, so I’m sure I will get some things done.

I’m also so happy to end the weekend on an upswing as it will make such a difference waking up for work tomorrow.

For now, back to my homework!

An energetic yogi

In yoga you aren’t supposed to compare yourself to others. But there were a few things I couldn’t help but notice this weekend.

First, most people were really tired and exhausted. But for me, it was the first weekend that I felt really energized! Finally this weekend I felt that I was being refreshed by yoga rather than knocked down. I think this speaks a lot to my style preferences – lots of variety, shorter spurts of intense activity mixed in with relaxation, meditation and singing or chanting.

Second, we paired up with someone to “leg wrestle”. I was working with if not the fittest, then the second fittest, girl in the class. She is super strong with visible muscles in her back and loves to go to the gym all the time. And we were at a standoff in the leg wrestle! And sometimes I was even winning. I asked if she wasn’t trying, but she was! She was very impressed with my strength. This makes me happy because it is good to know that I have strong muscles under the fat. I definitely want to get stronger and fitter.

Which goes well with the theme for the next homework we have: to practice discipline in some form to help our physical bodies or our minds.

I’m actually going to focus on the physical, as that is where I think I need the most discipline. After I gave up my daily yoga practice last month, I gave up all exercise except my yoga weekends! So for the next three weeks, I am committing to myself to do at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise per day.

I think I can do it. I like exercise. I just struggle to get there when I feel overwhelmed and exhausted. But today I did at least four hours of pure exercise, so I feel pumped and ready to take on the challenge.

So, I’m going to create a new challenge for myself. I’ll let you know all about it tomorrow as I still haven’t thought out the specifics.

Have a great night and stay tuned! 🙂