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!

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Better Days

A friend just pointed out that it has been over a month since my last post, which was a sad one. I’m happy to report that many days since then have been better. I’m starting to suspect that SAD impacts my depression and the weird hours of my job are exacerbating this. The good news is that spring is supposedly on the way… Despite all the snow today!

I’m starting to feel a bit more energized and have started doing more regular exercise. Yoga and running – for real this time! I’ve talked a lot about running in the past and how I wanted to get back to running half marathons, something I did prior to my major depressive breakdown. After several years of setting myself up for failure with my big goals, I’ve taken things back to the beginning with much more success. For the last month I’ve been running intervals for about half an hour, one to three times a week. At first I did intervals of one minute walking, one running, and now I’ve done a couple of weeks at two minutes running, one walking. It’s nice, manageable, pushes me gently and makes me feel better. I’m up to 3.75 km and should have a nice base in place when I can finally start running outside (once the snow melts).

I’ve also just bought myself a Fitbit to encourage myself to stay active. I’ve had it for a week and it’s been clear that I have some very inactive days. I’m hoping to start evening this out by tracking my steps. I’m also reading the book Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain and it makes quite the case for regular exercise to treat depression. I’ll write more on this once I finish the book.

Bye for now and take care!

Holding on

I’ve been in a holding pattern the past few weeks. Trying to stay the course, to not quit before I have a new job lined up.
I’ve managed to keep going, and had some good days, but I’m just doing that. Holding on. I barely leave the house, I hardly see friends and spend my time either sleeping or on television series-watching marathons.
I am sleeping way too much. And I’m coming to realize I’ve been using it as an avoidance strategy.
I’m becoming disgusted at my laziness and weight problems. I know I need to become more active, to find a new hobby or inspiration to get out of the house. Physical activity has often helped me feel better.
But no action yet. Well, perhaps blogging is a first step.

An okay start

Today I started my 8×8 challenge and I worried I was sunk before I started. I woke up in the middle of the night with an upset stomach and wasn’t able to sleep for a long time.

But luckily, I still accomplished quite a lot for the day. Not all 8 tasks – I was feeling terrible late morning so I skipped the outdoors and had a nap. But I did the 6 other tasks and more besides. So I feel good about that.

I kept the exercise to a very gentle yoga class, but hopefully I’ll be feeling better tomorrow and can do more.

Here are my stickers. 😉

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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! 🙂

Sorry for my neglect!

Hello all,

Sorry to be so absent lately! I’ve really neglected my blog!

There are many reasons — some good, some bad. Overall, I’ve not been so depressed lately so I haven’t felt the burning need to write. Also, it has been summer, so I think all the sun has helped and I’ve been a little busier.

I have, however, struggled a lot with anxiety. However, it is anxiety that is very much based on my current circumstances, not my brain acting up.

So I’m okay overall, much better this week than two weeks ago. Also, I’ve been really, really social, which is great.

But there are a few things that are really lacking right now, namely, exercise! I’ve been meaning all summer to get back to running, swimming and cycling and I just keep procrastinating. I’ve done some yoga, but nothing else, so this has to change.

So, to give myself the kick in the butt that I need, I’ve issued myself a 40 day challenge. Because 40 days is apparently the length of time it takes to start developing a new habit.

My 40 day exercise challenge:

I will do some form of cardio exercise for 30 minutes every day for 40 days.

I start tomorrow! Wish me luck or, even better, join me and we can support each other! 🙂