Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Burnt Out but not Toast

This old dog is still learning, and today I realized that in order for me to be even remotely good at doing healthy things for myself, I have to have a healthy mind.  No big new discovery, but I have always equated that to feeling positive about myself, and thinking deeper about weight issues, and trying to uncover why I have always felt beat up by my childhood.  But recent stresses at work and home have really been piling on me like a ton of bricks, and my mind has not been very restful or peaceful in the past two months.  It has been a pretty tumultuous time for me, and if there's one thing I need work on, it is handling times like this with grace.  It's just not natural for me, I really like routine.  In fact, when things are going in smooth, predictable patterns sometimes I get restless and it forces me to do things out of my comfort zone, like go back to college while working full time and raising kids, or, *gasp* work out. 
So I am aware of the need for time to unplug, to reset and recharge my batteries.  Lately another issue I've been having on top of the stress is that I haven't been sleeping well, and one of the reasons is because my mattress seems to have sprung all of its springs at once and I feel like I'm sleeping on a pile of rocks.  My new mattress arrives today, so that's a huge HUGE deal that will go a long way toward making me feel better.  I also have known or felt like I should be meditating or at very least, self-focusing in quiet, and there really hasn't been much time or opportunity for that recently, and I've been filling up a decent amount of my free time with ancestry research.  Saying I want to allot a set amount of time to peaceful reflection or meditation and actually doing it leaves a bit of a gap in my reality.  My kids and the noise are factors that I can't control.  My younger son likes to be close at the end of the day and I don't want to reject him;  I know and loathe that feeling all to well from my own childhood.  But, at the end of the day, dealing with the level of stress I've been dealing with recently, maybe things have come full-circle and I can understand a little bit of why my mom was so detached sometimes.  It was a coping strategy for someone sinking and not quite sure how to pull herself out to level ground. 
The thought of leaving my job is really satisfying right now but it doesn't satisfy the long term, it would be replacing one stress with another.  So I have to find more effective coping techniques.  Stress-eating, restricting, and filling myself up with caffeine in hopes of feeling mentally better has not worked, I need to try a different technique.  I think when I figure out what that is, a lot of other things will fall into place. 
So, as quirky of a goal as that is (at least in regards to trying to get healthy) that's where I am right now.  My most immediate need is for mental peace and feeling centered so that when this stress comes, as I am sure it will most days, I can handle it with more grace and it doesn't spill over to all other areas in life. 
I'm doing really well with cutting back on soda.  The only soda I've had since last Wednesday was when we went out to dinner last weekend, and I kept it to one glass.  It tasted so good but having ice to pour tea on has been working out just fine at work, and at home I drink water flavored with Sweet Drops (liquid stevia).  I don't really think about soda or long for it, and surprisingly enough, I don't really notice the reduction of caffeine.  I am still taking a 200mg caffeine pill and having 1-2 cups of coffee most mornings, but compared to the amount of soda and coffee and energy drinks I used to consume on a regular basis, this is a huge improvement, and one that I think is sustainable for the long-haul. 
So things are humming along.  I may take a few moments out tonight to see if I can work in a little quiet time for myself, even if it means locking myself in the bathroom or giving my husband my phone for a while so I am not tempted to let my face get sucked into it instead of doing things that will make me feel good.  Small steps, right?  I'm not out of the game yet!

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