Get TF Outside

Do you ever have days where you just desperately crave the outdoors? Lately I have just wanted to be outside at all times. I want to hike and walk and sit and look and listen and do allllll the things… outside. Unfortunately, these past few weeks have been filled with immense amounts of rain and in turn, a ton of Georgia humidity. But honestly, there is nothing that curbs my anxiety like being active outdoors. In fact, there are times where the only thing I can do is strap my shoes on and run. Run away from my stresses and problems (real or exaggerated in my head.) Do you have anything that is your go to for anxiety relief?

My goal this summer is to get outside more often. Whether it be to hike Stone Mountain, walk the dogs or just sit on the porch, I need more fresh air and vitamin D. I need a breeze and some rays.

Here are some other goals this summer:

Hit up the lake a couple times.

Growing up, we were in the water pretty much all summer. We were water babies from birth, and I want to get back to that.

Take the dogs to at least one new trail.

Georgia and Luna literally jump for joy when we bust out the leashes. We can barely calm them long enough to get their harnesses on. I want to take them out more and let them sniff new places.

Go on a picnic.

This one might be difficult because I HATE dealing with bugs while I eat. It just grosses me out. (One reason I refuse to camp)

Make new blessing bags.

I used to always keep a few bags with basic essentials in them and maybe a Mcdonald’s gift card and some snacks. Whenever I saw someone in need, I would offer them a bag. I want to be able to do that again.

Sign up for a short track triathalon.

I get bored easily when it comes to fitness. I get burned out and easily distracted when I don’t have a goal. I want to have something to work towards this summer.

That’s really all I have for now. Other than things like, get to the bottom of the laundry pile or get rid of these mounds of clothes that I don’t wear. Oh well. Baby steps, right?

What about you? Do you have any mini-goals for the summer?

 

10 Ways to Calm Your Anxiety

Source

***Trigger warning: Today’s post is about anxiety. If that is something you have trouble discussing, please come back next week for a new post.***

There are so many things that affect anxiety, and there always seems to be the same typical suggestions to help. Things like eat wholesome foods or stay active are usually what I hear. Unfortunately, sometimes those don’t always help. So I wanted to make a list of small things that help me so that maybe someone else can use them.

  1. Keep Lists

Lists help me remember all the things I would usually forget. How many times do we get to Sunday and we are trying to remember the errands we need to run for the week or the chores we need to do to be prepared for the upcoming days? Make a list! Things as obvious as a grocery list or a to do list is life changing. So many times we assume we will remember those little things like schedule that vet check up or pick up those cupcakes for little Jimmy’s party, but when the time comes, we are totally lost. I typically use the notes app on my phone and the to do list in my Emily Ley Planner.

And that brings me to my next point…

2. Use a planner

As I said above, the Emily Ley Academic Planner is my go to. It has a full page per day and hour by hour planning. It keeps me completely sane. One thing that contributes to my anxiety is lack of order or control. My planner keeps me in control of my week and aware of what to expect.

3. Do small chores daily

This one is HUGE for me. I try to do at least a single load of laundry a day. That’s wash, dry, and fold. I can honestly say I am horrible with getting clean clothes out of the basket, but I’m working on it. Also, things like doing all dishes before bed has helped. If I wake up in the morning to a sink of dishes, I feel like my day starts off on the wrong foot immediately. Also things like having certain days that I vacuum and mop help keeps the house up until a full cleaning day on the weekend.

4. Take active breaks

Throughout the day I notice I have certain times where I get really overwhelmed or anxious. If I get up and have a brisk walk, I notice that it eases the anxiety a lot. Now that I am taking summer classes, I am sitting in class for almost 6 hours straight. I get so jittery and anxious where I feel like I could just explode. Luckily we are able to take a quick break every so often. Many people just sit at their desk and play on their phone, but I have to get up and move around. I also noticed this was necessary when I was working a desk job. Even if it was a walk out to the warehouse, I needed that time to reset.

5. Meditate

Sometimes I think people assume meditation is some kind of cross legged, humming, eyes closed, connection to higher power. Although some people do use meditation for many things, there are also more simple ways of meditation. It could be a way to bring you back to center and remember that whatever it is you’re worrying about is conquerable and you are able. Lately I have been using the app called Headspace. The free 10-day trial includes 10-10 minute sessions, and sometimes that’s really all you need. It helps you focus on your breaths and not letting your thoughts hold you captive. I always have my headphones with me, and if I have a moment where I feel like I’m losing control, I popped my headphones in and take a moment to listen to a session.

6. Lay out your outfit

Maybe it’s just me but the morning can be the most hectic time of the day. If my day doesn’t start right, the rest is doomed. If I lay my outfit out the night before, it is one less thing to worry about. I lay everything out from underwear to socks to any kind of jewelry I might wear. That way I can just mindlessly get ready and be in the car with plenty of time to get where I need to be.

7. Don’t get over caffeinated

Growing up, caffeine didn’t affect me. I could drink a soda or coffee and go right to sleep. Now, if I consume too much, I get antsy and irritable. It’s almost like feeling tipsy where I can feel my grip on reality starting to slip. I have to be very careful because if I get this way during class, I usually have to step out and take a lap round the building.

8. Drink plenty of water

To tie in to the one above, be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. I notice that if I don’t drink enough water, I usually get a headache and fatigued. Those things usually trigger anxiety because I feel like I am not able to preform tasks that are necessary for the day. I also notice a change in my skin and my hair if I continuously go days without drinking enough water. *TMI* I also have trouble going to the bathroom regularly if I am dehydrated. And who wants to be stopped up?!

9. Be aware of your triggers

We all have different things that influence our moods and anxiety. Pay attention to the things that bring about attacks and take note. If you are able to target these things and prepare prior to encountering them, it makes things so much easier down the road. One example for me would be large crowds. We are going to Ikea this weekend and usually by the time we make our way through the endless maze, I am ready to lose it. Luckily, I am aware that is a trigger for me and I can take necessary precautions. I can step away from the crowd and take a breather. I can be sure I had plenty of sleep and I ate before going in (two thing that usually affect my anxiety.) Also, I am usually with someone like my husband who knows certain things affect me, and he usually can spot when I am on the verge. Make sure you have someone you trust with you in those situations.

10. Have a cry day

About once a month I have a good cry. Not just a quick one, but a good solid hour long cry. I prefer to end my cry in the shower because then I can wash makeup off after and start fresh. It is almost as if I am washing away the negative and beginning anew. My cries are rarely ever because I am sad. It usually is a way to release the tension of the past month or so. I don’t schedule them and they usually happen organically and are instigated by some really sweet or tug on your heartstrings video. However, I do know that some people like Kristin from the Bert Show here in Atlanta keeps certain videos for the exact purpose of a cry day. We all have our different things, but try it out and see how it works for you.

Unfortunately many people suffer from anxiety. I hope we can all be more open with our struggles and encourage each other with pointers and help. Don’t be afraid to talk to someone. Please get help if you are suffering from any kind of mental health issues.

Do you have any things that help with your anxiety?

Swingin’ on through!

What’s up?! It’s been a while so I wanted to hop on in and share some updates. I know the above picture is a little grainy, but we have officially become a family of 4. We grew by 4 legs. Her name is Luna Abilene and we picked her up the day we came back from our cruise (I will have a post on that next week.) Luna has been a wonderful addition to our family, and we are so beyond happy. Sometimes I think Georgia would happily watch her run away at times, but when we put Luna in timeout, Georgia will lay by the door to wait on her. So maybe it’s a love/hate thing. Luna rarely ever leaves Georgia’s side. Virtually twins.

Luna is such a mouthy little booger but she is just a big chicken. So we were shocked when she came inside one night with a swollen snout. Our poor little nugget got in a tussle with a copperhead and the copperhead won. Luckily we got her to the emergency vet in Decatur in time. They kept her on IV overnight and after lots of pain meds and a rather painful vet bill, our little nugget was back to normal. She is currently asleep with her head on my arm. This is actually a little difficult to type. 🙂

I’ve also been filling my time between going to class with two little ones that I have been babysitting. The oldest just recently started pre-K so now I just have the infant. She is the happiest little munchkin and definitely makes me excited to one day (In the VERY far future) have our own.

I hope everything has been swell for you! What has the summer of 2017 brought you? We’ve gotten LOADS of rain here. Anyone else wishing for some sun?

Our House (FINALLY!)

So I have finally gotten around to getting some pictures of our house together. Most are prior to moving in, but I have included some of how we have started decorating. *NOTE*  I am not an interior decorator, and I took most of these pictures on my phone (my inner photographer is incredibly disappointed in me). Please do not judge my poor photo quality.

And we begin…

This is our front door and living room. We have pieced most of this together but it is more functional than decorative. Kyle and I are very minimal when it comes to decorative pieces. My dream home would look like this place if I could handle it, but when it comes down to it, my anxiety is so much worse when I have a lot of things around me. I prefer pieces that are necessary and pieces that mean something. It it doesn’t fit into either category, I don’t want it.

This is (obviously) our kitchen. We love the open concept and all the natural light that comes in from all the windows. We decided to keep them all uncovered.

We got these adjustable barstools on Target.com. They were on sale AND we had a discount code. Savings FTW!

This is our laundry room door past the island. We are looking for chairs to match our little breakfast nook table, but we haven’t found a pair we love. The color on the door was Kyle’s idea. It looks even cooler in person. It is Desert Coral- Behr. I would say it dries darker than the website lets on, but the lighting in our nook wasn’t the greatest either.

Luckily we haven’t gotten our kitchen table finished yet because we found a wooden bench at Ikea. So now we can have them finished together so they can match. I want to keep them as close to natural as possible, so I am hoping we can add some wear to the bench to make them a little more similar.

This is that credenza I posted about a few posts ago. SOOOOO I painted it blue (the blue that is around the mirror). The color on the can showed a beautiful midnight blue, and I was so pumped for the result. Well fast forward 24 hours and my credenza was a bright, hideous royal failure blue. So we stripped it and did a gray/ white, and I am much happier. You live and you learn. The painting on the wall is from our wedding. We wanted to do something similar to a unity candle that we could keep forever, so we did a unity painting instead (Atlanta Braves colors of course).

This is the guest bathroom. They re-glazed the tub before we moved in so it is no longer yellow (thank goodness).

This is the master bathroom. This picture does not do it justice. The marble wraps around the entire bathroom. It’s amazing.

Our basement is like 3/4 unfinished, but this is the portion that is finished. We have zero furniture down here yet, but we are hoping to eventually turn it into a movie/media room. Hopefully we can get a projector and some of these to make it all happen. We also talked about getting a used pool table, but I SUCK at pool, so it probably wouldn’t get used too much.

This room is on the backside of the finished part through the door to the right of the fireplace. Eventually we want to put some rubber floors in and get a squat rack. Maybe even a small rig with a pullup bar. I love that there is a door to the backyard so I can run out and vomit if necessary. Also, so I can keep an eye on Georgia while I’m working out. Priorities.

That’s about all I have for this walk through. Do you have any projects going on or projects that didn’t go quite as planned?

Have a wonderful weekend!

 

Gettin’ real…

*Trigger Warning- I’ll be talking about my body, mental health and insecurities. If these could possibly trigger a bad feeling or set you back on your mental health journey, please skip this post. I’ll be back next week with (FINALLY) a post about the house.*

This is me at what I would consider my best shape. My body did whatever I wanted it to. I was hitting PR’s, and I couldn’t walk past a mirror without flexing and LOVING what I saw. My body was transforming, and so was my mind. I was kicking the former “Michele’s” ass and taking names. I was at the gym 4 times a week, and I never missed a Monday. And then one day, everything came tumbling down. Depression set in and I hated stepping foot in the gym. I was hitting a plateau (something I was warned would happen) and I started second guessing myself. I would just sit and cry and I never fully understood why. A dark cloud hung over me, and I couldn’t explain what was happening. Family would tell me I had so much to be thankful for, and I needed to see that. *FYI* WORST thing to say to someone that is suffering from depression. We aren’t ungrateful, we are lost. I started slacking at the gym and eventually decided, maybe I just needed time away. I was burned out and needed a break. Well that was 10 months ago, and I’ve only been back to a gym maybe 15 times. I am nowhere near where I used to be, and I HATE what I see in the mirror. Kyle and I went to Braves Opening Day and I cropped our first Opening Day photo (2011) next to this one and I was horrified. I didn’t even look like me. It’s not that I’m fat. I have fat without a doubt, but it’s that I’m just not “me” anymore. I have always been athletic and when I looked at myself, I knew I could do anything. I could lift anything. I could run without issue. But this week, I ran on Monday afternoon and my hips STILL hurt. I’ve let myself go, and I am so disappointed. I see people that used to work out with me and would ask ME for advice, and they are now KILLING it in the gym. I am so incredibly proud of them, but I can’t help but be jealous. I feel uncomfortable and insecure in the gym. Yeah, my belly is (mostly) flat, but I can barely squat what I used to warm up with. My traps are nearly gone, and the only reason my shoulders still exist is because I was blessed with them genetically. I have no one to blame for this backslide but myself. I’m not posting this because I want pity or someone to tell me I look great! Because it honestly has nothing to do with anyone else. Kyle tells me daily how beautiful I am and how much he loves my body, and I am so appreciative of that. But I don’t see it, and I need to change that. I’m putting this here for accountability. I found a local old-school gym that I want to try out. Their prices are reasonable and they have great reviews. I’m determined to get back to the mental and physical state that I was. I want to bust out of my jeans because my quads are jacked. I want to need new t-shirts because my arms don’t fit. I have my goals, and I WILL reach them. No more excuses.

Thanks for listening to me whine.