March was a heck of a month in terms of happenings, moods, and health. April got off to a great start too… I am actually just getting back into a regular work routine after three short weeks in a row due to varying reasons, including being sick and writing exams. I still cannot place whatever illness I had, but I am thankful it is over. I am thankful the first of two final exams is over as well.
It was a wild month overall. I wrote a midterm at the beginning of March, and delivered a presentation at work as a part of a major project within the branch. That week was a hectic week: studying (poorly, I might add), presentation preparation and then both the presentation and the exam rounding out the week on the Friday. Did I mention my birthday fell in there somewhere as well? It was a less-than-ideal week for my birthday to fall in. I failed the midterm, but I rather expected it. Something had to give that week, and studying definitely fell to the wayside. My instructor for the course was terrible to begin with so the motivation to do well just was not there. The good news is I had the opportunity to make it up on April 3, when I wrote the final exam.
Outside of work and school stress, I have been working to maximize the use of space in my apartment, which is never a bad idea, since it is so small. I used my St. Patrick’s Day this year to trek to IKEA and buy myself a larger desk, a file cabinet, a boot cabinet, and a wall-mounted coat rack. I used my desk far too often and for too many things to keep such a small desk. The new one is almost double the size, and I now have enough space to do everything I want to at my desk. The things being studying, writing, working, and gaming.
Shortly after, I replaced my desk; I discovered that my wireless keyboard stopped working. I had not used it for about a week, while I was building my new furniture. I discovered it on the Thursday while I was trying to get set up for my online class. No matter what I did, it would not work, and I ended up having to replace it. I bought the keyboard I have wanted for ages, and am very happy with my decision. It sounds cool, and looks pretty too. It was money I did not plan to spend, but it is what it is. The result should be a keyboard that lasts me for many years to come.
While all this was happening, my car was mysteriously being covered with a weird sticky clear substance I could only assume was tree sap. It made opening doors and windows quite annoying for just about two weeks or so. The first proper spring rain-washed it all away, thankfully.
The end of the March brings us to Easter Weekend. There were no big family dinner plans this year, because everyone just seemed to be busy. It happens with most of us being on our own and doing our own things. I agreed to help my mom tile the tub surround in her bathroom. Tiling is something I have never done before, but I am game to try anything once so long as it does not involve extreme heights. We started on Saturday morning and worked through the day, and finished off with grouting on Sunday morning. The result looks great, and we are super proud of our amateur tiling job.
I headed home from my mom’s around lunchtime on the Sunday and made the decision to do a quick run through the McDonald’s drive thru to grab some lunch so I could focus on studying for the afternoon. As it turned out, that was not going to be what happened at all. While I was in the drive thru, the person in front of me backed into me. Me, in my brand new car with less than 1,500 kilometers on it. I was so frustrated and upset. Thankfully, the person who hit me was cooperative and he is paying for the repair. The car goes in tomorrow to repair the cracked bumper. I will be happy when the whole process is over.
I wrote the first of two final exams for this term on Tuesday April 3. I am happy it is over, even though I do not think I did particularly well. I am hoping I passed the exam. As long as I pass the exam, I pass the course. I should find out my grade in the next couple of weeks.
Huxley’s anxiety also has not let up in any way at all. I took his shirt off early this week because it needed washing, and by the next morning, he had barbered himself a brand new bald spot complete with raw skin! I feel so bad for him, but I am also at my wits’ end in terms of ideas to help him. I bought him a Thundershirt, and I am hopeful it will do the trick. Keep your fingers crossed, mine are!
In other news, I spent this past weekend at home focusing on self-care and studying for my next exam. As a result, my house no longer feels like a complete disaster to me, and I have managed to stick to the study schedule I have created. I am super proud of myself for both of these accomplishments, however small they are. I feel like I am in a better mental space. All of the stress of the past month took its toll on me. In an effort to help myself feel better physically and mentally, I have joined a book club that meets once a month at the Starbucks about three blocks away from me. I am excited. This month the book is Animal Farm by George Orwell, my favourite type of fiction! I am looking forward to some stimulating discussion around the themes of the book. Finally, I have signed up for a 9-week beginner yoga session starting next week. I found it for a VERY reasonable price through the city parks and recreation department SPECTRUM program. It was very affordable, which excited me, as it is hard to find affordable yoga classes around the city without being aware of the existence of this program. I love yoga, but have trouble sticking with it without the benefit of attending class. The SPECTRUM program seems to give the perfect solution!
So, here’s to a slightly less stressful April. I hope that it doesn’t take the same turn March and the early part of this month did!
I recently received my first GoodFood crate. I got a half off deal on my first one, so I figured it was worth a try. It arrived this past Friday, and I cooked my first meal from it last night: A ground pork bulgogi with jasmine rice and marinated cucumbers.
The kit came with all of the ingredients I needed to cook the meal, and boy was it delicious! It was surprisingly simple as well.
Since I live alone, and have for a couple of years now, I find it difficult to find the motivation to cook myself hot meals, let alone healthy ones. Grocery shopping is one of the banes of my existence since I depend on public transit. Ordering in is an easy way out that I take far too often and gets far too expensive. I subscribed to GoodFood in the hopes that receiving recipes with all of the ingredients for the meals would provide me with the much-needed motivation to cook a healthy hot meal. I tried the first recipe last night. And guess what:
IT WAS FUN.
I enjoyed cooking my dinner last night, and it tasted so good. The payoff was huge in the amazing combination of flavours and ease of the actual meal preparation. It took about half an hour to make, and I ended up with 3 portions in the end, which means I have lunch and dinner for another day as well as what I ate last night. I am definitely calling it a win!
I have to more recipes to try, and I am so excited now. I think I will be making GoodFood a semi-regular thing in my meal rotation. I’m thinking every other week or so!
It is really nice to have a reason to cook for myself! I think trying new recipes is probably the best possible reason to get excited about cooking.
Wow. I am really not delivering on my goal to publish at least twice a month… At least I have an excuse this time, I guess? Sorta?
Most of the month of April involved dealing with some (what I originally though were) minor health concerns: fatigue, lethargy, semi-unusual aches and pains, etc. They were causing me enough problems to affect my daily life, so I figured I should probably get checked out just in case. What I expected to be a simple, by the books doctor appointment ended with me having to go for testing for several conditions, including but not limited to rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. My doctor even booked my follow up appointment for me before I even left the exam room. This in combination with his urgency that I go get the blood work done as soon as possible, had me freaked right out. I went for my blood work the following morning and settled in to wait the LONG week before my follow up appointment. During that week, after researching (THANKS, ANXIETY), I almost had myself convinced I had lupus! It was good news, however, when I walked into my doctor appointment the following week. As it turns out, I am quite anemic. Who knew an iron deficiency could actually have serious effects on your life! Since then, I have been on some heavy duty iron supplements, and I am finally starting to notice improvements. I don’t think I have ever been so relieved as I was on that day. Knowing that I am dealing with something that can be fixed with a supplement is a huge stress release.
Before the doctor scared the poopers out of me, I actually made some minor upgrades around home. A new dresser, a bookcase replaced, a new vacuum cleaner… things of that nature. It has felt really good to make these changes around my home and update it a bit. I’ll have lived here for two years come July, and it was time for some little changes to be made. I also have plans to build a new headboard for my bed sometime this summer. I think it is going to be amazing. I can’t wait to have things exactly how I want them!
Along with these minor upgrades, the cats received some extra goodies as well. They now finally have a cat tree to climb and play on! Tobi loves it, and I’ve yet to really see Huxley use it, but I am sure he will in time.
Huxley has turned out to be an absolutely wonderful addition to my little family. He and Tobi play so well together, and he has taken to me as his human as I could have only hoped he would. He is very much a part of the family, and I love to my two babies as much as if he was always here. He has started snuggling in bed with my at bedtime each night, and it makes me so happy. As I always seem to be telling him, he is the best decision I have made in the past two years. He is very comfortable here and he knows he is loved.
Tobi went to the vet this month as well, she was overdue for vaccinations and I felt she needed a proper check up as well. We tried a different one this time, a new veterinary clinic that has opened up a short two minute drive from home. They took to her right away, and were impressed with how chill she was. She was given a clean bill of health, aside from her usual issues, and she got her shots as well. The highlight, however, was her weigh in. She weighed in at 6.6 kg, which is approximately 14.5 lbs. This is the lightest she has been since she was about a year old! After several years, she has finally attained a healthy weight. This new vet had absolutely no concerns about her weight because “she is clearly a large cat.” It felt so nice to have someone else understand that there was NO WAY Tobi could possibly weigh 10 lbs and still be considered healthy. We left the appointment that day with Tobi feeling sufficiently traumatized and me feeling completely satisfied with the service we received. It seemed just the news we needed to gear up for Tobi’s 9th birthday this past Tuesday. I bought the kitties a Meowbox to celebrate her birthday this year. It was enjoyed by all.
I am home from work today, not feeling well at all. I am taking this opportunity to practice a bit of self care, which included some blog activity, because I do miss it when I don’t write for it. It gets some feelings out there, and it helps me feel more social, being an introvert and all. HOPEFULLY I do a better job of staying on top of things in the future.
In the meantime, I will keep on playing World of Warcraft and reading up a storm. Since I finally finished the train wreck that was The Goldfinch after a year and a half, I have been reading up a storm and it feels great.
Two weeks ago on Monday… I turned 31. What a lame/boring age to turn. No milestones, nothing. I DID, however, have a GREAT weekend leading up to my birthday. I was able to spend some quality time with a lot of special people, and wouldn’t you know it? I took maybe two photos the entire weekend… SO out of character for me, I KNOW.
I hosted a game night on Saturday night (February 24), which turned into a great way to catch up with people I don’t see nearly enough. We played Cards Against Humanity, and my new game Bang!, which was a birthday gift. We ate nachos and those of us who didn’t have to drive drank. We were all merry. My friend Steph, took me out to buy birthday party supplies earlier in the day as her birthday gift to me, and it really made the day and night great. We played games and joked and laughed into the wee hours.
On Sunday, I planned a birthday dinner with some of my closest friends. Sadly, one was unable to make it due to work, but I saw her the very next day for our weekly movie night on my actual birthday. I invited my dad, my sister and her boyfriend, my super awesome friend Jen from work, along with her husband and daughter, as well as Wes and Ash and their cute kids. The food was awesome, and the atmosphere was pretty great too. It was so nice to be able to celebrate with a dinner surrounded by some of the people I care about the most. It was a really enjoyable evening. I went home that night very happy.
After an awesome (and exhausting) weekend leading up to my birthday, my actual birthday was very run-of-the-mill. I went to work, I ate free pizza from a local pizza place that offers a free birthday slice, I went home, I napped, I went to my friend Alice’s for our weekly movie night, and then I went home to bed. It was a good day, but very normal.
Overall, it was a great a 31st birthday, and it was awesome to celebrate it with as many people as I did.
Since then, I’ve been working through some other things. I have been really tired and lethargic and sleeping poorly for weeks. I figured out that my B12 was low again (which was the cause last time it happened) and had to go back on my B12 supplement. I think it is safe to say that I have to keep taking it and can’t stop again; not if I want to function at least semi-normally. I’ve been on it for just about a couple of weeks now, and I am noticing improvements progressively as the days pass. I have started sleeping better incrementally, and I am able to come home and complete tasks that were falling to the wayside previously.
I am also working extra hard to get on track financially. I have a long road of breaking bad habits ahead of me, but I recently listened to an audiobook that is poised to change my life in big ways in terms of money management and savings and the future. I am excited about getting on track for real, for the first time. In the past I always dreaded having to deal with money, and I feel like I am finally not afraid to deal with it anymore. It feels pretty great. As a result, I am feeling more positive about other aspects of my daily life as well. I am getting more physically active again, slowly but surely. In no time, I think I will be working out and doing more healthy things in general.
I find it really interesting how making sense of one very important aspect of your life can make a difference in a multitude of ways, including translating into other seemingly unrelated parts of your life. I am already taking much better care of myself mentally – practicing self-care on a semi-regular basis as compared to barely ever before. And I have been much kinder to myself in general.
Things are also coming together for the two trips I have planned this year. The first is in June, to attend a family wedding, and the second will be a trip to visit my best friend who moved away last October. The flights and accommodations are book for the trip in June, and I will be planning for the second trip happening later this year just as soon as flight schedules come available.
Huxley, or The New Guy as I like to call him from time to time, has made himself very comfortable and is already friends with my friends who have met him. It’s funny how quickly it feels like they have always been here. I can’t imagine my home without him now, and it has only been 5 weeks. I’m not complaining whatsoever! He has been a great addition to my little family here and Tobi has accepted him also, which makes me feel happy inside.
I have an exam coming up in less than a month, and I spent my day today getting caught up on all of my reading. After 4 hours, I finally got there! Next step will be going through the study guide, which will start tomorrow. I am determined to do better than my previous two courses, where I ended up with C’s. I am thankful to have a study buddy, that’s for sure! I am also thankful for my bullet journal, which has done wonders to keep me on track especially during the toughest days. Maybe one day I will do a blog post about that. It’s not as creative and fancy as some of the others out there, but it works great for me.
This post kind of became a jumble of overall updating, which was not my original intent. It’s not very often that I have so much to say as I did today. Hopefully the next one will be more coherent!
It’s been two months since Life Reboot Take Two was published on May 15, 2016.The first few weeks were off to a great start, especially regarding food and eating and physical activity. I made it to 10,000 steps in a day for the first time, and actually lost about five pounds! Alas, in June and early July it all fell apart. June was the busiest and most stressful month of 2016 for me, and it really had a detrimental effect. I gained back the weight I lost and then a bit more as a result. I also had some very frustrating issues with my Fitbit which now seem to be resolved. I struggled a lot with having no real consistency in my routine. I wrote the final exam for my CIP course on July 4, and took a few days to recover. This week I am ready to get things back on track. Let’s take a detailed look at how I did with each item I put on my list:
Drink less pop
I did really well with this in those initial few weeks. I only had at most a 591ml bottle once a week; usually just a can. This was in comparison to 2-3 per week or maybe even more. Unfortunately, during June it all went out the window. I turned to pop for a caffeine boost over coffee. It was less intense and I was out of coffee for most of the month anyway. It was just a bad scene all around.
Goal: Get back down to a maximum of one can of pop per week.
This item went completely the opposite way of my first item. During the first few weeks I read a few pages here and there, which was already more than I was reading previously. It seemed like as I got more stressed, the more I was inclined to read. By the end of June I had finished three books, and made a good dent in The Goldfinch as well.
Goal: Read 100 more pages of The Goldfinch by the end of July.
I tried, but didn’t write quite as much as I’d have liked. I worked at journaling a bit, but I didn’t have a whole lot of luck. Through June, I stopped writing completely aside from jotting down the odd to-do list. I picked up with the journaling a bit post-final, but not by much.
Goal: Write a minimum of half a page each day in my notebook, publish one more blog post in July.
I have not been sleeping better OR more all along. The more stressed I got the later I stayed up and the more poorly I slept.
Goal: Find a sustainable bedtime and wake up time and keep it up for one month.
Practice better self care
I really need to do a better job at this. It just isn’t happening at this point.
Goal: Take a minimum of 10 minutes each day to check in with and look after myself.
Eat better foods in more reasonable portions
I did great initially, but again, fell off the wagon once the pressure mounted. I started taking the easy ways out again – ordering take out and the like. I’m still not completely comfortable with cooking for one, and that needs to happen as well.
Goal: No more ordering in/eating out in July and no more than twice in August.
I got off to a great start with being more active and I really enjoyed it. I started with my main focus being a 10,000 step per goal. That went pretty well until around mid-June or so, when I started encountering some serious issues with the accuracy of my Fitbit. Step goals faltered then, but according to my phone I was still managing about 7000 steps each day without really trying. I even added some periodic workouts. This has continued to slow down and decrease though as it has been quite hot and not exactly ideal for walking.
Goal: Work back up to 10,000 steps a day, 2 workouts per week (yoga or otherwise).
July 11th was the first day I really focused on turning things back around. On that day alone I grocery shopped, cooked a healthy dinner, did a workout, wrote a bit in my notebook, didn’t drink any pop, and read a few pages of a new book borrowed from a coworker. I am working now to find a new balance, and hopefully one that sticks. I have been writing on a daily basis since the 11th. It is just journaling, but we all need a starting point right? This is a good sign!
I had a lot of other thoughts over this period of time that seem rather pertinent to this reboot. Firstly, that I am thankful for my coworker and super awesome need-friend Jen for being so supportive through all of the stress and whatnot throughout June. I was struggling and had it not been for her, I don’t think I’d have managed nearly as well as I did. I am going to try a new approach going forward: smaller goals that work toward the main goals of this reboot. I am hoping that smaller concrete goals will be more effective than the all-encompassing goals of the reboot as a whole. These smaller goals are what I wrote down after my recap of each large goal above. I may even come up with some small daily goals to keep me even more motivated.
On another note, this week I am one year single and on own. Some of the memories popping up on Facebook right now are hard to see. I am keeping my head up however, and doing well overall. I have my home (which I love), I also my cat (whom I love arguably more than life itself), I am doing the things I want to do and that make me happy, I am happy at my job (even if it does get stressful at times), and I am (mostly) happy with myself. I have nothing of substance to complain about!
Anyway, stay tuned for another update in the near future!
About six months or so ago, maybe more now, I was inspired by Wil Wheaton to reboot my life just as he did his. While he has been successful overall, my own reboot was dismal. I have fail pretty miserably on all but one item: using my phone more appropriately. Yay for me, I guess?
I’m feeling worse physically than I did when I set up my original version of this. This time I desperately need to start making some massive, very drastic changes in my lifestyle. It’s time to genuinely live for myself and my health and try not to let my anxiety and depression get in the way of things like I did last time. It’s funny (funny-frustrating not funny-haha) that these are things that will help me improve my overall mental health, and yet my mental illness doesn’t want me to do these things. Mental illness, especially depression is an asshole, yo. But this is my time to win, to beat this asshole for real. I want to not only feel better, I want to BE better, and happy and healthy in my body. It was a huge eye opener for me when I realized that doing laundry was a struggle for me when it wasn’t not so long ago. I really wanted to cry about it, but didn’t and I won’t. I’m fixing it instead.
As a first step in fixing how I feel, I want to try this again. Sadly though, I’ve really been beating myself up a lot over it, and the self-loathing is hanging like a massive dark cloud over the whole project. I hope that writing about this will help me work through those feelings, I know I can’t possibly be the only one struggling with this sort of things. I’m really hopefully that writing about both the struggle and my progress will help me work through the whole larger problem – working through severe lack of motivation due to depression…anxiety…illness…feeling bad physically…etc…etc…etc…
So, let’s start with a new list of things in my life that need rebooting:
Drink less pop
In my original reboot, I had “drink less pop and coffee” on the list. I was drinking far too much of both. Caffeine in the coffee was doing bad things to me, and pop is…well, pop. It’s basically a ton of sugar and is completely detrimental to what I am trying to accomplish for myself here. Looking back, I was actually very successful in cutting back on coffee. I now only drink caffeinated coffee periodically on weekends or on especially bad mornings, while I normally drink decaf coffee most of the time I choose to have a coffee. The struggle now is cutting back on drinking pop. I drink far too much of it. I am having a can or a bottle of it two to three times a week. That is far too often. My goal is to make pop more of an occasional beverage, rather than a regular one. I intend to replace it with water and/or tea. I have started buying lemon to spice up the flavour of the water, and the majority of the teas I have are decaf and/or herbal and overall very healthy. I also intend to increase my daily intake of water to approximately 2 litres ideally. Putting less sugar into my body should have a multi-faceted result: decreased anxiety, and helping jump-start weight loss. Drinking more water should help get my metabolism going as well as decrease water retention. I struggle with swelling hands and feet periodically. The whole change should be a winning one.
This one was on the list for my original reboot as well. I’ve been trying to read more for ages, even after it was apparently my original reboot was an utter failure. It has been shockingly difficult even though reading has been one of my favourite things since I first learned how to read. Over the past months, I did start paying attention to possible reasons WHY I was reading as much as I would like. I came to a surprising realization, something I didn’t expect: I spend a lot of time in front of the TV watching/catching up on TV shows. Somehow TV had become a higher priority than reading. I’ve also developed an annoying habit of starting books and then forgetting about them. I think, to be successful with this list item, I need to focus on changing these habits. I need to and will be focusing a lot less on watching television and more on trying to read a few pages here and there when I have a free few minutes. I also plan to finish the books I’ve started and forgotten before I move on to the rest of my to-read list. I have high hopes I will be more successful with this list item since I have pinpointed the major issues that were curbing my potential success in the past. Next will just be making time regularly to pick up my book/e-reader.
I have had a bit more success with this list item relatively recently, actually. From early March to early April, I actually participated in a 30-day writing challenge. Over those 30 days I wrote at least a few lines every day and it felt great. I haven’t done quite as well as that since the challenge ended, but I have found myself putting a lot more planning and passion into posts for my blog, with some of them taking days or even weeks (like this one! I’ve been working on this post for close to a month now!) to be written to my satisfaction. I guess you could say I’ve been feeling something along the lines of “inspired”, and when it comes to writing from and about life. I also think the quality of my writing has greatly improved. With this list item, I would like to start writing at least a few lines each day, as well as publish posts to my blog on a weekly basis at least. It’s a tall order for me, but I think it is something that will be easy to keep up with once I get into a routine. I’m excited to pick things up with this because it’s another thing I love.
I feel like the general consensus on this one is no one seems to get enough sleep or good quality sleep. I can definitely say I am one of those people who doesn’t get nearly enough good quality sleep. I’ve been working on that in general because sleep is super important. I’ve been trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour, and not consume any caffeine of any kind (if I do that day) after noon. I have noticed some improvement, but I feel like I still have a long way to go. I plan to try some different things to try and be successful with this list item – they include aromatherapy, and creating a bedtime routine to stick to. I am also hoping that I will be able to find a way to keep track of the quality of sleep I get. Adding these, or variations of these to my plans for better sleep will be a winning combination.
Practice better self-care
This is something I don’t do well with. I never seem to take great care of myself and it’s something that causes me a lot of problems along the way. Not practicing self-care leads to breakdowns related especially to my anxiety; it leads me to isolating myself from my friends and family when things get bad, it leads to not eating well, not sleeping well, and a boatload of other things. It’s just not pretty when I don’t practice self-care regularly. So, for this list item I will be putting more effort into self-care; doing things that are good for me, good for my body. In putting together this new collection of things to reboot in my life, I did notice an interesting overlap: all of the things I will be doing fall under the umbrella of self-care in one way or another. Adding the specific list item though, creates intention to work harder at it in the other ways that are not included in the list. I need to remember to do more things that make me feel good about myself: hair appointments are a perfect example. If I don’t love my hair, I am definitely less happy with myself. I love experimenting and trying new things with my hair, so it’s something that is important and therefore something I can’t forget to do. There are other things, but this is a very easy example. I am also going to revisit the list of self-care items I developed with my therapist, as I found it very helpful. Self-care needs to be a priority and I intend to make it happen!
Eat better foods in more reasonable portions
This exact item was on the previous list. It makes its return because I have failed this one miserably and continue to do so. Living on my own has made this one incredibly difficult because it is SO hard to find the motivation to cook for one. I’ve done tons of reading on ways to make it easier but they haven’t done a thing to motivate me. At this point, I think I have to find/develop the motivation from within. This is going to be hard. It also seems, through a bit of research (admittedly though, not a doctor diagnosis) that I may struggle with disordered eating, so this list item is two-fold: eat better by cooking more for myself, and create new healthy eating habits by overcoming this disordered eating. I don’t think this item will be easy for me at all. To help me get started though, I made myself a colourful little poster with a list of reasons why I should cook for myself at home rather than order take out. I think it is a good jumping-off point for me. The first step is to get me to stop ordering and cook for myself. I’ll admit though, this item may be one of the most difficult.
This final item was also on the previous list. It’s also another item I miserably failed at for a number of reasons. For one, I am not an athletic person. I’m much more the clumsy type. And the biggest reason: again, with the lack of motivation. I’ve done many things in many attempts to get moving more. I bought a gym membership. That was the biggest step I’ve taken toward exercising more. Turns out, I do not enjoy the gym and therefore hasn’t worked out so great so far. I am going to give it another go though, I think. Most recently though, as in within the past couple of weeks, I think I discovered the key to keep up my motivation to move. I am in a fitness group on Facebook, and not only are they very encouraging, but a large number of people in that group swear by their Fitbits. About a week ago, I decided to see what all the fuss was about. I installed the Fitbit app, which can still be used with just my phone and no device linked to it. I found it to be excellent. Through my phone it was able track basic stats like steps taken (as long as I keep my phone on my person) and distance travelled. It was really neat to see. Having these stats at my fingertips seems to be the key to keeping me motivated. I also participated in my first couple of challenges. I was in a challenge last Thursday with seven other people, and WOW, all I wanted to do was move! It felt fantastic. With the success of it using my phone only, this weekend I went out and bought an actual Fitbit device. I mulled over which model to get for several days and finally settled on the Fitbit Alta. I’ve been using it since Saturday afternoon and I LOVE IT. In the short time since I’ve been using Fitbit I have already increased my average number of steps per day from 4000 to 5000. I have a long way to go to the doctor-recommended 10,000 steps per day, and I also need to start exercising and sweating much more frequently. The cool thing is Fitbit can track that too. Awesome! It seems that I have found the key to getting me to move more, and that is so important right now. It’s a great start to exercising more.
And so, there we have it: a new and improved life reboot list. I am going to keep track properly this time because I want to make real progress. I want to be happier and healthier, and it has become such an important thing for me. I’m 30 now, and if I don’t take control of things nothing is going to get better. I will continue to feel terrible, I will gain weight, my health will deteriorate… I don’t want any of these things to happen. My goal is to be the happiest and healthiest I have ever been and to develop new healthy habits to keep it going. Being successful in this, I will also be in a much better mental and emotional state than I have ever been and that is definitely something to look forward to. Here’s to my second stab at a life reboot!
Today’s prompt (April 2, 2016): Write about an area of your life that you’d like to improve.
There is one specific area where I’d really like to improve, and I’ve been working really hard at it over the last while. The good news is I am starting to notice some changes! The area I would like to improve is my health. This encompasses my overall health – physical and mental.
I’ve been working at improving my mental health via seeing a therapist, and learning how to take care of myself for well over the past year. It is an area of my life, however that always needs to be worked at, and worked at very hard indeed. As with most people, when I feel terrible, I work hard at doing the things that help me, but once I start to feel better I start to fall off the wagon again in terms of self care. This isn’t a great thing because self care is so important to maintenance of mental health. In my experience, this is something everyone can relate to in one way or another. So basically, in terms of my mental health I need to improve in keeping up with those things that make me feel better, and not stop when my head starts telling me I’m better and I can stop. They are SO important in STAYING better too.
In terms of my physical health, I really don’t have much to worry about outside of my weight. My blood pressure is perfect as is my cholesterol and other levels, except maybe my B12 and vitamin D: confirmed contributors to my mental health issues. I take supplements for those. I am though, admittedly not good at keeping up with regular physical activity at all. I have been working hard to try to remedy that. I tried the gym thing, even got a membership, but after four months or so of going and hating it with a passion, I decided to do away with that idea and nix the membership. I don’t regret it though because I learned a lot about how I feel about different types of exercise during those months, and I now know that working out at the gym just isn’t for me. I need and enjoy more organic types of exercise – like yoga or even running. So I am going to give that a go now, and I’ve been working on the yoga part so far. I have a few more things to get together before I try running. It’s definitely more enjoyable for me. I am much more motivated to do things if I don’t hate them. It’s still something that needs a lot of work though. My overall health is and will continue to be a constant work in progress.
Last night I read an interesting article on Medium written by Wil Wheaton: “7 Things I did to Reboot my Life.” In reading it, a lot of things really hit home and I recognized in it some very real things I have been struggling with in my own life. It inspired me to make the decision to “reboot” my own life. It’s something that is much needed.
In the past three months since I’ve been on my own, I’ve found myself falling into some unhealthy habits that really aren’t helping me out right now. Since July, I’ve gained 20 pounds, spent more money than I should have, in some aspects my anxiety has shot through the roof, and I’ve been feeling incredibly low for the last while. I have also not been very active, only doing the bare minimum; what I absolutely have to do.
Seeing Wil’s article has inspired me to make the necessary changes to reboot my own life as he has rebooted his. Reading about someone else doing it, and successfully at that, makes me feel like I can do it successfully as well. I have come up with a list of my own things I need to do to reboot my life, some of them taken from Wil’s list, but some also not:
Drink less pop and coffee
Practice better self care
Eat better foods, in reasonable portions
Use my phone more appropriately
Drink less pop and coffee – Over the last several weeks I have found myself drinking pop and coffee almost solely. I haven’t been drinking nearly enough water or other healthier beverages. For someone like me, with anxiety, this is a serious problem. The increased caffeine intake does terrible things for my anxiety and how I manage it. I’m sure it has also contributed to my generally feeling poor physically and mentally, and also my weight gain. Replacing pop and coffee with water and tea will go a long way to helping me feel better I will be more properly hydrated and I will be able to take advantage of the health benefits of the many herbal teas I already have in my home. I have already started with this transition and I have high hopes I will notice positive effects in a very short time.
Read more – I read all the time for years, and then I stopped for awhile and felt kind of blah. I started again and it felt like my mind opened up for me all over again and it felt amazing. But…I have stopped again, and any creative juices that were flowing have stopped as well. It has been incredibly frustrating for me when I have had this urge or need to create and have been unable to do so. So, I want to start reading again. I want to start reading real literary material though; actual books. My reading material lately has been the likes of Buzzfeed or Facebook. It’s clearly not working for me. Currently I have about four books started that I just kind of stopped reading for no particular reason at all. I want to start by picking them up again and finishing them within a reasonable time frame. I hope that opening my mind up to actual reading again will start to open my mind back up as a whole.
Write more – I love writing. Lately, I have been quite uninspired, as I previously mentioned. I don’t necessarily write with the goal of getting published, although that would be pretty great if it happened one day… I write for myself. I do it because I love to do it and because I enjoy how it makes me feel to write something I feel good about. There is such an overlap of great feelings when I finish a piece I am proud of, both in the process and in the accomplishment of finishing it. Having felt so uninspired lately, I have written very little and it generally bothers me that I haven’t been able to write at all very recently. I want to make a concerted effort to write a lot more. My plan is to carve out a little bit of time each day to write even a few lines. I hope to eventually publish some of my work on my blog, or in another public forum, though it’s something I am quite nervous about (anxiety and all that). I hope that as I write more I will feel more inspired and in combination with actually reading I will be able to get my creative juices flowing freely again!
Sleep better/more – I find myself not sleeping the greatest these days. I’ve been having trouble falling asleep, and though I have felt like I “sleep like the dead” on a nightly basis, I’ve not felt rested upon waking up for a good long while. I feel like it may have a lot to do with my increased caffeine intake, which I’ve already made the decision to decrease significantly. In order to try and sleep better, I am creating a bedtime ritual to hopefully facilitate falling asleep more effectively, more quickly. I will set a regular bedtime and wakeup time as well. My hope is that if I am able to fall asleep more effectively, more quickly, I will start sleeping better as well. I am immensely looking forward to waking up in the mornings feeling rested!
Practice better self care – I have been seeing my therapist for over a year now, and she has given me some fantastic tools for helping me manage my anxiety and depression without medication, even though it does get very difficult at times. Over these past several months, I admit I have not been employing those tools to properly look after myself, and my mental health is suffering for it. Rather that using these tools, I have taken to shutting myself in at home, sitting in my chair in front on the TV and just being alone. I’ve been getting up and going to work, doing only what is necessary, and then I am home, back in my chair avoiding doing anything more. I stopped going to my yoga class back in June for a reason I can’t remember, and it was doing wonders for me. I also haven’t been very kind to myself in general. Long story short, I haven’t been practicing self care like I should. I need to start practicing self care regularly once more. I need to start being kinder to myself, do the things I know will help me feel better. I also intend to find a reasonably priced yoga class to attend on a regular basis, since I already know I can’t keep up the motivation to do yoga on my own. I am also going to start practicing mindfulness again, as it helped me immensely before. I think I will also give meditation a try. It’s similar to mindfulness, only more personal; something I could use. I am going to start making use of my essential oils much more regularly as I have a few blend that help me to manage my anxiety especially. Lastly, I will start regularly using my favourite self-care ritual: a hot scented bath with a good book. Time to start looking after myself for real!
Eat better foods, in more reasonable portions – Another part of the weight gain recently is my terrible eating habits of late. I’ve been eating out too often, I’ve been eating foods that don’t fall into the category of healthy choices, and I’ve been eating entirely too much. All of these things pose a major problem, not only for managing my weight, but also for my overall health. I know how to eat healthy, I just haven’t been doing it. This part is easy. I start making healthy food choices and I stop overeating. I am going to break my habit of eating emotionally and eating when I am bored. I am also going to stop eating out so often. I think this will go a very long way to making me feel better physically, and mentally as well. I had some lessons from my therapist about how to eat to promote mental health, and I will put those lessons to work as well.
Exercise more – I don’t exercise. I just don’t do it. Admittedly, I’m a pretty lazy person and I always have been. I walk to work, sometimes home from work, and climb my stairs at home and that is just about the only exercise I get on a daily basis. Even before, when I attended a yoga class regularly, that was the only other exercise I got then. With all of this being said, it won’t take much to exercise more at all. For starters, I will make a point to walk as many places as I can, not just work. Locally, I can walk just about anywhere I need to, and only take a bus when I have to go across town or bring home groceries. The yoga class I am looking into will go a long way as well. However, I will make an effort to start running or do some other kind of physical activity as well. I think more exercise will be the final piece of the puzzle in feeling better physically.
Use my phone more appropriately – Anyone who knows me knows that my phone is an extension of my hand. I use it all the time, and if you send me a message of any kind you will get an answer almost instantly. I also spend a lot of time on social media on my phone. All in all, I probably spend far too much time on my phone. Unfortunately, it has gotten my into some trouble in recent months at work. My phone, especially in the past several months has become a sort of escape: from feeling things, from boredom, from places I didn’t want to be… It has become an inappropriate and ineffective means of escape at that. So this my cue to start changing that, and use my phone only at appropriate times, and especially NOT at work when I should be working. It may be tricky to accomplish this one, but I will!
And so that is my list of things I need to do to reboot my life. It’s kind of a long list, but I think it is all perfectly manageable and will do me wonders! I can’t wait to make these changes to my lifestyle and come out at the end feeling healthier and happier and more confident. This reboot is going to be amazing, and I can’t wait to write about the changes! Nobody ever said adulting wasn’t hard…
And boy, does it feel good! Today was the last day of my probationary period at work. Also, I will have health benefits coverage through work as of Friday. This is some very good news to us as medications and medical expenses can really add up. It is also a great thing because I need to have four wisdom teeth pulled within the next year. I am NOT looking forward to that!
To sum up though – having some job security again and health coverage has given me some peace of mind that definitely helps to improve those winter blues ever so slightly!
Icing on the cake is that I am being taken out for lunch along with some other new-ish hires by my employer next week. Exciting!
Last night my mom came into town for a visit which was really much needed for both of us. Much needed for me because I have spent the better part of the last two weeks hanging around home alone. It felt really good to have some social contact again.
We started out with a dinner at the new restaurant in the city called Earl’s. I have to say that I was very impressed. Not only was the food delicious, the service was great too. Quite a pleasant experience. I haven’t had a dining experience like that in a very long time. After dinner, we did some store wandering and it was all just a nice change of pace. I have come to the conclusion that I need to get out more often. Staying at home all the time does get a little boring, even with all the awesome stuff I have to do around here!