Addressing Your Movement, Food and Mind in Stressful Times

Dear Monday: This week I hate you!

Today was the last straw. I have been bloated and puffed up all day and I know it’s because of the funk I have found myself in. For over a week I have battled an incessant headache; had low energy and low mood; craved sugar and caffeine; slept terribly and so on. It’s all made me feel like one big heap of crap.

My body is my mind’s beacon – if I am stressed, my body is stressed, and that comes out in acne, bloating, tummy problems, poor sleep, low mood and energy, etc.

For most of my life this played out at follows: stress happens. fear happens. fear is uncomfortable, so coping happens (think eating, alcohol, anxiety, or crazy exercise). body revolts. original stress remains, so it’s now more stress. more fear. more coping. more body revolting. repeat. repeat. REPEAT!

Anyway, today the terrible bloated feeling topped the cake. I slept like crap, again. I had the headache (again), because like clockwork it’s been showing up as I get off the train and walk into work (the oh-so-obvious STRESS causing this whole mess).

At noon I walked out of my office to meet my husband for lunch and the most terrible feeling came over me. I felt like I was starting to have a panic attack, then I felt like I was about to puke, then I felt like one feels after the end of a migraine. My body was exhausted and I could not ignore it any more.

So I consciously planned the rest of my day in terms of my movement, food and mind, knowing that the only way I was going to restore any sense wellness in my body and mind was going to come from proactive self-care and not reactive fear and anguish.

Firstly, I rescheduled my high-intensity PT session and instead took an hour long walk with my dog. On this walk I actively engaged all of my senses in that present moment (mindfulness). First I focused on all of the smells, then the sights, then the sounds, and lastly how it felt to walk on my feet, in the breeze, with the warmth of the sun. Then I continually tried to soak all of these senses in at once, and continued to bring myself back to this when I got lost in thoughts of stress, work, negativity, frustration, anxiety, etc.

When I got home I spent a few minutes reminding myself what foods cause inflammation and what foods help alleviate inflammation. I took the time to make a delicious dinner of African Spiced Salmon with a Rainbow Kale Salad (will blog this sometime this week). I followed it up with a big ass mug of Rooibos Fireside Tea.

I then picked one thing to do that I enjoy (blogging), one thing to do to calm my mind (30 minutes of meditation tonight) and one thing to do to make tomorrow better (place out my work clothes and pack my gym gear).

I feel better already.
I feel better already.
I feel better already.

Repeat. Repeat. REPEAT!

-Angie xo

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