Tuesday, March 04, 2014
I've lived with panic and anxiety disorder since the late 1980's. I could spend a whole series of blogs on the why's and where-for's, but like everything else in life this phenomenon affects everyone in its own unique way.
I'm of the palpitations family.My chest pounds like a huge bass drum, my breathing gets shallow and erratic and I become terrified. I cant sit still, nor can I be active. I'm as nervous as a Powerball winner waiting for the check to clear the bank. When an episode passes I usually cry for about 10 minutes and am exhausted for at least 12 hours.
It affects all of us in a different way.
If that isnt enough I am a people pleasing-emotional eater. Look up the term "hot mess" in Webster and you find my photo.
Dealing with it is 99.9% of the battle or as my doctor said "John, no one has ever died from this!"
So if you live with panic and anxiety I have a few tips to ease the load. I've found these to be universal in nature.
1. Make sure you get enough rest. When I'm not sleeping well or traveling for an extended period of time I can almost assure myself that looming on the horizon, like thunder clouds is a doozie waiting to happen. I'll rest, not sleep, rest. I may create time to just sit and stare at the wall, read a book, watch TV and somehow disengage. I let my engine rest.
2. Yoga breathing meditation works well for me. I'm not talking about going into a full blown trance or anything, I'm talking about 5 to 10 minutes of deep breathing. You can find guided versions of this online just about anywhere. The guided versions really help me when my mind monkey's are swinging from limb to limb on my fragile psyche.
3. Good old fashioned exercise, preferably out of doors. Nothing dissipates my anxiety quicker than a walk, a jog or a ride on my bike. It seems as if the energy channels itself to the right place and suddenly I'm not worried about my water heater exploding in the middle of the night. Light to medium exertion works well for me. Anything tougher produces the opposite effect, lol.
4. Finally I am thankful. I utter a prayer of thanksgiving that along with everything else is uniquely me, this too is part of who I am and why I am loved as I am.
All these things help, sometimes alone and sometimes in combination.
I just thought I'd share. It's always good to put something back when you pick something up and truthfully my angel, Amy, told me to write this.
Sunday, March 02, 2014
I’ve set a monthly fitness goal of 1,500 minutes per month. I’ve never reached that pinnacle and it is something to keep me motivated. In January I fell 64 minutes short, due to a miscalculation on my part – Math has never been my strong suit. So I geared up for February, knowing what I needed to do and when I needed to do it. – I had Joan check my math. I hadn’t factored in the flu.
I woke up on a Monday morning with a sore throat and feeling like someone had deposited a ton of bricks on top of me while I slept. I saw my doctor first thing, she wrote a prescription, told me to go home and go to bed and then looked at me and said “No gym until you finish the medication.” That was 10 days. “I’m seeing a lot folks relapse because they’re not being careful.” To be honest that Monday morning the gym was the furthest thing from my mind. I crawled into bed and stayed there until Wednesday afternoon. By Saturday I was getting bored and at least wanting to do something. I had work commitments the following week and thanked God I’d gotten ill on a slow week when it was easy to arrange a few things. To make a long story short I followed my doctors’ advice and lost ten days of exercise. The up side was that when I resumed exercising after the flu I had no residual effects and no relapse. I felt good.
My exercise minutes for February were 869. They were 869 quality minutes and March is here and so am I and its new month or as Jethro Tull once sang “It was a new day yesterday but it’s an old day now.”
I’ve added a goal for the next two months. Each year, on the second Saturday in May we have a 5k run/walk for our annual Barbecue Festival. I plan on walking in it this year. I’m walking up to 1.5 miles pain free right now so it’s time to set some other goals. I’m walking every day now so I’m working on strength and endurance. I’ll keep you posted.
As always thanks so much for your love, your support, your comments, Spark Goodies and for just being a genuine and bona fide you!!!!
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Monday, February 24, 2014
I'll admit I am not very fond of this time of year. My positive attitude is stretched to its limits with the gray sky's, the snow, the plummeting then rising temperatures.....
"Live in the moment, live in the moment......"
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Spring seems as far away as my ability to see my toes without the aid of a mirror. Gloomy would be a huge step up.
But then, like the proverbial rose poking its proud mantle through the snow I received a Spark Mail form Coach Jen . Would I consider being a team leader for a new member Spark team? You know, the team you automatically joined when you became a member.
"Oh,oh. I know where he is going with this."
"John, I don't have the time and if I do have the time that thing, well that thing just isn't my thing. Ya know?"
Yeah, all that went cascading through my 60% left brained psyche. (According to a scientific quiz I took on Facebook yesterday.) But then I thought about LAWRALOO. She was my very first team leader here at Spark. During the first 6 months, if it hadn't been for her I'd have given up many, many, did I say many times?
Yes, it's time consuming and yes you have to make a commitment.
Sorta like the commitment we make here at Spark People every day.
So I wrote back and told her yes. She sent me a link and I started to set up the team page with all the little message postings new members will need to get going and I found that I, yes I, JOHNTJ1, was revitalized. While I was waxing the eloquence of the benefits of water, exercise, fruits, veggies and proper rest I began to compare my own performance to the positive motivation I was spewing out in those messages.
The good news is that I didn't need an over haul just some tightening up here and there.
Remember your first month here at Spark? Do you recall how lost you seemed some days? Didn't feel like there was a lot of support coz you weren't sure where to go? I did and if it weren't for my initial team leader, I might have given up. But I didn't because someone took the time to help me on my way.
It's a good time of year to shake off the cob webs, commit to something a bit different and put a new perspective on life, health and exercise. Write coach Jen, she'll be happy to hook ya up.
And remember, someone did it for me and you.
BTW: This is a totally unsolicited blog. No one asked me to write it. I am happy to be able to put something back
Monday, February 17, 2014
Inevitable, you say? Well yeah, unless you want to walk around carrying a candle to illuminate your living room and have to walk 100 feet out doors to use the restroom, in the middle of the night. While most of us slap a smile on our faces and say the right things That nasty old "C Word," can chill us to the bone.
Just about the time I think things are starting to even themselves out a bit and as adults we have some rational hold over ourselves and our thought process I pick up a newspaper, (See even I resist change. I still enjoy holding the printed media in my hands when ever possible!) and there is Richard Petty, here-to-fore known as King Richard to millions of adoring Nascar Fans waxing the eloquent and sharing his unsolicited opinion about second year driver Danica Patrick.
Petty, it seems, believes that Patrick could only win a race if she were the only driver on the track. Later, he added that he wasn't sexist, no not he.
“It was definitely not sexist, OK?" Petty retorted. "Hey, look, I've been married 55 years to the same woman. So I am not a sexist by any ways. I love women.”
My mom had a retort for statements like this when we were growing up: "Here's a shovel, why don't you dig yourself a deeper hole."
I'm not an authority on race car drivers or the sport for that matter. I do enjoy watching and I think that if you posses the qualifications to participate in a sport or activity it's your God given right to do so. You can suggest I don't have any talent, cheer loudly for other drivers or athletes but please, oh please, in the year 2014 don't even come close to suggesting that someone's gender is a barrier.
I have an 8 year old grand daughter who has a purple belt in Tae Kwan Do, has run 6 5'K's in the past year with her mom, has more badges than anyone in her Girl Scout troop, and tested into an advanced class next year when she hits 4th grade. She'd like to be astro physicist some day and she is able to tell you what astro physicist is. She hasn't given a choice of college to much thought, she's still trying to choose a middle school. She feels bad her mom and dad spent a lot of money on One Direction apparel when she decided she liked Katy Perry and Taylor Swift better.
To her gender isn't even an issue. I have to think its because when she turns on her television she sees so many positive examples of people of both genders doing things that hadn't been done before.
Change is gonna happen, whether we open our arms to it or wail and gnash our teeth. Jesus knew it when he said "You do not know the day nor the time."
A few years ago I took one of my daughter-in-laws to the Indianapolis 500 with me. It was Danica Patricks last year racing open wheeled cars before she went to NASCAR. About half way through the race, Patrick's car took the lead. As she shot down the straight away some people started to cheer. Many more, started yelling epithets that really aren't repeatable - Use your imagination. My daughter in law, an educated and respected professional looked at me in horror. Maybe I'm naïve. I couldn't believe the crowds response.
For her part Patricks response to Petty's comments were "He has a right to his opinion." Good for her. Petty is and was the bell weather for automobile racing. I think its sad that he wont or cant become the bell weather for the positive changes that are occurring all over our world.
In the Unite States we've elected a leader of color and rumor has it his successor jut may be a female. Some will shrink in horror and I have to ask you is it because of their policies or is it because the represent change form the tried and true. Try to remember that 99.9% of us wouldn't know one another without this amazing innovation called the internet.
I don't care for every change that crosses my path but I suspect neither did my dad, or his dad for that matter.
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