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Ways to fight the blah days - #5

Monday, December 06, 2010

5. Go outside, already!

Yes, I know it's cold out there (here) in December and January. Or hot in July and August. And it's dark before and after work! All kinds of excuses to hide in my cave.

Still, when asked what I do to manage my stress, one of the things I come up with is the five minutes in the morning when I open the door to the deck and step outside. Days when I never poke my nose out of doors just don't go as well.

Experience the weather. Listen for birds (in warmer seasons), look at plants growing, or mounds of snow, sunrise, sunset, clouds, whatever... dodge the raindrops, face the wind, feel your surroundings! Smell the ozone before or after a rain. Sneeze at the pollen. Whatever. Know you are alive on the planet.

Take THAT, Mr. Blah! emoticon This is survival. This is life. And it is worth it! We are worth it... and a new week begins.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 12/7/2010 10:04PM

    Getting outdoors makes a whole lot of difference in my day too! I just feel so much better.

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PENNYAN45 12/6/2010 7:38PM

    I love the out-of-doors -- along with all of nature. I do the same thing - just open the door to the deck and BE outside for a minute or two! It is refreshing.

Thanks for sharing your tips!

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 12/6/2010 7:09PM

    Yes, over the years I have returned to my childhood love of the outdoors. There's something soothing in the birds, trees, and flowers. And even though I am a creature of comfort on extreme weather days, stepping out, as you say, can make the day brighter.

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WALKINGANNIE 12/6/2010 4:06PM

    "Take that Mr Blah", will be my mantra for the week! Love it.

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LJCANNON 12/6/2010 9:26AM

    This is SO True!! I used to NEVER go outside except to get in the car. Now I notice how much better I fee--even on bitterly cold days--after I have been outside for a few minutes.
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Ways to fight the blah days - #4

Sunday, December 05, 2010

4. Reward yourself for how far you have come!

Sometimes when I examine why Mr. Blah emoticon showed up on my doorstep, I find that I have been skipping the important act of patting myself on the back with small, incremental rewards.

This is every bit as important in maintenance as it is while on a long weight-loss journey. Little things that make me feel special and dignified, and precious as a human being is part of what keeps me going.

Yesterday morning, I pulled out an old favorite in my box of "things to make Toddler Barbie feel treated". A very simple device... a wine flute. I poured my morning fruit juice (which happened to be grape) into the wine glass, and savored each sip with breakfast.

Dressing a meal up is one device. Lighting candles is another. Adding spices to my morning hot cereal. Savoring and appreciating each bite.

A reward doesn't have to be big. A pen, stickers to put on the calendar, a candle, even a notepad can be a reward to me... it's all in the attitude. It only has to be recognized as "I'm doing this because I'm worth it".

Have you rewarded yourself today? How?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PENNYAN45 12/6/2010 7:35PM

    Small rewards -- another great idea! Thanks!

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LINDAJOYWK 12/5/2010 3:33PM

    You are a pretty smart cookie!

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WALKINGANNIE 12/5/2010 12:14PM

    You're right on hand when I need good advice from one who knows the struggles and fixes.

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GOHUSKERS2 12/5/2010 11:38AM

    What great ideas! Thanks for sharing!

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KATHRYNLP 12/5/2010 8:54AM

    I totally agree.. and appreciate the Heads Up on something this important. Great Blog.. emoticon

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REJ7777 12/5/2010 8:51AM

    Pens and stickers! I love anything to do with writing, stationery, note pads, a real treat is a new pen! And stickers? I'm like a 5-year-old! (I'm glad to know I'm not the only one.) emoticon

I don't really use rewards, but I'm going to consider it. It's really challenging for me to get my 10,000 steps in. Just between us, I only got 1,008 steps in yesterday. emoticon Maybe giving myself a small short-term reward would be the added motivator I need.

Here's to taking care of ourselves, and rewards, just because we're worth it! emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 12/5/2010 8:44AM

    Good for you-- We all need to do thnat--little rewards to help us through the days which seem harder!!!Great ideas!--I enjoy yer comments that you postr alongside my Spark here--fun to read! emoticon

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ANG_LA 12/5/2010 8:25AM

    Cool...A little reward feels good too!
I like pedicures myself!


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MOONCHILD17 12/5/2010 8:22AM

    What wonderful ideas for little ways to treat yourself. I especially like the one about using a wine glass for juice. Instead of feeling "deprived" of a glass of wine, you can savor the juice! Thanks for the ideas!

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Ways to fight the blah days - #3

Saturday, December 04, 2010

3. Get by with a little help from your friends - Spark and real life

Seriously, how often have you been having a "blah" day when you read a Spark blog, success story, or message board post that bucked you up? How often has some little thing a friend said brought you out of a funk?

One day it might be reading a post that makes me laugh. Another it might be an inspiring story. Or my walking buddy at work will stop by (or I'll stop by her cube) at break time and say, "are you ready?"

Any little thing that enables me to go through the motions of getting lunch together, or taking a walk... can turn into keeping a promise to myself (#1)... and before I know it... another "good" day is in the books.

Again, I say, "Take THAT, Mr. Blah!"

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 12/4/2010 9:23PM

    Here's to our friends - what would do without them?

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REJ7777 12/4/2010 12:12PM

    My two greatest motivators are my sister (walking buddy) and SparkPeople. I don't think that I'd have made it this far without her/your support. And I count on that support to continue! The support of friends is vital, and I totally agree with your blog! emoticon emoticon

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PENNYAN45 12/4/2010 8:26AM

    Using Spark to beat the blah day is one of my BEST strategies.

You are SO right about this one!!

We help each other -- all the time!!

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LEANJEAN6 12/4/2010 6:54AM

    --- Good for you to keep going---- Everyday routine leads to you acheiving your goal--Keep it up girl! emoticon

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Ways to fight the blah days - #2

Friday, December 03, 2010

2. Kick Polly Perfectionist out of your inner circle!

The holidays, especially, are full of expectations and "should"s. If I keep too high a set of expectations, it merely sets me up for disappointment, and a sense of failure.

And we all know where feeling blue or like a failure leads... well, at least for some of us! To the pantry or the 'fridge! And the couch. The "why try?" mind set kicks in.

So, as counter-intuitive as it sounds, cut yourself a break: give yourself permission to "fail", i.e. not meet all of Polly's expectations! What a concept!

Anyway, it works for me. Usually, when I kick Polly out, my friend Betty Balance shows up, and I manage to have a lot of fun and feel good about it. I may not make "perfect" choices, but I make better choices that I would under the influence of the "why try?"

Is Polly Perfectionist managing YOUR holidays?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 12/3/2010 7:27PM

    No, Polly Perfectionist is NOT managing my holidays. I don't want Rebellious Roxy to manage them either. Betty Balance is welcome to any holiday meal! She's a great SparkFriend!

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 12/3/2010 7:18PM

    Polly has left the building.

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WALKINGANNIE 12/3/2010 3:37PM

    You seem to be my life coach this week. Thank you.

Polly is my longstanding frenemy but I think I'm beginning to get to know Betty Balance a bit better.


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BUGGYS 12/3/2010 12:00PM

    Polly Perfect left a long, long time ago!!! emoticon

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FITAT50 12/3/2010 10:43AM

    Betty where are you???

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ANDI571 12/3/2010 9:13AM

    Polly Perfectionist came for a visit and I kicked her out. Get this, I enjoyed the cookies I baked, and the scale was down this morning. Betty Balance must have taken over.

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CONCHA77 12/3/2010 8:23AM

    Balance, Balance, Balance! I can do this! emoticon

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PENNYAN45 12/3/2010 8:16AM

    Excellent suggestion! Get rid of that 'all or nothing' mentality. Become a friend of Betty Balance.

Thanks for another good one!

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Ways to fight the blah days - #1

Thursday, December 02, 2010

1. Keep a promise to yourself.

Yesterday evening I dutifully did my end of week 2 progress test on the six week programs one hundred pushups and two hundred situps. This constitutes keeping a promise to myself. I find this is one of the most powerful motivators there is: just keep one small promise. Doesn't have to be a big thing... but I do have to recognize that I did it!

emoticon 27, count 'em, 27 full body push-ups! emoticon Only got to get 28 to max the APFT test on New Year's (for a 58 year old female).

emoticon 13 oh my goodness I don't believe I did this... full military style sit-ups! This was the first time since the initial test I did full sit-ups, the training has all been crunches. This result surprised me. I have four weeks to get to 27! I'm thrilled with this progress, so far.

Take that, Blah! emoticon emoticon

So... what promise to yourself have you kept today? If you haven't kept one yet... try it... something little... and relish how good you feel!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PENNYAN45 12/2/2010 8:49PM

    I'm so glad you are giving these tips right now. I can really use them.
This is SO HELPFUL!!

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WALKINGANNIE 12/2/2010 3:57PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon oh Wise One (KidsMom)

You caught my mood and helped me to firm up the solution.

I am keeping my stepping promise and feel better already.


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BUGGYS 12/2/2010 10:41AM

    I have to learn to keep the promises that I make to myself!!! Today I will make a promise and I'll make it stick!!! Thanks! emoticon emoticon

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 12/2/2010 9:09AM

    You're a better woman than this soon to be 57 year old! But you inspire me to try. emoticon

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QUADCMOM 12/2/2010 8:29AM

    Great job and a great idea. I'll make a promise to myself today.

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CONCHA77 12/2/2010 7:56AM

    That is some great advice, one promise to myself each day! I WILL make myself a promise today.Thanks.

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TEACHINMOM 12/2/2010 7:54AM

    emoticon!! Today could be one of those days for me...........after reading your blog, I will fight it!! THANKS!!

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REJ7777 12/2/2010 7:50AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

That's a great tip! I always feel great when I keep a promise to myself, but I'd never really thought about it. This is going into my weight-loss tips! emoticon

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