Writing this blog has made me realise how much my mood fluctuates on a daily basis. One day I’m happy as Larry, the luckiest girl in the world, the next I feel sad, like my world is going to end. I know us women have hormonal shifts each month to deal with but I do seem to be pretty excessive.
It got me to thinking about what I need to do in order for me to feel good on a daily basis. Obviously everybody is different, but for me, I need:
- to eat healthy, nutritious foods that also taste good
- to meditate twice a day
- to exercise
- to stretch
- to sleep well consistently
Most of the things on this list are within my control and I do 80 / 90% of the time. I eat healthily a lot of the time. I still fall short at the weekends sometimes and if I’m presented with something outside of my routine (say an unexpected cake is put in front of me) I still wobble. But most of the time, I eat well, I make an effort to cook my own food and I enjoy what I eat.
I meditate EVERY day without fail. Sometimes, if I am up early to train and I haven’t left myself enough time, I miss my morning session, but by and large I get my 2 sessions in a day. Mostly I don’t feel like I get very deep into the meditation and I’m not sure if it’s working but I do feel it if I miss it and I am convinced that it keeps my anxiety at a manageable level.
Exercise is another thing that I usually manage to do five days out of seven. It’s something that, even though I struggle getting myself out of the door (or down into my living room as it has been of recent months), I make myself do it because it is a part of my routine and I know I’ll feel better for doing it. I do get bored pretty easily though which is why I like to have a goal to aim for. The Insanity programmes worked well for me because I was accountable, I knew that I needed to show up five or six days a week or (in my eyes at least) I would fail the programme. Now that I have finished my latest programme I’m drifting a little bit. I need to set myself another goal or programme otherwise I’ll get despondent. Still, I am training regularly, even if it is a little half heartedly, and I know that I’ll find something else to hold my interest and I’ll be all guns a blazing again.
Stretching. This is a new one for me. I’ve realised after my little week away from training whilst I was on holiday, that my back really doesn’t do well with the high impact training that comes with the exercise that I like to do. Since I started back I’ve been really uncomfortable and last week it displaced into my ankle. I know that stretching is the answer, in fact after stretching for just one night, my ankle, which hurt to walk on, was fine for training again the next day. The thing is I don’t really like stretching. I know that incorporating a yoga session into my weekly training would be hugely beneficial, but I just don’t like yoga. I don’t know why, too boring, too slow, too hard – I have tried and tried with it but I just can’t stick it. I know that I need to do it though so I need to figure out a way where a good stretching / yoga class into my regime.
Sleep, ahh, this is the big one for me. Since I’ve had my daughter five year ago, I now know why sleep deprivation is used as a torture technique. It is a killer. I don’t think I’ve had a full week of sleep since she was born. Not all of it is her fault, I am prone to anxiety and I also find myself sitting up reading until all hours and then, my mind racing, am unable to sleep. If it’s not Grace (and she can’t help it if she has nightmares bless her) it’s of my own doing but I rarely sleep well consistently. When I haven’t slept right I feel absolutely terrible. After a couple of days of it I feel like I’m going to die. This, coupled with my aching back and regular monthly episode means that I am not always a bundle of laughs. I always know how blessed I am, just a lot of the time I am too irritable to show it.
I’ve started taking a daily Magnesium and B6 supplement which is meant to help with the PMS mood swings. I’m also trying to wind down before bed in an effort to get a better nights sleep. I need to be more consistent with that. I’m also going to force myself to do the stretching thing as often as I can because I know that the benefits will be huge, even if I am bored while I’m doing it.
I think identifying what I consistently need to do in order to remain balanced is half the battle. I am much improved since the new year, a work in progress, but I still have a ways to go. Still, I know that the scales are tipping in my favour and I’ll get there eventually.