Making Time for Yourself – Seeking Catharsis

Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is to let us fall apart emotionally and cry or whatever it takes to get the pent-up emotions/stress out!  This past week I have refused to let my emotions rule my moods/behaviors/choices but I can tell they are all bottled up and need to get out soon!

I have not been having normal rest at night, I can feel my digestive/intestinal track is not functioning properly and I have been having a few headaches and I can feel tightness in my jaw.   This weekend I am going to try a combination of extra exercise and allowing my emotions to come to the surface and cry over spilled milk even!

I had a wonderful massage Wednesday which was the first time I have had a hard time trying to focus on relaxing.  I had to fight my mind, which was a first during a massage.  My massage therapist said she could feel me relaxing then suddenly tense up during the massage.  That was exactly what was happening!

With all the stress at work and in other areas of my life, it is time for an emotional catharsis.  Catharsis (from the Greek κάθαρσις katharsis meaning “purification” or “cleansing”) is the purification and purgation of emotions—especially pity and fear—through art or to any extreme change in emotion that results in renewal and restoration.

I thought last night the emotions would come, they did not.  Saturday, I went and got a much-needed pedicure.  The pedicurist told me several times to relax.  That was one of the very few times I had to be told to relax for a pedicure!!  Maybe, this evening, maybe the emotions will come to the surface.

The outpouring of emotions did not come last night either.  Maybe I have already mourned little by little over time.  I know me and I usually have a big outburst of emotions, tears, etc.  But not this time, I feel sad but not maudlin.  I feel angry but not enraged.    I would call it a controlled anger.  I am not driven to scream, cry or eat.  My sinuses are happy about the not crying part, it always messes them up for days and causes an influx of headaches.

I went to the gym again today and tried to channel whatever I was feeling or not feeling into the pedals, footpads and weights.  I must not have channeled well enough or maybe I succeeded in channeling everything as I came away from the gym not feeling an excited burst of energy/accomplishment but instead feeling calm and tired.

Tomorrow I meet the trainers at 7:00 a.m. so I didn’t over-do it at the gym today since I do not know what they will have in store for me in the morning.  Once I get a feel for the workouts they want me to do, I will be better able to switch up what I do on my own.

I might not have had the catharsis that I was planning on or hoping for this weekend, but my sleep/rest is better and that is one thing I was hoping to accomplish.  Not going to stress out over it, in time things will happen as they are meant to happen.

habits 2

 

Challenging Ourselves

This week has been extremely stressful at work as some are facing layoffs and we do not know who “those” are at this time.  I have felt my energy has been zapped and not what it could me.  My sleeping patterns have not been regular for a few days.  So I am feeling “stressed” and trying to work through my stress without turning to food for comfort.

Today I had a day of weight assessments with my trainers.  I had pre-tested myself on some machines a couple of weeks ago and felt my upper body strength and lower body strength had really deteriorated since my last regular gym visits four years ago.  I wasn’t looking forward to the trainer’s assessments and have to face the realities of  not only being four years older but my body having been neglected for four years.  It is true, if you do not use it, you will lose it!

When I had pre-tested myself I was only able to chess press about 30 lbs. but today I maxed out at 65 lbs.  I was very proud of myself to say the least!  With the leg press a couple of weeks ago, I felt that 70 lbs. was the entire weight of the world but today I was able to press 195 lbs.  Another victory for me!

With all the stress this week, I was looking forward to channeling all that toward my weight assessments today and I did!  I felt great when I finished them and thought about the wonderful massage that I had scheduled weeks ago for this evening.

I have been very much focused on not turning to food during this stressful period.  I have been successful and even had 2 of my daily point allotment left yesterday when I went to bed.  Each day is self-contained, as is each meal and each snack.  All are opportunities to make wise choices.

I feel often we “give up” or turn to food in times of great stress because we do not know what else to do.  We have gotten into the habit of “eating” our emotions.  After eating our emotions we experience a great deal of guilt.  So why do we go there again and again?  Haven’t we heard time and time again if we want a different outcome we have to do something different from what we have been doing?

Today getting to the gym and focusing all my energy/strength and stress on lifting those weights was the perfect release for me.  I do not control what decisions will be made at work about layoffs but I can and do control what put into my mouth and the amount I move my body.

Remember control the things you can and challenge yourself even when you think you can’t do it, just do it!

Stress 6

Making Healthy Choices (Decisions)

There are three things we have to change in order to become healthier:  the way we eat, the way we move and the way we think.

The Way We Eat

Changing the way we eat can be challenging not only in our choices of foods but the quantity of food we eat.  You can have too much of even a good thing.  We have to find out what reasonable serving portions are; this might require us to weigh and measure or food to be more accurate in what we are consuming.   What we “think” is one cup in reality might be two or even only a half of a cup.  A good digital food scale, a set of measuring cups and a set of measuring spoons are your friends!  Don’t guess, measure!  I measure my meats on the food scale to assure I am getting a serving and not a double mega serving.

The Way We Move

Learn how to make wiser substitutions for the foods you love.  For example, if you love French fries, try making your own at home by using fresh potatoes, slicing them into “fries”, baking them, which eliminates most of the fat in their preparation and adding your own seasonings.  Sound to simple?  It is easy to make substitutions when you take time to think and plan out your meals and snacks.  Having fresh fruit on hand for snacks is another good way to make better choices instead of eating a box of  chocolate cake rolls or a family-sized bag of barbecued potato chips!  Veggie chips with a low-fat or fat-free dip is another way of getting your crunch without all the extra fat and calories.

Learning to move more can be a tougher to accomplish.  Many of us have sedentary jobs and need to find ways to add movement to our days.  It is suggested for every hour you sit at a desk or computer you should get up and move around five minutes.  This is not only gives you movement but helps improve your focus and concentration!  A win win!  I have found that doing stretches while sitting at my desk is a great way to help increase flexibility and a great stress reliever too!   When shopping try to park away from the store and take a few extra steps that way.  You will probably also decrease the number of times someone will slam their door into your car and add an extra ‘dimple’ to the paint job too!

 The Way We Think

The toughest and most important is changing the way we think.  The way we think about food, movement and ourselves all have to change for us to be successful!  We must admit that we have issues with food choices and portion control.  We must admit that our lack of movement is not contributing to a healthy lifestyle.  We must admit that these changes will require effort and we MUST accept that we are WORTH the effort!! Old negative thoughts and self-talk must now be replaced with positive affirmations, such as:  I am worth it, I love my body and must cherish it, I can make wise food choices, my body loves to move, etc.

If we are not good to ourselves, how can we expect others to be?  

Wisdom 17