Stress Test

Happy Friday!

Are you an anxious type? I am. I’d like to not be, but I cannot imagine being any other way. For some things, this personality is good. It’s suppose it’s hard to motivate yourself to write a book if you don’t wake up with your brain buzzing with dialogue. But for other things – like, pretty much everything else – it’s hard. I tend to only be relaxed when I’m writing, reading or watching garbage TV. Right now, 90 Day Fiancé is like Soma.

The medicine that I’m on for endometriosis/adenomyosis can trigger anxiety, yet does not pair well with anxiety relieving meds. Add to that the constant shifting of my vision as I go from no glasses to driving glasses to sunglasses – all with different prescriptions. I’ve developed highway driving anxiety from the LASIK guys giving me a card saying I’m fine to drive, but not explaining that the big old ablation on my eye from surgery might mess with my ability to merge. I’ve had a few close calls. They’ve filed down that cornea (true story), which has been a big improvement, but I’m still finding it hard to shoulder check (Jesus take the wheel!) Having to swivel my head like an owl every time I want to go somewhere does not a calming drive make. And did I mention I live in the middle of nowhere? The realtors keep positioning where I live as close to Toronto, but as a former Torontonian, it’s pretty, bloody far. I’m not even sure I can legitimately cheer for the Raptors. I’m so far west that the Warriors might be my natural NBA team.

I keep managing to wrestle the stress under control through a combination of magazine and beach read reading, working outside, and having baths. I also drown myself in essential oils and eat a calming diet. (The latest thing I read says that meat can cause anxiety since you absorb the cortisol of the animal. That sounds like a stretch, but I’ve yet to meet an anxious chickpea, so I’m staying as plant based as possible.) I’m in the city every chance I get since I’m one of the rare people who finds the sounds of sirens, streetcars, and traffic much more soothing that the ever-present sound of the suburban lawnmower. And beautiful things calm me down.

Isn’t this rose magnificent?
Wearing my Miraculous Medal helps.

I think that going back to school will help too. I recently had a french language assessment and I’m qualified to take my first level proficiency exam in spite of not having set foot in a classroom for 30 years. The assessment was surprisingly restful since my brain was so focused trying to conjugate futur proche that it could not think about anything else. So maybe there’s something in that. Learning things seems to calm me.

The best thing for my anxiety is always to realize I’m not alone. Sarah Wilson’s First, We Make the Beast Beautiful is a fabulous book about anxiety I read last year and I’ll probably re-read it this weekend. There are a lot of anxiety Instagrammers too (many style bloggers are anxious, so it’s a lot less grim that it sounds.) I’m glad we live in a world where people are more open about it.

Today is beautiful outside. The weather is supposed to be nice this weekend. I’ve started to read Jane Green’s newest: The Friends We Keep. Love it. The book starts at university in 1986, which resonates. Next up is The Castle on Sunset, recommended by Vanessa. I love classic Hollywood gossip. It’s hard to stress while reading.

What do you do to relax?

Xx

6 comments

  1. Nearly spit my drink out at ” never met an anxious chickpea”! Have noticed the exact same, funnily enough.
    Usually only big events give me anxiety, but after living through the second enormous fire in my life, I tried Reiki for trauma recovery which included much anxiety for a period.
    It was powerful, beyond powerful, causing me to deeply exhale and sigh repeatedly several times a day between treatments, which helped me move to firmer ground in fairly short order. Can not recommend it enough.
    Garbage television is my jam, too. Shuts my mind right off. Podcasts to fall asleep each night…feels like being read to and is calming.
    A. in London

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    • I’m sorry to hear you went through two fires – how unnerving. Fire can be so terrifying. I’m interested to hear your success with Reiki. I’ve only done a couple of session but should commit to a series of treatments. The Reiki practitioner is the one who first thought I might have endometriosis, which turned out to be the case. It sounds like Reiki worked beautifully for you. The main trauma program I’ve done is EMDR, which seemed to work well on the specific trauma (getting rid of my repeated nightmares and such), but the general anxiety persists and is activated by things like the eye surgery difficulties and the bumpy reno. I need to find ways to ground myself quickly (and with ways other than booking a trip or buying new shoes!) Thank you for sharing your experience! Xx

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  2. I have anxiety and have for quite some time. I have had other health issues that have come to the forefront and made the anxiety worse at times. Family situations can play into it at times as well.
    I have done acupuncture and felt that helped a lot.
    I do not like taking medication (this is a personal choice)–I have in the past and I do not like how I responded on them. Everyone is different.
    I do yoga and I try and walk outdoors. Kind of hard when it is the middle of winter (Midwest can get cold and snowy and icy).
    I love hummus (so no anxious chickpeas there).
    A program that I have found to be quite helpful is listening to Cognitive Behavioral CD (found on Amazon) that help relax. I also found one for Yoga Nidra (which is relaxation yoga).
    Taking Magnesium glycinate in the evening helps as well. There are many food items that have magnesium in them that you can take thru the day.

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    • Thank you for sharing your experiences and what has worked for you. It sounds like I need to try acupuncture. I swear by magnesium glycinate as well and I think it helps me sleep. I’m going to look at Amazon. Yoga nidra sounds promising. I used to have an amazing yoga instructor in the city who was so calming and would love to find that again. I hope you have a lovely weekend! Xx

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  3. I read and watching ASMR videos on YouTube to relax (but mostly read). I used to spend hours playing The Sims, too, when I was younger to relax and that worked a charm! I should think about starting to do that again and maybe download the latest version. Have you ever played it? You can literally lose HOURS to that game.

    Funny you should mention The Castle on Sunset because I *just* started reading it a couple nights ago! I’m on Part Two now and I’m freaking loving it so far. So much history associated with that building and the author breaks it down nicely for you. There’s a lot going on in the book, but because of the way Levy writes, the narrative is very easy to follow.

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend! xo

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    • I started to read Castle on your recommendation. Love it so far. My daughter likes The Sims as a study break. I’ll have to check it out. I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Looks like they’ve revised the forecast for slightly more sun. Let’s hope! Xx

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