Tag Archives: Stress

Stress and Gratitude

Have you ever had one of those weeks in which you’re counting down the minutes to Friday and looking forward to the fun things you’re going to do over the weekend? Well, that was me…last week…until my plans for a relaxing, long weekend with people who matter to me were cancelled. Thankfully, I was able to recharge on Monday. (Can we just talk about how much I love long weekends?)

Windblown after a day at the beach

The last few several weeks have been stressful. I’ve had some amazing moments, but it also feels like I’m carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. Mom is doing so much better than she was physically, but it’s still hard not to worry about her. She’s recovering though, which is the most important thing to me right now. I’m so thankful for that.

Last week I just didn’t feel rested. This week was better, but I’m still fighting to get back to my regular energy level. I typically sleep like a champ, but I’ve been restless a lot over the last few nights. Last week I was completely worn out. This week has been better, but I still don’t feel 100%.

I know that my weight is affecting the way my body feels. That’s obvious, but I want to change that. I need to change that. 

The air conditioning has been out at work since April, and I’m taking on some challenges that simultaneously excite me and scare me.  I have had a few moments in which I felt like crying and/or curling up in a ball, but as stressed as I’ve felt at some points, I’ve also experienced some awesome moments.

East Jefferson YMCAIf you keep up with me on social media you may know that I work at the YMCA. I do membership stuff and marketing things, which gives me an opportunity to reach the community in ways that are new and exciting for me. And right now we’re halfway through an 8-week painting class that I coordinated for children with special needs, and it brings me so much joy to see those kiddos enjoying themselves each week. Some of them are so talented that it would be hard to convey without just showing you. Maybe I’ll share some photos from our upcoming art gallery.

I’m also working on another project (the one that is challenging and slightly terrifying.) It’s not something I’m ready to discuss here yet, but the point is that work is good. I’m happier than I knew I could be in an office environment, and I’ll be much happier when I go in on Monday and the a/c works again. (I mean, it’s Summer in New Orleans.) My boss and I joked that we’re bringing our jackets because we’re going to freeze ourselves out.

It’s also an exciting month because my sister and nieces will be here in a few weeks. Auntie has  a long list of activities planned, so I definitely have to get energized before they arrive.

I’ve been pretty lazy with my exercise routine lately, so I’m starting TRX workouts next week with a few friends from work. I’m not sure what to expect, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with a trainer before I leave work.

I’m also sleeping more than I ever have. I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I require 7 to 8 hours of sleep now. I’m okay with that, but I know it will be a lot more beneficial if I release the stress that’s been lingering and spend more time exercising.

Hydro FlaskDrinking water also helped a lot lately. I still felt run down, but I felt much more alive than I did the week prior. I’ve committed to drinking more water, and I’m guessing that will help as well. I still don’t drink sodas, and I only drink coffee a few times a week. I just stopped consuming a gallon of water a day until I purchased my new Hydro Flask. It’s 32 oz, so I only need to fill it up 4 times to reach my daily goal. And I love the fact that it keeps the water cold all day! My sister gave me an 18 oz Hydro Flask a few years ago, and after losing it, I considered buying this one. I seriously wanted for about a year, and now I take it everywhere with me. I even brought it into Whole Foods today where I had lunch with my friend, Michelle. Wow, I suppose it would be an understatement to say that I’m stoked about my water bottle. Sometimes it’s the little things. Ha.

Now I’m back to recognizing my lack of self-discipline and trying to remind myself how much better I’ll feel a month from now…three months from now…if exercise is a part of my daily routine.

Today I’m going to stick to the basics and use one of my favorite workout DVD’s for motivation. 30-Day Shred used to bey go-to, and now that a certain someone has connected my DVD player, it’s on. It’s the quickest workout I do, but it also works every part of my body. I can handle  27 minutes of circuits even though I don’t feel like it.

Am I the only one who’s tired of being tired right now? I don’t know if anyone actually reads the things I write anymore, but I’m guessing that I’m not the only one who needs to work on consistency in my intake and exercise.

Maybe I’ll have some positive things to report soon…

 

 

 

 

My Mom Had A Stroke (Actually, She Had Two)

The last seven days have been the most terrifying of my life. Mom flew in one day after I did, and when she arrived I told her that we needed to go to the Emergency Room. The right side of her face was droopy, and she was having a hard time saying her words. She refused to go.

She lost her job (and healthcare benefits last year) and has looked all over to find work. She’s approaching her mid-sixties, and even with her incredible work background and education she hasn’t found work. She was willing to do things way beneath her level of expertise, but she lives in a very small, oppressive area where life has been hard over the last year.

My mom carries the stress of her family on her shoulders. She’s the strongest person I know, but she’s tired. My aunt Debbie has been incredibly sick for over a year, and before that her granddaughter was fighting cancer. Mom cares about them and worries about them. She’s been under a lot of pressure, though who knows if that’s why she had the stroke?

A couple days after refusing to go to the ER, my aunt called me and urged me to convince her. I left work knowing that Mom would protest, but this time she didn’t. She knew things were getting worse, so I met her at the ER.

The next several days were rough. My sister caught the next flight out when I texted her that Mom’s CT scan showed that he did, in fact, have a stroke. (Mom assumed it was Bell’s Palsy.) She spent that night at her local hospital, and they released her. Before she arrived at home, which is only a few minutes away, my sister brought her back to the ER because she couldn’t lift her arm and leg. She had experienced another stroke.

At that point they sent her to a hospital near my home in New Orleans. She went through several tests, and they confirmed that she had a blog clot in her brain. It’s really small, so the doctor prescribed meds that should dissolve it over the next few weeks.

My sister and I brought her home last night, and she seems much better than she did when she entered the hospital. She had two strokes in one week though, which makes the risk much higher that she’ll have another one over the next few weeks. They gave her a pretty strong dose of medicine, which should (hopefully) counteract that.

I know that God is in complete control of this situation (and that He’s here in spite of my fears.) I just want Mom to be okay, and I am praying and believing that she will be.

My sister goes home tomorrow, which means that I’ll spend as much time with Mom as possible. I’ve missed several days of work, which I wouldn’t change for a minute. I just want to be sure that she’s okay too.

I’ve never been so scared in my life. I wish I could say that I wasn’t worried at all, but I’m human…and I’m trying to have faith. I’ve felt a lot of peace, which seems like enough.

We’ve been surrounded, supported and uplifted by people who love us and were willing to put that love into action this week, and I’m so utterly thankful for that. If you’re a person who prayers please pray for my family, especially for Mom.

 

Spending Too Much Time at Starbucks

Just kidding.

I don’t think it’s possible to spend too much time at Starbucks.  Summer classes started Monday, and I’ve already completed a homework assignment!  Summer moves quickly because the sessions are short, and doing homework and completing other projects is more fun at Starbucks than it is at home because it’s far from isolated.

Kenlie at Starbucks

One of the classes that I’m taking right now required me to do a stress assessment.  I had to answer questions about my sleep patterns and do an inventory of  major life changes that I’ve experienced over the last year (ex. death of a spouse, relocation, change in social activities, etc.) I haven’t experienced many major life changes in the last year, which makes me extraordinarily thankful after the changes I experienced in years prior.

I also had to list 10 stressors, and it was difficult to do that.  I came up with several though – my current weight, relationship/lack of, aggravating people, etc.  Making that list reminded me again how thankful I am for me life, but it also helped me recognize that the things I stress about affect me in a variety of ways.  My weight affects me mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.

The fact that I’m still obese…still not in control of my weight…makes me feel like a failure, but there’s a solution.  There’s always a solution, right?  For me, it starts by not making excuses.  I’m pretty good about owning up to the fact that I suck when it comes to losing weight.  Kudos to me for not blaming anyone or anything else, but taking responsibility means more than admitting that I”m wrong.

I have to do some cognitive restructuring, which simply means that I need to change the way I think.  (Easier said that done, or is it?)

I’m excited about this class because it seems like it might become one that leads to positive life changes.  I have a few close friends in this class, and they feel the way I feel about it as well.

 

Final Exams, Stress and Procrastination

I’ve been under a lot of stress during the last 24 hours or so, and I feel like whining today.

In addition to the stress I’ve been facing, I have final exams this week and next week, and while I’m not fully prepared for them yet, I am so ready for this semester to be over.  I usually love school, but if you read my blog, you may be aware that this semester has been killer.

I’m in school full-time, and there’s only really one class that I don’t despise.  Ha.  I’ve procrastinated more than ever this semester, and I’ve spent most of my time having a nonchalant attitude about my course work.  My grades matter to me, but I haven’t done my best.  I’ve been lazy with my school work, and I’m hoping that I can make it through at least semi-successfully in spite of that.

Am I the only one who procrastinates when I can’t stand something?