Forget Stress, Let’s Have Fun

Have you noticed an increase in your stress levels lately? I feel like everyone I talk to lately (myself included, yes, I talk to myself) has been under extra stress lately. I know, I know, Mercury is in Retrograde, so most of our lives have turned into 3-ring circuses with too many monkeys.

This was supposed to be a post advocating for meditation during stressful times like these. It was just a real slog to write. I absolutely believe in the one two punch of meditation and exercise to beat stress. Good stuff!

But you know what? Sometimes the only cure for high stress is having a little bit of fun. Life’s too short to be serious all the time.

So for my fun for the day, I’m going to sing and dance my heart out to my current favorite song. We’re talking total abandon, good thing nobody’s watching, all in. Take that, Mercury Retrograde!

What about you? How do you want to have a bit of fun today?

 

 

 

 

 

Who Are You Racing Against?

My plan to stay motivated is working so far. I got up and did my week 11 day 2 run at 6:30 this morning. Right from the start, this was a very different beast from Sunday’s run. There was more wind for one thing, and I got slowed down in multiple places trying to cross busy […]

10K- Hooray!

    Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. -Arthur Ashe I had a simple running goal for this year: I wanted to run an 8K before Eternal Winter returned. Imagine my surprise when that turned out to be pretty easy for me. Well, maybe not easy, but I got […]

Goodnight Cellphone

cellphones-98632_1280

It’s been a little while since I decided to turn off email notifications on my phone. I expected it would be hard to adjust to after so many years of using them, but I loved it right away.

In fact, I loved it so much that I’ve started to rethink my phone use in general.

I was a late adopter of both cellphones and smartphones. I have nothing against them, in fact, I’d be lost without my phone these days, but I was reluctant to be reachable by anyone at any time.

It got to the point where I was gritting my teeth, or experiencing some other form of displeasure every time that little bell would chime. Then I would pick up my phone, read my email, and most of the time, respond right away. It could really interrupt the flow of my day sometimes.

I guess I just forgot that I had a choice about all that.

Lately, the freedom from email notifications hasn’t been enough for me. I want my phone to be available when I need it, when I want to connect with people near and far, and then I want to ignore it the rest of the time. I don’t want to be one of the people in these photos.*

I’ve been gradually using my phone less and less.

First, I put it on silent earlier in the evening and turned the sound on later in the morning. Then, I started turning it off earlier. I’m now at the point where I turn it off around 8:00 pm, and put it in another room.

For all intents and purposes, my phone has been banned from my bedroom.

I can’t even describe how awesome that has been for me. I feel like I have so much more time in the morning, and I’m much more relaxed and focused in the evening.

Sure, if there’s an emergency I’m unreachable (no landline). I’ve realized over the years that there’s probably nothing I could do anyway. I might as well get some bad news at 8 am instead of midnight.

This represents my phone's feelings about having to sleep so much. Sorry buddy, it's for my own good.
This represents my phone’s feelings about having to sleep so much. Sorry buddy, it’s for my own good.

I’m not alone, unplugging from technology regularly is becoming quite trendy.

Can you do it? What’s stopping you?


*I’m not trying to judge their choices, mind you. I have just found that the more I use my phone, especially when I’m around other people, the more unhappy and disconnected I feel.

 

A Running Slump

My dear friend, clear your mind of can’t. -Samuel Johnson This morning was the first time I’ve gone for a run in a week. I’ve been locked in a battle with my alarm clock (well, I would be if I used an actual alarm clock), and my run has been losing. I’m always amused by […]

My Disembodied Body

Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. -Khalil Gibran Remember last week when I wrote out a conversation between “me” and “my hip”? My hip was hurting on a recent run, and before accepting the pain and modifying my activity I disowned a piece of my own body. I do that […]

A Better, Perfecter Me

I have these moments sometimes where the “new” me is so close within my grasp I can almost reach up and touch her. Let’s call her “Finished Margaret”. Finished Margaret’s mindfulness practice is highly developed. She never dissolves into a stressball for up to 30 minutes (or longer!) before stepping out of the narrative and […]

A Fireman’s Daughter

I was planning to put up an ordinary post today. Full of adventures and anecdotes, my usual stuff. I can’t pretend that this date doesn’t mean something to me; I am choosing to acknowledge these feelings publicly.

I want to be clear here: this is a wellness blog, not a political one. I had no plans to ever write a post about 9/11. In fact, I have talked myself in to and out of and back in to writing this post about a gazillion times.

This morning though, I walked passed my neighborhood fire station and I saw all the tiny flags planted in the ground and I was moved. Because I am a fireman’s daughter.

It was a huge part of my identity when I was small. “My dad is a firefighter. He’s my hero*.” Man, did that get me a lot of juice boxes at the lunch table.

Those little flags reminded me of that pride, and they reminded me of the terror I used to feel at night when he was on duty and the phone would ring. They reminded me of how I felt as first responders died.

My dad doesn’t talk about his former job much. He never faced anything like that in my old home town, but he has alluded to a couple close calls.

I guess those flags really reminded me that I want to send love and appreciation to all the first responders out there (and while I’m at it, sanitation workers– they have a dangerous job and seldom get the appreciation and acknowledgement they deserve).


*I had many heroes, most of them fictional. My other real life hero was Eugenie Clark

However you feel about 9/11 and the events that followed, please keep it out of the comments to this post. Believe me, I am very opinionated about it all, but not here. Never here.

Eye of the Tiger, baby!

  A funny thing happened when I started tracking my runs with Strava: I started pushing myself harder. Funny how that works, isn’t it? I finally saw the full consequence of that little bit of extra push on my run this morning. This run. It’s another interval practice on my 10K trainer: run 15 minutes, […]