“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.” – Brené Brown
As humans, we gravitate toward stories. We love stories for their beginning, middle and end, a perfect succession of past, present and future.
We love stories because of the rise after the fall. We fervently listen to the hero’s tale of fighting, overcoming, then saving the world and going on to rescue humanity with their lessons learned. We attach strings of our own truth, heartaches and struggles to the characters we read. We think, me too! and when they win, if they can, so can I.
I started my blog out this way. Writing buoyed me as I waded and swam through my eating disorder recovery. It saw me through to my win and beyond, looking down over the debris of a battle fought and won.
But here’s a thing about stories–they are never really over until we are gone, our earthly shells reduced to sprinkles of dust under the hard ground. Life is a series of ups and downs, challenges and changes–this we know well.
But for a while I was speeding along too fast to see the next hurdle in my path.
I am going to be painfully honest here. I’ve gone back and forth about this post for about two months now, after taking a break from writing because the words just wouldn’t come. I needed to pause, I needed to start the healing process. But the more I open up to my closest confidants, the more I have found this truth still stands: we are not alone in the struggle.
So remember this please, when I share my story with you.
As promised, part two is here. Read on to find tips on managing anxiety and times of high stress. This holiday season, set aside time for self-care and time to relax so you can enter the new year rejuvenated and ready to go.
Fuel Your Body
During bouts of anxiety, what you eat can help level your mood and energy levels. Some may experience a loss of appetite while others may be hit with salty or sweet cravings–be mindful of what your body is calling out for.
Nourish your body and soul with healthful foods: brightly colored veggies for a variety of vitamins, warm and soothing soups, and even some dark chocolate (which may aid in boosting serotonin levels).
All the Teas
So this part sucks for us coffee lovers–caffeiene serves only to intensify feelings of anxiety. I’ve found it best to avoid it entirely when I’m feeling out of sorts. (I know. I never thought I’d say that. Ugh.)
Instead? All. The. Tea!
Keep a variety of your favorites on hand. Some of my go-tos include Yogi Tea’s Sleep Honey Lavender Stress Relief, St. Johns Wort Blues Away, and Bedtime. My dear friend Lauren also introduced me to Aveda Calm tea–I drink this staple both morning and night.
Still want your cup o’ joe? Learn to be okay with asking for decaf, if only for a while.
It is no secret I’ve been working through flares of anxiety lately. While my support team has been quick to swoop in and I’ve taken time for self-care, I relied heavily on tips from others who’ve also shared my experience including dear friends and my wonderful doc.
Since the holidays can often shake up a bittersweet cocktail of emotions, I decided to share some coping tips I’ve learned over time with you all. Managing anxiety is possible. It just requires you to step back a bit and take time for yourself and your process. Let’s dig in, shall we?
Here we go, part one of my 10 ways to ease anxiety, naturally:
OK. I am going to be brutally honest here– This. Past. Month. Was. Hard.
It was a challenge in a different sort of way. Life was bumbling forward as usual, and then bam. I was knocked out. Well, down. Down in my bed, that is.
Several weeks of pure exhaustion swept in along with the kind of illness where you know something is wrong but you can’t exactly place your finger on what.
With no prescribed cure, and no real idea of what was going on, there was only one thing left for me to do: rest.
But how do you slow down when the world says speed up?
Cliché I know, but there are few better feelings than crossing the finish line– the swell of emotions, the excitement, relief. Tears (naturally) for me, a cold beer (Anchor Steam) presented to me by my sister.
Sweat dried in salty rivers around my face, white Lulu tank soaked through. Cold, but not, and buzzing with adrenalin, endorphin-charged high. Stoke level 100.
Post-shower (me) with my two faves. What champs! They ran 26.2 miles & look amazing.
A smile unfading despite feeling the sudden tightness in my quads, twinge in my knees, the throb in my Achilles.
This year’s SF Half Marathon coincidentally fell on the same weekend as my apartment move. Packing and shuffling boxes combined with race prep and a friend’s visit to run with us meant struggling with the balancing act– but somehow we made it all happen.
(I’m not kidding when I say I get by with
a little a shoot ton of help from my friends.)