Are You Choosing To Be Stressed?

My PlanI know, you’re probably thinking, WTH? Why would I CHOOSE to be stressed? Trust me, it’s not as weird as it sounds…and even if you are choosing to be stressed, the good news is you can totally hit delete on it.

I had been feeling stressed out and anxious for days because of the craziness I had ahead of me this week. My daughter was starting Driver’s Ed classes (which happen to be an hour away) and as part of that, we have to schedule driving and observing times with the instructor in addition to the 6 hours of class time. She has either softball practice or a game four days out of five, and she’s going to prom on Friday. There are accessories to choose, flowers to pick up, dress fittings to attend, and hair to be done…it’s a lot! If you’re a mom reading this, I know you feel me.

The first thought I had when I woke up this morning (before the panic had a chance to set in) was, I don’t WANT to be stressed. I want to enjoy helping Kaelin get ready for, and then seeing her off to prom. I want to savor my last several weeks of talking with her in the car as I drive her around to a million different activities before she gets her license and becomes a lot more independent. But as I laid in bed this morning running through the day’s activities in my head, I had to admit that on some level, I was choosing to be stressed out about all of it.

I had to ask myself, what was I actually stressed about? And what could I do about it?

It basically came down to me feeling overwhelmed simply because I had added more to my plate on top of what was already a little too much. And I realized there were three things I could do to overcome the overwhelm and reduce the stress:

  1. Cut myself some slack.
  2. ASK FOR HELP (yep, all caps on that one).
  3. Accept that no one’s going to die if some of the usual things don’t get done perfectly (or even at all) this week.

As women, it can be so hard to let go of the idea we should be able to do it all and exude this peaceful, serene energy that tells the world, I’ve got this, but the truth is, we don’t ‘got this.’  We can either try to make our to-do lists a mile long and drive ourselves crazy trying to tick off every last item, or we can let some things go and have some semblance of mental energy to not just get through the day, but actually enjoy it. Option two gets my vote.

 

Blessings, Love & Light,

Christy

P.S. If you’re looking for a supportive community of women to connect with, I invite you to join my FREE, private Facebook group! We share ideas on self-care, self-love, how to add more joy to your life, and be the happiest, hottest, healthiest version of YOU! Join us!

Healing and Telling The Truth

lightbulbIt’s funny how gradually things can change. So much so that you hardly even notice it until you wake up one day and you realize you’re not the person you used to be. Low-level functioning becomes your new normal, and you think, maybe this is just what being in your forties feels like
 
That’s how it went down for me. I was exhausted all day long and could barely function, but then at bed time, my mind would start racing and it would take an hour or more to fall asleep. I would wake frequently throughout the night–sometimes for 3-4 hours at a time, and again be worn out when the alarm went off. I had no interest in doing things I used to love…the amount of energy it would take just to get ready made it too much of an ordeal. I felt lonely, isolated, irritable, anxious, moody, and was in a constant brain fog. Napping and a fitful night of sleep was the only break I had from joint pain and an upset stomach. I knew something was seriously wrong when after period of months of working out twice a day and eating just 1500 calories, I just kept gaining weight. 
 
To say I was frustrated doesn’t even begin to cover the range of emotions I experienced. I had reached a point where I knew deep down that my body wasn’t functioning properly, and I needed help, but I didn’t know what I needed, exactly. So, as most of us do, I went to see my family practitioner…who proceeded to tell me I was depressed and recommended a prescription for Prozac. Um…no.
 
I have nothing against the use of antidepressants when necessary. After the birth of my youngest daughter I had some major complications, was severely depressed for the first year of her life, and used medication for about a year after to get me through that difficult time. I knew that my current situation was different, and felt that my doctor was too quick to dismiss my symptoms and whip out her prescription pad without taking the time to figure out the issues behind the symptoms. 
 
Sometimes you have to be your own advocate. So, I went home and did hours of research on my symptoms, weeding through countless articles and journals, and ultimately decided to see a functional medical doctor. Through a series of events I can only describe as divine intervention, I was referred to a nearby practitioner, and I can’t tell you what a life-changer that referral has been for me. To make a very long story short, I was diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue,  Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Estrogen Dominance. I felt overwhelmed and relieved at the same time. To know that I wasn’t crazy, and that how I felt didn’t have to be my new normal was empowering, but it also seemed like a lot to ‘fix.’ I’m happy to report though, that after five months of working with my doctor, I’ve already seen a 75% reduction in my symptoms. I’m sleeping at night, I’m able to get through most days without a nap, My pain and stomach issues have dissipated, I’m motivated to get out and do things and see people again–I feel more like ME.
 
Here’s the hard part…where I really have to tell the truth: This health crisis was probably 10-15 years in the making (if I’m honest) and it really forced me to take a hard look at how I was showing up in my own life, and reevaluate how I was living. I was not at all practicing what I preach. I had a very narrow vision of what it meant to be healthy. For so long I was fixated on losing weight to a very unhealthy degree. I ignored how I felt and resisted the rest my body was begging me for. I thought I just needed to work more, push harder. I tried to be all things to all people without regard to whether I even wanted to or not. I invested little time in self-care, stress relief, and feeding my heart and soul–all things that would’ve made me healthier from the inside out. 
 
I wasted a lot of energy on things that didn’t really matter at the end of the day. But I’m a firm believer in looking for the lesson in the challenges we’re presented with, and the lesson I’ve learned through all of this is that I can’t continue to put myself last. I can’t spend a minute more of my life trying to live up to anyone else’s standards. The only standard that matters is mine. The only things worth giving my energy to are loving myself, treating myself with kindness, and finding all the happiness and joy that I can because if I can just do that, everything else will be peachy. 
In the comments, I’d love to hear about the lessons you’ve learned through some of the challenges you’ve faced. Something that you’ve been through might be the a-ha moment someone else needs to read.
Blessings, Love, & Light,
Christy
P.S. If you’re looking for a supportive community of women to connect with, I invite you to join my FREE, private Facebook group! We share ideas on self-care, self-love, how to add more joy to your life, and be the happiest, hottest, healthiest version of YOU! Join us!