Like: My stress management skills TOTALLY SUCK a lot of the time. Funny how easy it is to think you've got a handle on stress management when you are not actually experiencing any stress.
But on the bright side:
1. Rick Hanson's Foundations of Well-Being Program is starting tomorrow, Tuesday the 7th! So if you've been dithering and want to get in at the very beginning, now is a great time to sign up.
(Disclosure: I get a commission if you do it by clicking here).
2. Some of the stuff I've learned over the years about handling stress is actually helping a lot.
3. I have still more tools that could be helping if I would just f--cking USE THEM. Many of these I was actually making progress with, but now that they'd be particularly useful: Hello?!?!
But we'll see, I'm hoping a whole new turbo-charged "phase two" of emotional self-regulation is about to kick in.
So here's what's on the table; I'll be curious what you guys lean on when you need to get through challenging times.
Stress Management Techniques that Are Kicking Ass:
This is a fitness blog, so I know I'm preachin' to the choir here, right? I'm swimming and trying to remember to stretch, and doing a very minimal amount of resistance training (but there are extenuating circumstances around equipment and injuries so I'm not stressing about how little I'm doing).
And there's walking. Three cheers for walking!
2. Reaching Out
I'm talking more with family members than I have in years; I'm emailing and chatting with friends, my beloved wife and I are in texting, emailing, and calling, and I'm cherishing every blog comment from the lovely folks who come here. You guys really are great friends even if you manifest only in pixels on the interwebs. I DO know you're out there and appreciate it so much!
3. Maintaining Comforting Routines
One of the first things I did was round up familiar foods, which, given my weird dietary proclivities involved trips to many different locations.
And it's been important to at least touch base with the blog, and schedule appointments with coaching clients, and see some of my favorite TV shows even though I had to cheat on my gal and watch some without her. Sorry honey!
4. Humor Even if its Kinda Dark and Weird
5. Using The Whole Woo-Woo Personal Growth Framework to View Things in a More Positive Light
When life gets unpredictable, we are sometimes called to move out of our comfort zones. Regular readers know that I adore my comfort zone, where it's all safe and warm and lovely, and, well, comfortable.
But it's kinda good to discover that crappy things can at least lead to new coping skills, right?
For example, I am an introverted person, a hater-of-difficult-phone-calls, a reluctant flyer, a skittish driver (the Lobster does all the hard stuff), a procrastinator and ditherer and avoider of all that is unpleasant. And yet here I am challenging myself on all fronts! And nothing disastrous is happening due to my lack of skills or confidence. It reduces my stress to feel like I am I doing things, whether they are ultimately helpful or not.
And I find I'm getting better at things that I think of myself as bad at. It's even kind of empowering! Um, just like all those annoying self-improvement people say it can be.
Good thing I packed the firearms and a rowboat!
And the whole gratitude thing? That makes a huge difference! Even the shittiest events can often yield opportunities for gratitude. I'll refrain from a long list, but believe me, there is one.
6. Prioritizing The Important Stuff And Cutting Myself Major Slack on Everything Else
I won't belabor this, but just as an example, you should see the size of my poor gmail inbox. I keep expecting it to explode and start spewing its contents out of all the ports on my computer.
Stress Management Techniques that Are Great in Theory That I Seem to be Blowing Off Entirely:
Getting Enough Sleep
Meditation or Practicing Mindfulness
Abstaining from Unproductive Thoughts
So, does anyone notice the major difference between items in the first list and the second list?
Yep, the first list are all things to do that require ACTIVITY, whether mental or physical. This I can handle.
The second list is full of things that require NOT DOING: resting, restraining, chilling, or otherwise exercising patience. This has seemed way too fucking hard. Almost like I can't help it. Right now, my mind and body want to race, not rest.
Really though, I do know I have a choice--and I'm not exercising it because I just don't feel like it.
I LOVE thinking, analyzing, having imaginary conversations in which I say all the right things, visualizing outcomes that are wonderful in all possible ways.
So I'm hoping that today starts a new phase, of working a bit harder on the "inside" stuff and not just the "outside" stuff. I think maybe I'm ready? Stay tuned!
BTW, Thank You All So Much!!!