One thing I have noticed while living in my own skin is that when I am stressed I have a tendency to not move a muscle. Hmmmm...let's put this together with the fact that I don't have a job, am living with a friend who drives me crazy, and have gone through a couple of traumatizing experiences recently. This spells diet disaster! I have also recently fallen out of contact with one of my closest, most supportive friends, so what is a woman supposed to do?
Maybe I should back up and clarify something. I am not particularly worried about my diet or policing my caloric intake (something that I have proven to be quite good at in the past). I am worried about the stresses of life dragging me down and keeping me in this sedentary lifestyle. The title of my blog may be misleading. I am not just on a diet. I am creating a new life for myself; one where I live with a healthy body, mind, and soul!
In order to do this, I need to de-stress and stay active and happy regardless of who or what is pulling me down emotionally. What things work for me? Here's my top ten:
1.) LISTEN TO MUSIC- This is something I have been doing to de-stress for as long as I can remember. Just ask my mother. I don't know if there is anything that centers me more than music I can feel in my veins and lyrics that tell my stories. Popular favorites when I was a teenager were "Bullet with Butterfly Wings" by the Smashing Pumpkins and "I'm Just a girl" by No Doubt. Angry songs are also good for keeping your energy up while doing bicycle crunches.
2) SING- I love to sing loud and proud in my room all by myself while, of course, listening to music. If I am feeling sad, it's actually not detrimental to my overall mood that day to listen to, and sing, sad songs. When I find the right song that expresses what I am feeling, singing it vents off that negative emotion. Eventually I will move onto angry music (if sad) and then right on to the happy stuff. Note well ladies: If you are mad at, sad because of, needing, hating, or loving men, then Mary J. Blige is your one-stop shop.
3.) DANCE or DANCE & SING - I have loved doing this since I was 3 or 4. This picture is not of me as a child- the only microphone I have ever sang into was attached to my Fisher Price cassette player. I used to put on performances as "Madonna" for my family ;).
It may look kinda wacky to anyone watching a hidden camera, but it feels so good to let loose and express yourself.
Just dancing by yourself is great, too! Loud Hip Hop really gets me energized and dancing. I am always sweating in no time. I like to put songs on repeat that tell me to "drop it to the floor", "drop it like it's hot", "get low", or "touch the floor". That may sound funny, but it really works your abs and lower body at the same time!
4.)READ- A great novel is always nice, but when I am really in a funk, escapist reading is where it's at. I aspire to read the literary cannon, but I love a good, quick read that allows you to step into another life.
5.) WRITE- This is tricky for me. Sometimes writing can release the load, but sometimes it causes me to ruminate on unpleasant things even more.
6.) WORK OUT- This is something I really need to work on, but when I make it to the gym I feel 150% better. I feel a future post coming on... How to get your ass to the gym.
7.) VISIT FRIENDS OR FAMILY- It's hard to visit family when you live far away, but it feels so good when you are around them, no matter how messed up you all are. Today I spent time with so many different members of my family. I love them all to pieces. Family is great because when I am with them they bring out the best in me. They also don't leave you (for the most part). Friends and lovers are great, but they aren't always there through thick and thin. In my experience, they never are.
8.) TALK TO FRIENDS OR FAMILY- A good tool. You shouldn't have to go through everything alone. People will always be busy leading their own lives, but close family and good friends always call back.
9.) WORK- Work is a de-stresser for me because it forces me to leave my emotions and struggling personal life at the door. When I am alone the story can often be much different.
"My name is Megan... and I am a ruminator."
10.) PAMPERING- This includes retail therapy. Hair, nail, and facial care are favorites of mine also. I miss pamper nights with the ladies, but until I make friends in this strange new city, it's just me, bitching about men in my head...