Day Drinkin’ and Gym Etiquette

(Separate topics. I could see how one would read that title and think I’m day drinking and then hitting up the gym.)

Hi friends! Tomorrow I leave for NYC for four days, so I wanted to just check in with a few tidbits from my week before I go.

This week has been busy, but glorious. The kids are off to camp/daycare, and I’ve been feverishly trying to get in months of neglected chores, indulgences, and missed opportunities of day drinking on patios.

drinks

Playing catch up quite nicely.

I reunited with a friend I hadn’t seen in YEARS, which wasn’t okay, and I’m so happy we got to bask in the sun and each other’s company. Also, I’ve been hitting the gym like a fiend, trying to get in as many workouts as possible before I travel, because I probably won’t be exercising much beyond walking in New York. I tried barre for the first time (now offered at my GoodLife for free [!!!], since many people have been asking), and have been walking crooked for days. It was SO challenging! I think likely because my typical workouts focus on major muscle groups (spin, running, Pump), and barre engages smaller muscles that I don’t typically use. Also, holy ab work. My core is shit. Summer goal: strengthen core!

So regarding gym etiquette, there was an incident yesterday that left a sour taste in my mouth and I need to rant about it. I was using the leg adductor machine (or abductor, truth be told I don’t know which is which, but I know they both work inner and outer thighs), and a woman approached me. It was clear she was itching to use the machine. In broken English, she says to me “What you do is no good. Here, I show you.” Like whaaaaaaaat? Excuse me, but if you wanted to work in with me, that’s fine, but don’t tell me I’m using the machine incorrectly and try to teach me! I was so offended! As it is, I’m not overly receptive to instructors correcting my form (big pride and ego over here folks), but even less receptive to some random older lady telling me I’m doing it wrong. Umm, I’ve been working out since I was 18, for half my life and I’m not interested. So I firmly told her that I was okay and knew what I was doing and she skulked away. I did, however, watch her go use the machine after I vacated and couldn’t help but giggle as I watched her use it for her glutes as she stood on it in some bizarre splits type position. You do you, boo.

Okay so last thing. I recently posted to my Instagram asking if anyone used the Calm app and invested in the $77 yearly membership. I’ve been using the trial and I LOVE it. The woman’s voice is amazing, and I love the sounds and visuals. They really help me relax and get into meditation, which is something I struggle with. My mind still wanders terribly,  but I’ve made a bit of progress. Anyway, a former colleague informed me that all teachers are entitled to a free membership! Mind. Blown. Here’s the link to anyone who might want it:

Calm for Schools

I’m still waiting for my confirmation code/to hear back, but I’m eagerly anticipating having the app for free! If you benefit from it too, I hope you enjoy! #sharingiscaring

How I Keep my Anxiety at Bay

It’s been a hard week.

With the loss of two iconic legends in their respective fields, suicide prevention and mental health awareness have been at the forefront of people’s minds and mouths more than ever. So today I thought I’d do a post to shed some light on my own struggles with mental health and offer a few suggestions for what has worked for me to keep my anxiety at bay. I’ve always been a pretty high anxiety person, and while I like to joke my preferred coping mechanisms are wine and Ativan, this past year I’ve actually taken some concrete steps to alleviate my anxiety in a healthy way, and here’s what I’ve found helpful.

1. Visualization

After struggling to quiet my mind enough to meditate or even practice mindfulness, I’ve found a strategy that helps to stop my racing heart in times of distress or when I get anxious. Visualization is great because it feels very concrete to me, as opposed to more abstract methods of calming. When you visualize, you picture all the things that are causing you stress and worry (mostly in the form of the toxic sludge you’re holding in your body), and then you dump all of that into some storage type container. You picture yourself shutting the container up in a very official way (I picture a treasure chest for some reason and I like to lock it up real tight, but you can use any container ranging from tupperware to a backpack even), and then dump it somewhere it can’t surface. For me, I dump it into the ocean and watch it sink. You then go on to picture yourself in your favourite place post-purging and spend a few minutes basking yourself in that location. Personally, I go to the beach in Mexico where we vacation, and feel the warmth on me, the sand between my toes, and I let all the worries melt away. I know it all sounds a little corny, but I swear, it works. When I open my eyes again, I feel calm and at peace.

2. Adaptogens

Adaptogens are herbs that help to reduce stress and anxiety (more info here). Ashwagandha is my preferred adaptogen, as it’s been proven to help with stress and anxiety reduction.ashwagandha

I drink mine in kombucha, but you can also take supplements (purchase here). I also like magic mushrooms. Not the fun kind, but ones like reishi and cordyceps. I really think adaptogens can make a difference in your mood.

3. Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep is 100% the difference for me between being able to cope and not feeling emotionally stable. It’s a known fact I have a granny-esque bedtime, and if you text me after 9 pm, you won’t hear from me until 6 am. In fact, I power down long before my 9 pm bedtime. I’ve always been a light sleeper who wakes frequently in the night, but I recently found my secret weapon. drbach

It’s called Bach’s Rescue Remedy Night spray, and it works. It’s made from flowers and tastes like poison, and I love it. I get it from Ambrosia, where I get all my supplements, and it’s relatively inexpensive. Take a spray or two (or seven if you’re me) when you go to bed, and if you wake through the night, and it instantly calms you and helps you fall back asleep.

4. Exercise

pump.jpeg

Obviously this one is on my list. We all know by now that exercise produces endorphins and makes you feel more centered, relaxed, and happy. It seems counter-intuitive, but pushing my body to the limit is always the most relaxing part of my day. Straight up, I exercise for my mental health, not my physical. The physical is truly just an added bonus.

5. Cuddle, get outside, enjoy quality time

wonderland.jpeg

It’s amazing what fresh air does for the mind. When I’m feeling stressed or anxious, I go outside, even if it’s just for a minute (disclaimer: I only do this when it’s above 15 degrees because I hate the cold), and I take a deep breath. I instantly feel better. So days where I spend a few hours outdoors, especially with my kids, I feel particularly stable and happy. And days where we’re trapped inside? I make sure to get lots of cuddles, because a hug is sure to instantly calm my nerves and improve my mood.

So once again, a doozy of a post, but thanks for reading yet another novel of mine. I hope you find just one strategy you like or think might work. But most importantly, if you’re really struggling with anxiety and depression, or thoughts of suicide, please talk to someone and get help. XO