Fitness Friday 05.21 – Mental Health Edition

#ICYMI: May is Mental Health Awareness Month! A year ago, I was reflecting on the state of the world – and my growing state of my mental health, and not in a good way. But it has been interesting to reflect back at moments of this past year when I allowed my anxiety to get the best of me, whether that was being bed ridden, constant chest pains, sobbing fits or panic attacks. I went threw the gambit of emotions that were amplified by the world this past year.

I have always tried to be open and honest about my anxiety, because I think it’s (1) important, (2) it’s reassuring to know you’re not alone, and (3) to show how we all react and feel anxiety and stress differently. I’ve worked really hard, especially in the last few months to push myself out of certain comfort zones to deal with my anxiety and stress head on – because let’s face it, that is sometimes the most direct way in overcoming or managing it. I’d like to emphasis the managing part — because some times it doesn’t go away, or it does but can come right back in a flash, that’s the funny thing with anxiety, stress and everything in between, it’s always sort of just hiding in the shadows waiting to come out. One of my goals this year was making my health a priority – mentally and physically, and I finally started talking to someone again in February.

For me, I have always had some social anxiety to a certain extent, whether that’s drinks at a bar with friends, a night out with mutual acquaintances or walking into a room where I may only know the person I’m standing next too. I like to be around people who I trust, make me feel safe and I’m able to be my authentic self around — I blame that on getting burned a few times in high school, but I’m also OK with that. So imagine that “normal” social anxiety and then you add this past shit show of a year on top of it, with an added layer of social expectations and family pressures and you get a hot mess of anxiety and fear – aka, Me.

In addition to that, I’ve been in fear of getting or being sick (literally since March 2020). I’ve started to become better at rationalizing how I’m feeling and realizing that I’m not sick — but it’s taken a long time for me to get to this point. But that has been helpful for me, rationalizing things and feelings that can be, while also making sure I’m aware and acknowledging my feelings whether they’re rationale or not. I’ve come to realize I can do normal things and not get sick — a fear, I think that was beat into our brains throughout this past year.

So without getting too much into the weeds — that is what my therapist is for — I just wanted to shed some light into one part of my anxiety-ridden world that I live and deal with. I’m so beyond thankful for our friends, who have been open and accepting of my excuse for not wanting to hang out being “I’m paranoid and just don’t feel comfortable, can we FaceTime for 4-hours instead?” I’m so beyond thankful for those friends who have checked in on my progress of finding a therapist, for those who shared their struggles, wants and successes in finding their own therapist (you know who you are!). I’m also thankful for B for helping me through my panic attacks, letting me cry, yell and share all my rollercoaster feelings when I‘ve been feeling them – and most importantly for being my rock when I needed an ally in my feelings or justifying my actions.

If you’ve been struggling, I can tell you 100% that it is worth fighting through the fear of what that person, friend or loved one might think of you asking for help or sharing your emotions and feelings — because on the other side is relief and an ally to help you get through the tough times, while celebrating the milestones and successes. And if you’re on the other side and may not understand everything, just try to show love, empathy and compassion – it goes a long way.

xox

Mental Health Resources, Tools & Reminders: Mental Health America, @yourmomcares, @selfcareisforeveryone, @selfloveblossom

Fitness Friday 08.20

Hi my bees! It’s time for a ray of optimism in a year that is seemingly turning out to be one shit storm after the next. And I’ll be the first to admit, I haven’t been able to maintain the optimism as much as I was in the early months of quarantine.
FitnessFriday08.20-beelifeblogGoal #1 is to meet my running goal of 2020 and run six races. Since last Fitness Friday, I’ve been able to sign-up and add another race to our fall list — making a total of  four races (including my January run). Which makes me only two away from hitting my six! I was hoping to get a half in, but I’m not sure if that will happen — maybe it still will, we will see!

Goal #2 is to run at least 2x a week, starting tomorrow! I have been recently reminded that my workout routine has been less than consistent — and I need to lean in a bit more on fitness, exercise and getting outside more consistently than I have been, especially to help deal with my stress and anxiety in a healthier way (which FTR, has been through the roof 24/5 lately).

So I’m taking my race obstacles and anxiety obstacles and I’m going to step on them to more opportunities and reaching my goals and ultimately feeling better inside and out. What’re your current obstacles, and how can you jump on them to new opportunity?

Here’s to staying strong, staying active and reach our goals!

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Fitness Friday no. 5

Happy Friday! How is everyone doing with their 2016 fitness goals?

I’ve been making slow progress. I signed up for Barre3 – which offers a plethora of online videos at a low monthly cost, and right now that’s exactly what I need. I’m enjoying the challenge and core building exercises, and I’m excited to keep it up once I start training for my 10-miler.

So this week I want to focus on the “little” things that are just as important to your health and fitness, as the actual physical work.  What’s that? Maintaining your stress and positive energy.

Fitness Friday 05 - the bee life - emilyboylan.com

1. Confront It. If something or someone is bothering you, confront the situation. I think the word confront often has a negative connotation – but the way you approach the situation is key and doesn’t have to be negative or defensive. Clear your chest and speak your peace, the rest is out of your hands…

2. Lose Control. Speaking of out of your hands, you can only control yourself, aka you cannot control others. So if you’ve spoken your peace, knowing you’ve tried, work on letting go of the rest.  You’ll thank yourself later!
*Disclaimer: I know it’s easier said than done.

3. Release The Stress. With exercise! Not food! Personally, I often crave some bad eatings when I am stressed or had a bad day at work – I find I have a small window to get motivated to exercise, but when I do pick exercise over the burger and fries I feel 10x better AND not fat!  Challenging your mind to pick fitness over food in those situations is half the battle.

4. Stretch! I’ve mentioned this before; but since I’ve been stretching more I can’t get over how much I can feel it in my muscles and body and how much it helps.  It helps release all those stresses that get stored in our body from long days of sitting at a desk or standing on our feet. Try 10-minutes a day, I bet you’ll feel a difference.

5. Reflect on the Good. It’s easy to fixate on the bad, how we didn’t work out, how we ate bad, the jerk at work… and it’s easy to overlook the good. Try writing down on a post-it at least one good thing that happened during your day and tuck it away in a jar, by the end of the year you’ll have a jar full of happy memories, that hopefully also helped you in the current moment – focus on the good. You can also bring this up with a roommate, spouse, or best friend at the end of the day and both share your “goods” of the day.

Keep focusing on your 30-days there is still time to work towards your goals and build good habits!