Healthy Stress Relieving and Therapy Tuesday!

Today’s Happy Note: Watching Cupcake Wars.  I absolutely love Cupcakes — making and eating them!  My favorite is peanut butter and chocolate.  What’s your favorite cupcake flavor?

Good news: I got myself a kettleball (sp?) at TJ Maxx tonight!  It was only $6.  Bad news: My blender is broken.  What could possibly have happened?  I use it a lot so maybe it overheated.  It’s a basic proctor-silex.  Thoughts?

Had a nice relaxing 6-mile run last night!  Took today as a rest day and just did a 3-mile walk.  I like having a rest day during the middle of the week, it breaks up the routine nicely.

Last night I had a mini freak-out (felt overwhelmed by work stuff) and, after taking a few deep breaths, made a plan: first I took a 45-minute nap, then read for a few minutes, then headed out for my run.  I was very proud of myself for this!  Normally, I would not soothe myself so well — I might choose unhealthier mechanisms which only end up making me feel worse.  I decided to make a list of my favorite stress-soothing techniques:

  • Going for a quick jog (doesn’t necessarily have to be an intense workout!)
  • Reading books — especially my favorite Neruda collection
  • Giving myself a foot massage/pedicure (nail color suggestions???)
  • Playing with my hair (I love trying new styles)
  • Playing mah-jongg
  • Taking care of my plants, Fanny and Balthazar
  • Writing-ranting in my journal
  • Taking fun classes at the gym
  • Yoga (especially forward folds)
  • Making plans with friends for the weekend
  • Daydreaming
  • Thinking about (but not stressing over) my future

Unhealthy stress relieving techniques that I am making an effort not to turn to:

  • Wallowing in my own pain (crying/sobbing, feeling badly)
  • Self-loathing
  • Bingeing/restricting
  • Isolating myself
  • Punishing myself in any other ways

What’s on your instant destressing list? I would love to add plate smashing like a certain friend but I have no old plates.  When I do, you can bet they’re going to be smashed. 🙂

I know this has been a talky post but I am just not in the mood for pictures.  Bear with me.

Therapy Tuesday

Another good week with lots of insights and comfort — two of the most important things to me in my therapy experience.  I love how I am learning about the actual experience of therapy.  I think this is relevant to my journey; it isn’t exclusively about what’s inside my head.  It’s also about how I think and speak and interact with others.  All  of this comes out in the way I interact with L.  Sometimes, quite frankly, I just enjoy having someone to talk with seriously every week.  A lot of my friends and acquaintances don’t value emotional intimacy in the exact way I do — I do not begrudge them this.  We are all made differently.  But I need to talk about my feelings and share them with others. I always have been this way and probably always will be!  This leads me into my next point…

I have had a sort of epiphany in the last week regarding just how important my writing is to me.  I have always known that writing is integral to my life, but, in reading Seducing The Demon: Writing For My Life (by Erica Jong) this past week, I realized that it is also integral to my identity. My whole way of being is tied to my writing.  The good, the bad, the wonderful — it all comes back to writing.  I write about everything.  I share everything.  I notice things.  Words mean everything to me.  They have saved my life. I understand that other people do not necessarily live their lives this way; Erica’s book helped me see this.  And I don’t mind being “different.”  I just need to be observant of that.

Another thing I have noticed about my writing lately is a new found confidence.  A big thing I talked about with L today was my self-loathing.  It has seeped through into most areas of my life, beginning with my body.  But there is one area that it has not invaded and I will not let it invade: my writing.  I believe in myself as a writer. Even if it’s just this one thing, that’s a start.  I want to work with L on not hating myself so much.  I really want to be a confident person — it’s not especially fun to hate my body, my abilities, my relationships with others.  I agree with L that this is a sort of road block in my interactions with men.  I feel like I have made so much dating/flirting/male relationship “progress” this past year and I am proud of myself for that.  I know I’m ready to move forward even more, and I think this is going to be a learning experience.  I certainly do not want my ability to be happy or to believe in myself to be tied to a partner, but I do think that having more experiences with men will at least help build my confidence and lessen my self-loathing.  I guess this is just another “project” for the summer.  I have a few boys I’m thinking of. 🙂

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sarah
    Jun 16, 2010 @ 02:10:16

    Hehe thanks for advertising my plate smashing technique…it really is quite fun 😉

    Very interesting therapy insights indeed – that book sounds like something I would like to add to my list of self discovery reading…reading about your therapy experiences gives me hope after my recent unpleasant experience with my own therapist, that it is possible to have a positive and meaningful therapeutic relationship that promotes self development, growth and understanding. Dating sounds like a nice little project 😉 My flirtation with speed dating, although brief, was a great experience – it gave me lots of confidence and things to think about, as well as showing me that it’s not the right time for me right now…

    Sarah x

    Reply

    • caronae
      Jun 16, 2010 @ 08:26:13

      Yes, it can be hard to find a meaningful therapeutic relationship! Therapists are like friends — you have to connect with them. You don’t connect with every person you meet, it takes time and effort. I have probably gone through about 8-10 therapists before finding L….Good luck!

      Reply

  2. Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine
    Jun 16, 2010 @ 07:01:23

    I’ve been screaming into pillows since I was in elementary school…just a few good screams, a bunch of tears, and it’s out of your system. Trashy magazines are another big one for me. Kind of the same idea as reality TV, but it requires more focus and is therefore more of a distraction.

    Good luck with the dating! It’s true, the more you interact with guys, the more comfortable you feel around them. I went to an all girls middle and high school and was petrified of guys for the longest time, until I realized that they’re actually way more tolerant and friendly than most girls are. I’m sure there are some that have great opinions of you, and you don’t even know it!

    Reply

  3. Christine @ Grub, Sweat and Cheers
    Jun 16, 2010 @ 12:20:46

    My destressors are: running, meditating, gardening, knitting and hot baths with a book and a glass of wine. The latter, usually with earplugs in to drown out my shrieking children. 😉

    It is awesome to hear you say you believe in yourself as a writer. I think self-doubt is one of the first hurdles aspiring writers (like moi) put in front of themselves. I think that is an enormous start. I imagine there must be a level of peace involved when you approach your writing coming from that place. That rocks.

    Hope some of that confidence and self-belief can carry over into the dating world – just imagine what solid ground you would be standing on when starting a relationship with that kind of secure self-knowledge & love tucked up inside you.

    Thanks for the Erica Jong book tip – I’m definitely going to check that out. Sounds like my kind of thing.

    Reply

    • caronae
      Jun 16, 2010 @ 12:38:21

      The Jong book is a fascinating read, but it is not the most well-written..not really literary but beautifully insightful, if you know what I mean. But definitely check it out!

      Reply

  4. fitandfortysomething
    Jun 16, 2010 @ 14:04:33

    that is awesome that you scored a kettlebell for so cheap!
    i am so glad your writing gives you so much joy and self confidence…….we all need something don’t we?

    Reply

  5. Kate
    Jun 16, 2010 @ 19:59:51

    i really want to read that book. have you read fear of flying? i remember being really in awe of that one. it has some interesting insight on relationships too.

    i like your list of stress busters too. GREAT tips!

    Reply

  6. shesarunner
    Jun 18, 2010 @ 13:12:52

    I have always loved writing, but my depression and eating disorder got the best of me, and I stopped writing for a really long time. It’s very sad to me, that I allowed my writing to be squashed. I am happy to be writing again now…that is what I like about keeping a blog. It reminds me that I need to be writing…not just because people expect me to but because it’s one of my “releases”, something that helps me in ways I don’t always realize.

    I too have an issue with self-loathing. It infiltrates everything I do at this point. I think it’s wonderful that you feel ready to move forward and work on loving yourself and maybe even dating. It is extremely hard to be in a relationship where you don’t love yourself (I’ve been there). It is a common saying that you can’t love anyone else if you don’t love yourself. I don’t think it’s true that you can’t love anyone else, but you certainly can’t show them you love them in the same way, and you aren’t as open to love or open to letting people love you. It makes things very complicated. I can tell from your writing that you have a lot of strength and determination and that you will get to where you want to be. The self-hate will go away the more you work on this, and you will be able to move past it.

    Reply

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