Sunday, January 19, 2014

STRESSFEST




Today's post is more about satisfying my need to write it, but I do hope some of you can relate. As a disclaimer, I actually wrote the bulk of this a week ago. And on that note, I've written and re-written about a dozen similar posts yet never hit the publish button. There's something about posting something personal that makes me crave a level of privacy. I won't go into exact details, but I do think it's important to share what's been going on. I don't want my blog to be a space for "picture perfect moments;" I want people to know that I'm a human with struggles and occasionally fall off the grid. Anyways.

For the past few months, I've turned into a full-time worrier. I've allowed stress and anxiety to become a dominant factor in my life. I'm getting pretty exhausted. What's most aggravating about this constant dread is that I'm spending my energy worrying about things that are entirely out of my control. I get super focused on really toxic, negative situations and allow my mind to travel down the long and winding road of "worst case scenarios." Then, of course, I worry about those scenarios as if they are reality. Then, obviously, I worry about what all this negative energy is doing to my health and well being. I feel really frustrated because I have to change my thought process, and for some reason, that's just been really hard to do. My evenings have become a series of breathing exercises and lavender eye pillows and telling myself over and over and over again to just relax. I feel this anxiety residing in the pit of my stomach and the uneasiness makes its way into [what seems like] every minute of my day. Like I said, exhausted.

Yesterday, I posted this picture with an uplifting caption. I have run out of "magic solutions" and realized the only thing I can do is force myself to think positive thoughts. I am blocking the negative energy, and when it starts to creep back in- I need to stop it in its tracks. I have made a little list of ways to get over this hurdle and back to my normal self/normal way of life, but would love suggestions from you. How do you handle toxic energy and stress? How do you refocus your thoughts and stay on track? At this point… I'm ready to try anything.

As always, I must express my gratitude to you for reading. I am relieved to have a space where I can share, no matter how vague or open-ended it may seem. Thank you.

[image source]

21 comments:

  1. Wow. Thank you so much for sharing this and for being so honest. That was very brave of you! I got emotional when I read this just now, I have similar anxieties and I also worry about worst case scenarios. It is exhausting. Sadly I don't have much advice to offer, as I still struggle with this kind of thing, but other than eye pillows and the occasional spa day, I've actually found solace in reading and writing. Hopefully you're blogging is therapeutic for you too - I definitely find reading it therapeutic for me!

    Take care.
    T xo

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    1. Reading & writing have been very helpful! Distraction in the best way. :)

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  2. Hi Kelli! This is such an honest post. Thanks for sharing! As a worrier for many years, I can definitely relate. I've been trying to work on it and while I've gotten a lot better, I still have occasional bouts of worry. For the past two weeks, I've had tension headaches more than likely caused by stress. I booked an acupuncture appointment which I had to Saturday morning. It really helped a lot. I'd definitely recommend giving it a shot. I hope this helps! - Donna

    donzwebb.wordpress.com

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    1. I have heard acupuncture can work wonders, and recently found a contact that I'll be scheduling with. I hope it works for you as well!!

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  3. I appreciate this post Kelli! With all the "new year - new goals" hoopla, its nice to hear someone else is overwhelmed with trying to be successful. The best thing I've found to help ease the stress is making lists, write down what you want to do, what's in your way and if its something you really don't have control of, move on. Love reading your blog and seeing your professional achievements.

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    1. Lists are a great tip! I always feel much more in control if I can see what I'm accomplishing. Thank you for your support!

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  4. Ok Kelli :( Not a fun thing to be going through. This is where my pulling came from! I find that running, prayer and getting absolutely RID of the toxicity is what helps. If it's there, get rid of it... no matter what it is. It may be as simple as a bad habit or as big as a friendship or form of income. I'm so sorry you're in this rut.

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    1. Ahh… one day I'll write a hilarious essay about what has been *causing* the stress. Until then, I can't actually eliminate it. Bah humbug, right? But I've been exercising and reading a lot, and it has been a nice distraction and pretty helpful in calming my nerves. Thanks for always being so supportive!! xo

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  5. Girl, I can totally relate to this post. And bravo to you for putting it out there. Asking for help was essential in me overcoming anxiety. We're human. We can't do a lot of this crap on our own. The most effective thing for me was therapy. Do a little research, see if you can find a psychiatrist that you can work with and give it a shot. They're experts in helping in these situations. And if they suggest taking something to calm your worry, don't be ashamed to try it. I avoided taking any kind of drug for anxiety for years because of the stigma around it, but I used a low dose for anxiety for a period of time, then was weened off of it and it made a world of difference. You're never weak for asking for help or seeking therapy. You wouldn't hesitate to have a doctor fix a broken bone, and you shouldn't hesitate to have one help fix a spot in your brain that needs to get back on track. Best of luck in getting the peace you need. It will happen.

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    1. Thank you so much, Jenna. I am a big advocate of therapy and know that it sometimes takes an outsider perspective to help stop anxiety in its tracks. Time to research!! xo

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  6. Kudos girlfriend! This is step 1 in the process of relaxing. I was feeling that way towards the end of last year and have decided to focus my energy on top priorities and let the rest fall to the side. I think this is just a natural struggle for any go-ghetta out there ;)

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    1. Ah yes… a brain that never stops! Perhaps a happy hour date is in order to talk ONLY priorities ;)

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  7. I hear you, girlfriend. I'm plagued with the same disease - to the point where if I ever allow myself to lose control (example: going out one night and switching to a small bag), I will wake up in the middle of the night, frantic - do I have my ID? Do I have my debit card? I don't even really "party" (not like college, at least :)), but I feel like I have so much more at stake now. I don't think I ever really get the chance to exhale, and have to create situations where I can. So, the things I started a few years ago when this started happening are thus:
    -Telling myself as many times as necessary not to worry until it's a worry.
    -Taking myself on a "rage/brain space/deep breaths walk"
    -Buying myself a magazine, ice cream and/or candy - turning the TV off and allowing myself a moment to sulk, but also tricking my mind to change
    -Writing :)
    -Reading a book that sucks me in (which has become increasingly rare, but still happens)
    -Yoga
    -"Girl talk" with Raz - I force us into staring at each other and talking. This one is my latest and I've found it to be particularly effective because hearing about him and his day allows me to focus less on my own, and to put it all in perspective

    Oh, and candles. Always candles.

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    1. I do the SAME THING with bags. So frustrating! It all is a matter of tricking the mind, as you said, and these tips are totally helpful. The book part has been great for me so far. Reading "Devil in the White City" and it's just morbid enough to distract me! And yes, always candles.

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  8. shoot, so sorry to hear this! my suggestions are the same as above... venting to a girlfriend, exercise exercise exercise (that one seems to help me the most). reading. yoga/pilates. cycling? i just did that for the first time and it's crazy how much stress relief happens there. hiking... fresh air in the general. let me know if i can help at all!

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    1. Thank you, Christie! Hiking, especially around here, is always so refreshing!! Time to add it to my weekend to - do list.

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  9. I'm a bit late reading this post but...I sympathize with you! My personality almost embraces the notion of being a worry wart...my husband defines me as that, too. Like you, I worry about things that are mostly out of my control. I have no way to change things but I let the stress of worry take over.

    I have found that over the years, being able to exercise helps, talking about whatever I'm stressed out about, writing things out (like you did in your post!) and even lying face down on my bed/couch to allow the emotions to "drain" makes me feel better.

    I hope on that level, things turn positive and the worry starts to fade. Speaking from experience, it's not easy but at least it doesn't have to feel like an uphill battle all the time! =)

    xo,
    nancy

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    1. Worry wart is my middle name. ;) I love the idea of just laying face down. Sometimes you have to accept what you're feeling to let it "leave." Thanks for the support!!

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  10. Hello pretty girl. Just wanted to show you some love. Everyone experiences anxiety, stress and sometimes it takes over us...more than we should ever allow. I adore you and know that with every trial and tribulation comes peace. Being vulnerable to your own emotions is so hard sometimes. I'm thinking of you. This too shall pass. xo

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    1. Hi pretty- I miss you! Thank you so much for your kind note. And loving (LOVING) your new blog. xo

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  11. Hi Kelli,
    I have a brain that never stops talking in my head, the good, the bad and the UGLY. They say (whoever they are) that no one can terrorize us like we can terrorize ourselves with our own mind. I have been able to conquer this (although it's an ongoing task) with meditation. I'd recommend Louise Hay and Deepok Chopra, I have apps on my phone, and also Morning Pages. If you haven't heard of that google Julia Cameron. You basically grab a notebook as soon as you wake up and dump all your crazy random rambling thoughts by writing them in the book, stream of conscious style. It works! When you're done you can actually experience a clear relaxed mind. The challenge in hard times is having faith that it will all be OK, and the truth is the results are the same whether we worry or not. xo
    Julie

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Thank you for reading! xoKelli