I recently posted that I’ve been struggling with anxiety. I still am, but I can honestly say, I’m getting better. Last post I talked about enjoying time with my family to relieve stress. This time I want to focus on spending time by myself.
When looking into natural ways to reduce anxiety almost every article I read recommended exercise. And originally that stressed me out more. Lennon is constantly breastfeeding still and as a result I’m 13 pounds less than when I got married 3 years ago. I’m down to 103 pounds. I know some people are reading this and cursing me out for losing weight without trying. But truthfully, I’m beginning to feel self conscious about how skinny I am. I don’t think I look too thin. But I’m close…and the fact that I haven’t worked to achieve this weight makes me feel unhealthy and uncomfortable. The idea of exercising and becoming skinnier terrified me.
But then I realized, I don’t need to do an intense workout that’ll make me shed 5 more pounds in a week. I can do something easy. Something that’ll make me feel healthy. Maybe even build up some muscle instead of looking mass. And I remembered how I used to walk. Almost every day of Jr. High, high school and college I took a walk. I brought music and just thought or day dreamed or listened to the music until I was ready to go back home and back to reality. After college I started dating Peter and became happier than I’d ever been. My walks became less frequent. But on particularly stressful days, I would still walk to clear my mind.
When I got pregnant with Lucille my walks ended. I felt too sick. And they weren’t necessary for my stress. I was a happy newly wed and excited soon to be mother. Once Lucille came and I was recovered from my c section. Once I could walk, I forgot about it. I was too busy working and momming. I’ve missed walks.
A couple weeks ago I found my college iPod and decided to take up walking again. I’m getting the exercise that is so highly recommended to fight anxiety. But I’m also getting time to be myself and think. Think about my past. About my future. About my dreams. And mostly about all the things I’m grateful for in the present. I come back from these walks refreshed and with priorities straightened out.
I have not made these walks a part of my daily routine as they used to be. For now, a couple times a week seems to work fine. If I continue to struggle with anxiety I may decide to walk more, or I may add yoga to my schedule on non walking days.
Thanks for reading. Tell me, how do you get rid of stress in your life?