Mental Health Monday, Uncategorized

Mental Health Monday – Holistic Remedies for Anxiety


Hey everyone!

I’m reading over (and cringing at) last night’s post. Wow was I a mess… But, looking over my anxiety-induced ramblings got me thinking now about what I can’t control, but what I can.

I have been dealing with extreme anxiety and depression for over 10 years now, and although it doesn’t look like it most days, I have come a long way. So, I thought that maybe it would be fun to do a little series (I’m not sure if it will be weekly or bi-weekly yet) on mental health and the restoration of it!

Obviously I am not a doctor, medical professional, or expert. I am simply a girl who has been dealing with a plethora of different mental issues for a majority of her life. I have tried every type of healing under the sun from medication to yoga to herbs. I just want to share what I know as I think that it may be helpful! Consult a medical professional if you have any concerns about maybe trying a new way of mental health restoration.

While western medicine is great in so many ways, I find that it falls short when it comes to healing mental ailments. Too often a doctor will simply look at your symptom, diagnose you, and prescribe some type of medicine that will only dull the issue. It is made to appear as though there is no real cure for mental illness, and that the only way to go on living your life as a fully-funtioning human being is to be on some medication that makes you feel less like yourself and more like a zombie for the rest of your days.

I just don’t agree with that.

And that is exactly why I choose holistic approaches to healing over western medicine 99% of the time.

Today I want to focus on anxiety. Unfortunately, I have yet to find an actual “cure” for anxiety sufferers. Trust me, if I find some miracle cure, you will be the first to know.

Although I don’t know how to banish severe anxiety and panic attacks for forever, I have definitely found a few holistic remedies that can help you live your life without having a complete meltdown every time you are thrown into a high pressure situation.

1. GABA

– GABA (gamma-minobutyric acid) is an amino acid derivative and a key inhibitory neurotransmitter. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that carry information between nerve cells or from nerve cells to other target cells. GABA is synthesized directly from glutamic acid. It has an inhibitory effect on the firing of neurons and supports a calm mood. (source)

If there was but one anti-anxiety remedy that I could recommend, GABA would be it. As stated above, GABA is a neurotransmitter that is already found in your brain. These pills don’t completely eliminate anxiety when the anxiety is severe (if you are having a full-blown panic attack, you won’t all of a sudden be completely calm), but it definitely makes the anxiety more bearable. During some of my worst days, I take 1-2 pills a couple times a day to keep myself relatively calm throughout the day and I don’t know if I would have gotten through my last semester of college without this stuff. It’s a true miracle worker.

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2. Rescue Remedy

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Rescue Remedy is a calming blend of different “remedies,” or flowers and herbs.

This mix was created by Dr Bach to deal with emergencies and crises – the moments when there is no time to make a proper individual selection of remedies. It can be used to help us get through any stressful situations, from last-minute exam or interview nerves, to the aftermath of an accident or bad news. Rescue Remedy helps us relax, get focused and get the needed calmness. (source)

The great thing about Rescue Remedy is that it comes in a ridiculous amount of different forms. There is a spray form (I use this), gum, liquid drops, and more. It also can be used both topically and by being ingested.

Rescue Remedy (in my opinion) is not as effective at relieving severe anxiety as GABA is, but it definitely assists in taking the edge off. Also, because it comes in the form of a piece of gum, it can easily be used in situations such as at school or work where taking a pill would not be appropriate. Also, because it can be used topically, a quick spray on your chest before going into class or a meeting can help quickly alleviate some nerves and bad thoughts.

I find Rescue Remedy at my local health food store, but it can be purchased online here.

3. This last remedy is a given, but it has to be said.

Exercise.

Getting your body moving, whether it be for a long run or a quick 10 minute yoga session is probably the absolute best and most natural way to deal with anxiety and clear your mind while also improving your health and fitness. It’s an all in one healing session!
Also, it’s definitely cheaper than going out and buying a whole bunch of products!

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I hope you found this post somewhat helpful!

Question(s):

How do you deal with stress/anxiety?

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life, Uncategorized

Frazzled


Hey everyone!

Today was one of those days where you just are so frazzled that you have absolutely no clue what day it is.

First thing’s first, I want to talk about yesterday! I was hardly home so I really couldn’t get a post in, and when I finally was home it was after 3am and I just crashed!

Yesterday, I started my morning off with another swim workout!

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I was short on time so this mile swim workout was absolutely perfect! Plus, those kick drills were absolutely killer. When I’m swimming (especially in freestyle), my kicking is always a lot smaller and less powerful than it should be… Meaning my (weak) arms do most of the work which obviously isn’t the way it is supposed to be… I’ll definitely be adding the workout to my usual rotation!

Also, as much as I hate the fact that I can’t run, I love that swimming is strengthening all of the muscles in both my arms and legs that I don’t normally use for running. I’m hoping that by evening out my muscle strengths with cross training will help prevent injury in the future.

That being said, I really really need to heal up and run again.

After my swim, I took a quick shower and headed right over to my chiropractor to finally have my knee checked out. As I expected, I have patellofemoral pain syndrome (runner’s knee)… Which I guess is a good thing because that means that there’s no actual damage in my knee area. She did some ultrasound on it (ultrasound is a miracle worker, I swear) and recommended that I wear a knee brace, especially when I run.

Note to self: go buy that knee brace tomorrow!

Later on in the day, I headed into the city with my friend for a concert! I’ve gone to concerts too weekends in a row and I am definitely not complaining! =)

IMG_5017This picture is super blurry, but the hole-punch marks on my train ticket looked like little bats and it made me a lot happier than it probably should have.

We saw The Front Bottoms and Say Anything, a band that I have loved since 6th grade.

I don’t even know how to formulate words to properly describe just how amazing of a show it was. I love music more than I love most things… In fact, if I could choose one thing to do with my life, it would be music.

The Front Bottoms were absolutely amazing and so much fun.

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And Say Anything just completely killed it. I was able to finagle my way all the way up front (where I took quite a few elbows to the head by sweaty men but hey…) and it was just so much fun.

And Max Bemis (their lead singer) is the man.

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Also, this made me really happy.

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Empire State Building lit up for pride =). So thankful to be able to call New York my city.

Today was just busy and stressful… If I’m honest, I had two really bad panic attacks today and it was all just a mess so I apologize that I don’t have any pictures from today to share and for the fact that I know this post looks like it could have been written by a 3rd grader. I’m just feeling really low and burned out.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

I really hope you had a wonderful day =).

Question(s):

What do you do to get yourself through bad days?

 

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Friday Favorites, Uncategorized

Friday Favorites 6.27.2014


Hey everyone! It’s that time of the week again where I tell you all of the random things that I have been loving this week!

So let’s talk!

TV Favorite:

  1. Obviously, I have been loving Orange Is the New Black this week… So good. I’m embarrassed to admit that I am already on episode 9… Whoops.

2. My absolute favorite television related thing this week is actually a commercial. In fact, not only is it my television favorite, but it is my favorite thing in general this week.

When I was at the gym this morning (I wound up doing an elliptical workout by the way… you know, in case you were being eaten away by the not-knowing), I had the channel set to MTV. I wasn’t really watching it, but it was basically just on because nothing else was on and I felt like zoning out. The screen cut to this commercial and the first line of it grabbed my attention.

Seriously, watch the video… It’s one of the best things you will see today. I promise. Love the message.

Favorite Workout:

  1. I actually enjoyed the elliptical workout that I did this morning more than I expected to!

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(source)

I added an extra 5 minutes of intervals onto the end before my cool down to make the workout a nice 35 minutes. It wasn’t all that intense, but it definitely got my heart pounding!

2. Still loving swimming, but I’m getting a little bitter towards it because all I want to do is go for a run!

Favorite Recipe(s):

  1. We need to talk about this cauliflower steak burger… If you are a frequent reader, you know all to well that I have an obsession with cauliflower. I will be trying this out ASAP.
  2. I normally enjoy my sugar snap peas raw, but these roasted sugar snap peas with mint and sea salt look way too good to pass up.

Favorite Moments:

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Time with my grandparents.

 

 

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Beach with friends.

Question(s):

What have you been loving this week? Let me know!

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thinking out loud

.thinking out loud 6.26.14 (my first)


Hey guys! Today I’m doing my first ever link up post (is that what I should call it?) and I’m super excited!

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Thinking Out Loud Thursday is a weekly collection of random thoughts. Basically, you ignore the usual ideas of what a blog post should be and just roll with whatever pops into your head.

Thank you to the wonderful Amanda over at Running With Spoons for creating such a fun link up!

Actually, Amanda’s blog was one of the first  ever discovered!

So let’s get into this!

  1. Right now the main thought on my mind is how badly I want to be watching Orange Is The New Black right now. I finally started watching season 2 the other day (yeah, I know that I’m late to the game) and oh my goodness! I completely forgot just how great this show is!

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So much hate for this dude.

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So much love for this coupling.

And so much love for Officer Bennett in general…. He’s kinda-sorta the cutest.

2. I’m going to the beach tomorrow and I never go to the beach because honestly, as much as it’s my favorite place on the planet, the idea of going out in public in a bathing suit has kept me from enjoying it… But I’m making myself go and I am sure that I won’t regret it!

Also, the only bathing suit I have that’s not either the one-piece that I use for the gym or that is falling apart is the Triangl bikini that I spent a billion dollars on last year and the bottom is too big on me so I’m sitting here and googling how to shrink neoprene… Yeah, it’s not looking like it’s possible…

3. One of these days I’m going to go to bed at a normal time so I don’t need an obscene amount of caffeine to get me through my day… I can’t physically sleep past 7:30 (the very latest, I’m normally up by 6-6:30) so this whole going to sleep after midnight every night isn’t exactly ideal.

4. I miss running so much it’s actually insane. All I want to do tomorrow morning is wake up super early and go for a nice long run… But my knee doesn’t feel any better so I know that I can’t. I’m going to try to make an acupuncture appointment for Saturday and hopefully that will help!

5. I can’t decide if my workout tomorrow morning should be on the bike or on the elliptical. I feel like I always do the elliptical as my cross training (that or the stair mill) so I should change it up and do a spin-type workout on the bike. At the same time, I get so bored so fast on the bike. I also feel like the elliptical may give me a better workout… But maybe if I worked harder on the bike I would get a better workout and would work muscles that I don’t normally work.

Ugh. The struggle is so real.

This?

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Or this?

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Well, that was fun!

Question(s):

Someone help me with my dilemma and make a decision for me! Which exercise machine should I do tomorrow?

What’s on your mind right now? Tell me the first thing that pops into your head, no matter how weird!

 

 

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life

3 Words Per Photo


Hey everyone! It’s been a long day with very little time to sit down and blog so I thought I would share my day through photos! I’m stealing this idea from my favorite blogger ever Janae  to explain what each photo is in only 3 words!

Admittedly, today was supposed to be a (my first) What I Ate Wednesday… But I kinda-sorta failed at eating normal meals (I was on the go all day so my eats were kind of bizarre and were a little bit of everything)… So I guess I’ll have to wait until next week and try again!

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Arms are screaming.

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Morning with grandparents.

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My happy place.

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Date Nut Bread.

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So flipping good.

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A new video.

Goodnight!

Question(s):

Describe your day in three words. GO! (This isn’t really a question, now is it?)

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Uncategorized

Tone It Up Bikini Series – Recap And Final Reflection


Hey everyone! I’ve been meaning to write this post since Saturday and am finally finding time to sit and take some time to write it.

So, as I have mentioned countless times before, I am a member of Tone It Up and have been for years. In case you have never heard of the Tone It Up (in which case… do you live under a rock?), it is business and community founded and run by best friends Katrina Hodgson and Karena Dawn. Tone It Up began as a Youtube channel and have since grown into a multi-million dollar company with tens of thousands of followers. K & K are unbelievable inspirational and have been my role-models since finding their Youtube channel in 2008. I could go on and on about how much I love them for forever, but instead I’ll just say that if you want to know more about Karena and Katrina as well as Tone It Up as a whole, you can read about them/it here.

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This year marked the fourth year for Tone It Up’s Bikini Series, an annual challenge beginning in the spring and ending on the first day of summer. The goal is to get you into tip-top shape come bikini season (i.e. summer)!

Throughout the series, Karena and Katrina post weekly schedules for workouts on their website along with daily “Sunset Challenges” and post new toning routines each Tuesday. Participants are encouraged to check in daily via Instagram, Twitter, or in the Tone It Up Community with their meals and to offer encouragement to other Bikini Series participants!

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(all from my Instagram)

For the sake of keeping this post from being obscenely long, you can read more about the Bikini Series here.

The Bikini Series is something that I look forward to every year and is something that I have been “participating” in since the very first one four years ago. Now, I put “participating” in quotations because every year I begin the series with good intentions… But every year, as I have mentioned before, I fail because I freak out and fall back into unhealthy habits.

This year, I wanted things to be different. I was/am so sick of constantly tormenting myself with guilt and fear and all of that other nonsense that prevents me from living the life that I want to. I want nothing more to be the image of health. I want to focus on eating healthy and nutrient dense foods instead of looking to get the least amount of calories in my meals. I want to be able to run fast and long and do it because I love it instead of doing hours of half-hearted workouts in hopes of burning as many calories as possible. I want to be fully recovered. I do.

It’s easier said than done… And more often than not, I convince myself that I don’t in fact want recovery… So this is my public reminder that I do want to be my best self, not my sickest self.

How does this ramble fit into the Bikini Series? Well, the Bikini Series was actually a huge proponent in my finally realizing just how badly I want to be a true example of a healthy and happy human being. The Bikini Series brings an unbelievable amount of beautiful, kind, and inspiring women together to work hard and support each other in a loving and positive community.

I really do have to say that I have never experience anything but positivity within the Tone It Up/Bikini Series community. Yes, I do realize that negative comments and statements are probably monitored and promptly deleted, but for the most part, I do think that the following surrounding Tone It Up is predominantly made up of kind-hearted people who genuinely want the best for all of the other women pursuing the same goal that they are: their best self.

Going onto my Instagram every day and seeing check in after check in of healthy meals and workouts and smiles from beautiful women of all ages, sizes, and backgrounds. Seeing all of these ladies succeeding in moving towards their best self really gave me the push that I needed on days where I would have much fathered skip lunch in favor of a calorie-free coffee.

In addition to the wonderful Tone It Up community, Karena and Katrina never fail to inspire me to strive for health. Like I said earlier, I discovered these two amazing ladies back in 2008 when I was just a self-conscious 8th grader who wanted to lose weight.

This may sound dramatic, but finding their videos on Youtube all those years ago truly changed my life forever. I found my love for fitness, I found my desire to pursue a career in healthy living (although I have swapped out my major in exercise science for journalism, I still want to personal train and be a fitness instructor more than anything), I found a desire to create Youtube videos to create and share my thoughts and ideas with the world (I finally worked up the courage to pursue that dream this year!)… I just can’t even properly explain to you how immense of an impact Tone It Up has had on my life.

I started this Bikini Series wanting to lose weight, although I know i probably didn’t need to, but not ready to dive in full force since I knew that I most likely would gain weight if I ate more.

I ended this Bikini Series focusing less on the weight and more on the mindset. I’ve been trying to think less and just live. Can I say that I’m recovered and now I can eat whatever I want without a second thought about how many calories are in it? No. Can I say that I allow my body the proper amount of rest that it needs between workouts? Unfortunately, no.. I can’t. But I can say that I am getting there. 

For over 3 years not I have felt nothing but stuck. I wasn’t getting sicker, but I also wasn’t getting better. I gained weight without upping my calorie intake which caused my restricting even more out of complete terror that eating 5 extra calories would cause my weight to go up overnight again.

Yesterday, I weighed myself for the first time since my body completely betrayed me two years ago… Gaining almost 20 pounds in less than a month even though I was existing on less that 1000 calories a day and running competitively. I don’t know how I feel about the number… I didn’t feel much of anything about it actually. I wasn’t happy about the number, but it also didn’t cause me to workout an extra hour that day and skip breakfast. It was just a number.

I know it doesn’t seem like that is much, but it is everything to me.

This Bikini Series has put me on the path to a long overdue change that needed to be made. Don’t get me wrong, I am nowhere near where I need to be yet… But I’m closer. Even if I have only creeped an inch forward on the journey towards recovery, it is an inch more than I have moved in years. 

I am so thankful to Tone It Up, the Bikini Series, and all of the incredible women who took part in the challenge for inspiring me each and every day to try to be my best self. I am thankful for the women who showed me that you don’t have to be perfect all the time, that you don’t have to punish yourself for a slip up, and that everyone is worth something.

Even me.

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life

Weekend Recap


Hey everyone! Sorry for the lack of a post yesterday and for the fact that this post is going to be mostly photos.

Although, for some it may be preferable to just look at pictures instead of reading my usual nonsensical rants… If that’s the case, this is the post for you dear reader!

Anyway, this weekend was a mess of rushing around and trying to get things done that needed to get done but not actually accomplishing any of said things.

Saturday, I woke up and tested the waters with a run before heading out to Bed Bath and Beyond to get a present for my cousin’s engagement party that I had to go to later that day!

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I thought I took a picture of the (absolutely amazing) marketplace inside of Bed Bath and Beyond… But apparently I didn’t so here’s a selfie from outside of Bed Bath and Beyond instead because it’s basically the same thing.

I had never been in once of the huge Bed Baths before (the one closest to me is pretty small) so I had never been enlightened to how ABSOLUTELY AMAZING THOSE PLACES ARE! They had a whole international market section that had all of this cool food and drink from all over the world.

I wanted everything, but instead I just left with the engagement present, a bottle of Speculoos flavored syrup, and some tea. I’m exciting.

I didn’t actually take any pictures at the engagement party (I know I promised you a picture of the finished product of those oreo things that I showed you on Saturday) because I wound up only being able to stay for an hour before I had to leave for a concert!

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I actually wound up going to see Paramore and Fall Out Boy at the Monument Tour with my best friend! I didn’t know I was going until the day of… Cody just happened to have an extra ticket and needed someone to go with him so obviously I had to take one for the team.

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I don’t think I have listened to a Paramore song since their Riot album back in 7th(?) grade. They were a lot better than I expected and played quite a few songs off of Riot so I got to sing along!

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Finally, after Paramore’s set ended, Fall Out Boy came on and completely killed it! I have seen FOB 3 times in the past year and they never fail to impress me.

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Also, Patrick Stump (the lead singer) has the most angelic voice on the planet… I’m not fully convinced that he is in fact a human. Cody and I have a theory that he may be a robot… A person can’t just be that adorable and talented and humble all at once.

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Today was another day of running around and not getting anything that I needed to be done done.

Although, I did (possibly) finish registering for the classes I will be taking this fall! Progress!

Question(s):

What was the last concert you went to?

Best thing you did this weekend?

 

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