Weird title huh? I know. I’m really stepping out of my comfort zone on the blog today, so if it’s too much information you can stop reading now (Mom close your computer down. Loveyoubye.) What do all of the things in the blog title have in common? Stress relief.
The last two days I have been a little anxious, my life is getting busier and the to-do lists are getting a little longer. One thought bleeds into another thought and my mind will take me to some place or situation that doesn’t exist and I start building a scenario in my head that hasn’t even happened. Perhaps it’s a bit of anxiety, and I’m sure there is some therapist term used for what is really happening in my brain, but I’m just going to label it as stress.
On a scale of 1-10 , 10 being you just found out you have two months to live, and 1 being you are going on vacation and have to figure out if you want to go to Hawaii or the Virgin Islands (I don’t know who would consider that stress, but stress is stress right?) My level is at a 3. I have had much higher levels of stress before, so this is more like being anxious and I’m a bit excitable too. I get like this a few times a year, where I can’t concentrate, I over analyze and I feel the need to want to help all the people of the land. As though I’m some kind of super hero who can solve all of the dilemmas if people would only listen to me. Ha! (weirdo, control freak alert!)
So, I am doing a few things that are helping me to relieve stress . One is to meditate. Not everyone is into this and it can be very challenging to escape your busy/racing thoughts, but there are many forms of meditating. Just like everything else it takes practice. On a good day, I can do 20 minutes; on a busy day 5 minutes is all I can manage. Some days I have to say eff it and just go punch my body opponent bag. However, there are times when I need to be present and calm and yesterday was one of those days. So I set a time for 10 minutes and focused on 3 words. Calm, present, and mindfulness. My mind could only focus on the word calm for the most part. So I thought, if calm was a color what would it look like. For me it was blue, the color of the sky and sea. Then I thought, if calm were a smell what would it smell like? For me it was vanilla. A smell that always puts me at ease. Last I focused on what does calm feel like? For me it was the sense of floating. I imagined myself floating in the ocean looking up at the big blue sky that smelled with the smell of vanilla lotion.
Before I knew it, the timer went off and as I opened my eyes I was suddenly mindful of what was around me. I noticed the tree outside my bedroom window had blossomed, I’m not sure when that happened but I was happy to see the pretty pink flowers outside my window. Most importantly I felt relaxed and ready to take on the next task. Pretty awesome.
Fitness and friendship. We all know a good workout can help relieve stress, and so can the companionship of a friend. Sometimes I like to workout by myself and other times it’s nice to have a friend by my side that offers company and gives me the push I need. I’m thinking of having more of this in my life. Like a Friday Friends Fitness day. Title is way too long. Anyway it’s like a Bro-sesh but with women. Perhaps a hoe-sesh? What do you call a session where women get together and do a meathead workout? I’ve asked a few of my female friends and it comes back to a hoe-sesh. I like it! (Sorry if it offends you. Obviously we’re not hoes.) Perhaps we’ll make t-shirts…
Anyway, I have included at the end of this post the workout that my good friend Julie and I did today . Feel free to use it and get your
own hoes girlfriends together for a good ole meathead workout.
Sex! Yes, sex really does help me feel better and relieves stress…after all it’s science, duh! But how do I turn off my brain so I can enjoy the experience? This is a big challenge for a lot of women I know. We want to have sex. We want to be with our husbands but our damn brain won’t shut up. They say men can compartmentalize their thoughts. So when they are having sex they are thinking about sex. When they eat a sandwich they are really thinking about the sandwich. Where as women, can be in the middle of the act… ok sex, and be thinking about how we need to remember to pick up pepper from the grocery store, then that thought leads to the yummy recipe we found on a blog the other day, that thought somehow leads to a thought about how we need to limit some of the sweets in our diet which then lead us to wonder if our husband notices our double chin in this weird sexual angle. Or is that just me?
Anyway, I have figured out a way that helps stop the crazy thoughts during sex. Light bulb moment…Ready? Tell them what we need. Be honest and tell them we are having trouble concentrating and we need them to distract us. For the longest time I avoided doing this because I didn’t want my husband to think he wasn’t enough, trust me he is! (too much info, I know, but you were warned.) When I am honest and I tell him, I need you to talk to me, distract me with your words, he knows how to do it. Yes, he tells me how great my ass looks and all that guy talk, but if I tell him I’m feeling insecure, he will tell me how much he loves my smile, or mention how much he admires my will to help other people feel better and lead a more confident life. Yes, that is sexy and all of a sudden I’m no longer thinking about the grocery list or helping solve world problems, I’m just in the moment.
Wow, ok I really put it all out there today. If you’re looking for a fun meathead workout, see below. By the way I almost didn’t post some of these pictures because, I was having an insecure moment of judging myself. Double chin comes to mind, but you know what? Who cares?! After all I have a whole blog post series about loving your body. Double chin included!
Equipement: Barbell, plates, dumbbells, kettle bells
WARM UP: At least 10:00 but I think mine was 15:00. Because, well… Deadlifts.
Strength: 4X4 Sumo Deadlifts.
3 supersets of 8-10 reps (I did 15 to 20 reps with banded work)
- Monk squats (special shout out to Dianne Sanfillipo. She posted this movement on Instagram and inspired me to give it a try) Kind of like a curtsy lunge but using a step and feels different too. I have seen different variations of monk squats but this is what Dianne called them.
- Goblet squats – We used a kettle bell
- Bottoms up kettle bell press
- Single arm banded row
- Pull-ups. Today I used a black band for assistance. Sometime I just use rings or a low bar.
- Renegade row with push-ups
- Bicep crossovers
- Tricep press down with band