Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Let Go and Improve Your Health

Some of you may have been wondering where I’ve been and if my little corner of the blogging world was still active. While I do apologize for that, at the same time I don’t. My whole focus is on getting healthy and remaining in control of my Binge Eating Disorder. I learned a while ago that stress knocks me off my course quickly, so I’ve been putting a lot of effort into reducing the stress in my life. And as a result, my blog posts have suffered recently.

That’s not to say this blog is bad for my health. In many ways it has been the largest catalyst to my success. But there are stresses that come with it. I’ve blogged before about the negative impact of feeling overexposed from sharing my deepest secrets. While I’m doing better in that area, it’s still difficult sometimes. Lately the stress of keeping up this blog has been due to my lack of time. There’s a pressure in trying to remember when to post and what to blog about. Then there’s the time it takes to actually write it up. I’d like to say that these posts write themselves as if they were flowing out of Rita Skeeter’s Quick Quotes Quill (sorry, I’ve been in a Harry Potter frame of mind lately), but the reality is it takes time to get my words out of my head and into a coherent post that’s not too long.

I also hate to say that I’ve been tired for almost a full year now. I’m averaging less than six hours of sleep a night, and my mind wants more than that to function efficiently. I had to change my workout time to an early morning class which meant I had to either sacrifice sleep or time with my family in the evening (since both my husband and daughter are night owls). So far, my family has trumped sleep. I don’t drink caffeine, so that means I’m running on fumes most days. Stress and tired don’t mix well for me and it increases my urges to binge. In addition, creativity doesn’t flourish in a foggy brain. I’m deep in a novel that I really want to get done this year, so I wanted to channel whatever creative mojo I could conjure into the novel. All this meant I had to let a few things go.

But do not fear—I don’t intend to ignore my little blog forever. Right now I’m just choosing to not stress over having to post at specific or regular times. And I figure you might get tired of me just posting sweaty pictures to my Facebook page, so that’s gone a bit dark as well.

In the past I’ve taken big steps to reducing the stress in my life, like cutting off toxic relationships. It was probably the most difficult thing I’ve ever done, but I know it was the right thing to do for me in the long run. I’ve also eliminated certain tasks that seem irrelevant, like mailing birthday cards, but the result was a lot less stress in my life. In the birthday card example, I still find a way to say happy birthday, I just don’t have the stress of remembering to buy and mail a card in time so it arrives on the proper date.

Recently I’ve been looking for more little things I can do to reduce my stress and free up some of my time, like unsubscribing to newsletters I don’t read. You might be wondering why it was stressful/time-consuming if I didn’t read them in the first place. Well, they cluttered up my inbox, making it appear I had more items to respond to than I really did. Another thing I’ve started to embrace is bailing on books I’m not enjoying. Reading is not only a favorite pastime—it’s essential for my life as an author. Before this year, I had only ever abandoned 2 books. I’ve had some books where I’d skip parts to get to the end, but I’d almost always finish. For one, I don’t like to quit anything. For two, I always want to give the book a chance to redeem itself in the end. Well, this year I’ve already doubled my ‘did not finish’ count. It can still be a struggle, but I keep telling myself that having a smaller ‘to be read’ pile is more important to me than finishing a book I’m not enjoying.

I encourage you to think through areas of your life where you can let go. It could be big or small—in the end it all adds up to a healthy improvement.

~ Carrie

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